Malawi: Minister for Accurate Information On School Performance

Lilongwe — Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Dr. William Susuwele Banda, has urged supervisors and advisors for both primary and secondary education in the country to provide accurate information on schools' performance.

The minister said this recently in Lilongwe during handover ceremony of 25 motorcycles to the ministry by UNICEF which will aid the supervisors and advisors in their work of supervision in their districts.

The minister said the system depends on supervisors and advisors' reports to ensure that teaching and learning is taking place smoothly in the country.

"You are our eyes out there and we depend on your judgments and what you get on the ground to make the necessary decisions on the interventions we need to implement," Banda said.

He said advisors know that their responsibility is to support schools to perform well and in some instances when schools are not performing well, they take that as a challenge to them.

"Most instances when schools are not performing, they do not tell us the truth because they know that they contribute to the performance of the schools, in the end they lie to us that schools are performing," said the minister.

The motorcycles were given to Salima, Dedza and Mangochi districts because supervisors in these districts told the truth, according to the minister.

"Our intervention in these three districts is based on evidence because we carried out an assessment, through that we noted that learners from these districts are performing below minimum standard; that is why we come with these interventions," Banda said.

The minister added that he noticed with concern that some schools were sending away learners from school for failing to pay development fund.

"The ministry reminds schools and their committees that it is wrong to send learners away from school when they are not able to pay development fund," he said.

He added that government abolished tuition fees, both at primary and secondary level to ensure that all learners have the same opportunity to attend school.

"It is the responsibility of schools to ensure that we cover for the learners that are unable to meet these demands," he said.

Chief of Education and Adolescents Section for UNICEF, Kimazi Muthengi said the organisation was committed to ensuring that every child in Malawi accesses quality and meaningful education.

He commended the ministry's efforts that are geared to strengthen the inspection and advisory support at district level to ensure that schools are meeting minimum national standards.

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