Ministry to Award Outstanding Teachers

By Patricia Kapulula 

The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST) will this Friday honour heads of secondary and primary schools as well as teachers that have demonstrated good management and leadership and outstanding commitment to their job despite challenging conditions and teaching environments.

This honour of teachers through awards is part of the events to mark commemoration of the World Teachers’ Day.

Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Dr William Susuwele Banda revealed this during a press briefing on Wednesday ahead of the World Teachers’ Day.

He said teachers sacrifice a lot in their everyday duties hence the need to honour them as one way of empowering and motivating them to continue working hard.

The minister said the teachers’ dedication to the profession is so immense thereby making the nation proud.

“Through their hard work, innovation to teaching and learning, the students have excelled. Day in, day out they teach with passion to make a difference in the lives of children in Malawi,” he said.

Not only are teachers supposed to be honoured but also communities that are adding value to education in the country.

While acknowledging that there are some communities who negatively interfere with education by encouraging learners not to go to school, the minister said some communities are doing better in promoting child education and such communities need to be identified and celebrated.

Going forward, Susuwele Banda said the country will endeavor to reflect on the status of teaching in the country.

“On this day and beyond we will take time to reflect on the status of the profession, the positive things as well as the challenges by asking ourselves four critical questions,” he said.

The four questions are: Why do we have high teacher attrition? How can we motivate a teacher? What are some of the best practices that can be harnesses and build on? What are some of the best practices that we can harness and build? How can we attract and keep the brightest minds and young talents in the profession? 

This year’s celebrations are held under the theme ‘Young Teachers: The future of the Profession’.

According to Susuwele, the theme encourages the country to be forward thinking to the future of the teaching profession, specifically on the role of the young people and by so doing taking stock of the current challenges teachers face and inhibiting factors refraining young and talented people from joining the profession.

Government has since put in place measures that would ensure that young people join the teaching profession.

Engaging with students in secondary schools, teacher training colleges and those in other professions on how to make the teaching profession attractive, ensuring that development of education policies and strategies are done in an inclusive manner and specifically targeting the voices of the young people and working in close collaboration with partners such as teachers union, civil society organizations, parents and teachers in sharing experiences on how to improve the profession and support the welfare of teachers are some of the measures put in place.

Held annually on 5th October since 1994, World Teachers’ Day commemorates the anniversary of the adoption of the 1996 ILO/UNESCO recommendation concerning the status of teachers. This recommendation sets benchmarks regarding the rights and responsibilities of teachers and standards for their initial preparation and further education, recruitment, employment and teaching and learning conditions.

Celebrations to mark the event will be held in Lilongwe on Friday and will begin with a solidarity march from Game Complex to Crossroads Hotel.-MANA