No books for new syllabi

The fact that secondary school teachers are teaching without appropriate tools shows how government is impinging on young Malawians’ right to quality education.

This signifies political incompetence resulting into perpetual deterioration of education standards in the country.

Lack of political will, therefore, is deforming instead of reforming the education system.

It is worrisome that the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology has rolled out a new academic calendar without providing books for the new curriculum.

 

Form Three students are learning without textbooks, showing lack of preparation and planning by the ministry. This social injustice will affect students’ performance for many years.

Secondary school is  a  pathway to the university. Without timely provision of teaching and learning aids, students will be poorly baked.

The country’s socio-economic growth hinges on well-educated citizens. Quality education should start from both primary and secondary school.

It is undeniable that since the restoration of multiparty democracy in 1993, education standards are on the wane. We have unstable curriculum. What irks us the most is that the curriculum itself leaves a lot to be desired. It does not instill morals as was the case in Kamuzu Banda’s regime.

Then, a Standard Eight pupil knew much more than her equal in the present-day system. The pupil could demonstrate morals, think logically and speak fluent English.

Some ended up taking jobs. Today, a Form Four student cannot speak coherent English for three minutes.

We have problems with our curriculum development specialists. Why do we have no stable curriculum? Why is our content not enough to prepare our pupils’ minds to think and be responsible citizenry?

What is lacking in Malawi’s education curriculum as a whole? Is the philosophy of education in the country fashioned to help students make independent decisions.

The curriculum must be framed to enable individuals work for themselves or others and earn a living.

In the present level of civilisation, most tasks require relevant education and skills.

Education should enable individuals to contribute to further knowledge and progress.

We want to produce students who will not just master stuff found in books written by others, but to write their own books.

They must not just make use of mechanical devices invented by others, but invent their own.

A good curriculum must prepare students for livelihood of research and development, inventiveness and innovation.

Education curriculum must be developed to sponsor good citizenship. We need people who would put the common good of others and their country above everything else.

We thought the Public Service Reform Commission was a significant tool for government to run government affairs in a business unusual manner.

Barely three years after this was launched, indicators show that the tool was sheer propaganda.

The reforms are marred by failure, massive looting of public funds in central government, parastatals, local councils and various government ministries and departments.

The reform agenda has not even changed the education system in the country.

For instance, teachers stay three months without pay. Promotions in the Ministry of Education remain unattainable. Teachers’ housing scheme remains a far-fetched dream. Learning and teaching aids are not available on demand just as is the case with drugs in hospitals.

It is disheartening that government seems blind to multiple problems crippling the education sector amid the touted reform agenda.

While the politician is deliberately annihilating the public education system, their children are offered highest education standards abroad or in private high schools.

Painfully, a helpless parent suffers silently having toiled all day to raise tuition fees for the school-going children whose education is deforming instead of reforming.

The taxpayers in general are being milked to the last line to feed the elite.

Please, match the new curriculum with all necessary supplies, including books and teaching aids. n

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