By Patience Lunda, Contributor
Stakeholders in the education sector have sounded an SOS on the recruitment mess in the sector, especially in private institutions; a development they say compromises the country’s education standards.
The concerns follow reports that many private schools are recruiting teachers who neither have teaching experience nor relevant qualifications.
Most parents raised the concerns to Civil Society Education Coalition (Cisec) during a recent meeting which it hosted in the Northern Region.
Such schools, according to stakeholders, take advantage of the high unemployment rate among the youth and desperation of some parents and guardians to have their wards enrolled in private schools which are preferable to public schools.
Cisec Executive Director, Benedicto Kondowe, said delivery of quality education depends on teachers’ qualifications and not necessarily the type of equipment available at a private school.
“If private schools recruit unqualified staff, they may not deliver intentions of the curriculum and the outcome is that learners lack necessary skills that are to be achieved according to the curriculum,” he said.
He, then, called on the government to put in place stringent measures on all schools by inspecting them to enforce rules and regulations as stipulated in accreditation procedures.
“Reports of unqualified teachers in some schools cannot be downplayed and should not be tolerated,” Kondowe said.
Reacting to the development, Independent Schools Association of Malawi President, Joseph Patel, acknowledged the problem and advised parents to research about schools before sending their children and wards.
“Some private schools are not registered but when parents realise that school fees is affordable, they rush to enroll their children to such schools and this is bad,” Patel said.
Ministry of Education, Science and Technology spokesperson, Lindiwe Chide, has since warned that they would revoke licences of private schools which do not meet the standards.
“One of the conditions for the establishment of any school is to have qualified staff. Therefore, all private schools are supposed to abide by this. The ministry conducts inspections of schools to ensure that institutions abide by the requirements and their licence is withdrawn if they do not abide by this,” Chide said.
She urged parents to verify credibility of schools by consulting nearest education offices.