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Part II ANALYTICAL SECTION

CHAPTER EIGHT

  1. Early Childhood Care and Development Activities (ECCDE)
  1. Gross enrolment in early childhood development programmes, including public, private, and community programmes, expressed as a percentage of the official age-group concerned, if any, otherwise the age-group 3 to 5.

This refers to the total number of children enrolled in early childhood development programmes, regardless of age, expressed as a percentage of the population in the relevant official age-group, otherwise the age-group 3 to 5. This indicator measures the general level of participation of young children in early childhood development programmes. It also indicates a country’s capacity to prepare young children to primary education.

POLICY BACKGROUND

Malawi Government’s policy on Early Childhood Care and Development Activities aims at providing high quality and improved coverage of early childhood education programmes by:

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

This sub-sector of basic education does not have up-to date data to enable the assessment team come up with as systematic an analysis as is required in this indicator. There is for instance no data available for the years before 1991 and those years after 1994. There is some scanty data for 1991 and 1994 out of which the assessment has tried to make some inferential statements. What follows is a brief presentation of the trend of development in ECCDA in Malawi between 1990 and 1999.

A USAID sponsored assessment carried out by NGOs in 1994 established that Malawi then had 1,393,950 Children below the age of five. Only about 1per cent of these was in attendance of pre-school playgroups The assessment however does not does not try to categorize these children into single-age groups neither does it indicate what percentage of these in pre-schools were children with special needs

Data from the Association of pre-school Playgroups in Malawi (APPM) for 1994 indicates a decline in the total number of Day Care Centres/Playgroups from that of 1991. The number declined from 200 in 1991 to 113 playgroups in 1994 (decline by 33.5%). Of these 113 playgroups, 80 were in the rural areas representing 70 per cent while 33 were in the urban areas representing 29 per cent. The total enrolment was 5,636 Children representing 0.4 per cent of the age group.

Access and equity

Table 8.1: Pre-schools and Their Enrolment: 1991&1994

Year

Total no. of Pre-schools

Pre-schools in Urban

Pre-schools in Rural

Total population

Total Enrolment

Enrolment Rate

1991

200

.

.

.

.

.

1994

113

33 (29 %)

80 (70%)

1,393,950

5,636

0.4%

. Denotes that data on enrolment is not available

The concentration of playgroups was highest in the urban areas despite the higher percentage of institutions in the rural areas. This is so because the majority of the population in Malawi is predominantly rural. Rural Pre-schools had the average enrolment of 40-60 children per Centre/playgroup whereas those in urban centres had an average of 100 Children per Centre/playgroup. The fees charged ranged from MK2 per child per month to MK10, the equivalence of US$0.04 and US$0.22 respectively. To appreciate the exorbitance of these charges one needs to know that Primary education tuition fees just a year before this used to ranged between Mk3 to MK5 (equivalence of US$0.06 and US$0.11 respectively) per term of two and half to three months and people complained about this. Others even failed to send their children to school. Thus, access to Early Childhood Education was highly determined by the availability of the pre-school itself and the ability by an individual parent to pay fees and contribute to other supportive activities/services. Access also depended on parental general awareness of the value of pre-schools and or Day Care Centres.

(b) Percentage 0f new entrants to primary Standard 1 who have attended some form of organised early childhood development programme

This refers to the number of new entrants to primary Standard 1, who have attended some form of organised early childhood development programme equivalent to at least 200 hours, expressed as a percentage of total number of new entrants to primary Standard 1. This indicator helps to assess the proportion of new entrants to Standard 1 who presumably have received some preparation for primary schooling through ECCDA.

POLICY BACKGROUND:

Malawi Government’s policy on Early Childhood Care and Development Activities aims at providing high quality and improved coverage of early childhood education programmes by ensuring:

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS:

As is the case with indicator 1 lack of coherent data made it difficult for the assessment team to come up with any up-to-date analysis. However some inferential conclusions can be arrived at from results of workshop discussions, literature reviews and special surveys carried out to assess learning achievement in the Primary School sub-sector.

From two workshops on Education for All 2000 Assessment organised by MOE at Sun and Sand in Mangochi (August 1999) and Capital Hotel in Lilongwe (September 1999) it became clear that the ECCDA sub-sector has never been assessed since the 1994 NGO assessment. However, a few issues became obvious:

The Community-based Pilot Programme of 1994 had increased the number of districts actively involved in the provision of ECCDA activities from three to 13 viz. Karonga, Nkhata Bay, Mzuzu, Mzimba, Dowa, Dedza, Lilongwe, Mchinji, Blantyre, Thyolo, Chiradzulu, Mangochi and Kasungu thereby expanding access to the rural pre-school children.

Quite a large number of private pre-school playgroups have emerged especially in urban and semi-urban areas resulting in a considerable rise in the gross enrolment to Pre-school education. The Gross Enrolment in Pre-schools/Day Care Centres has shifted from 0.4 per cent in 1994 to 24.6 per cent in 1999. There are more girls attending pre-school education in the urban area (58.8%) than boys (41.2%). In the rural area, more boys attend pre-school education (50.5) than girls (49.5%).

IMPLICATION:

Within the ECCDA there is commendable improvement in the provision of Early Childhood Care and Development Education to the age group. However, government is still far behind reaching the target of providing for Early Childhood Care and Development Education to all children aged 3 to 5 since 73.3 per cent of these children are still going without it.

Source: MoESC, MLA Survey 1999.

Table 8.2.

Source: MLA Survey, MoESC, 1999.

QUALITY OF PRE-SCHOOL EDUCATION

No study has so far been conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of the three Community-Based pilots that were launched between 1990 and 1994.

A newly developed common curriculum in Early Childhood Care and Development Education, is not in full circulation for use by the pre-school instructors.

The private pre-schools are basically run by mere businessmen and women most of whom lack the professional know-how for running such institutions.

Library service only reaches 16 pre-school playgroups which is a very small percentage of the current total number of pre-schools though not yet established.

TABLE 3: ACHIEVEMENT PRE-SCHOOL ATTENDERS VERSUS NON-ATTENDERS. SOURCE (MLA)

FINANCING

The APPM basically depends on funding from NGOs and donor agencies. Government has since 1997 been unable to fund the PPM its annual subsidy of Mk28000.00 due to the cash-budget constraints.

2.UNVIVERSAL ACCESS TO, AND COMPLETION OF PRIMARY EDUCATION BY THE YEAR 2OOO.

(a) Apparent Intake Rate

This refers to new entrants in primary standard 1 as a percentage of the population of official entry age.

Policy background:

From 1985 to 1995 policy plans Government of Malawi planned to equalise educational opportunities From 1994 Government of Malawi planned to offer Free Primary school Education to all primary school age children.

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS: APPARENT (GROSS) INTAKE RATE (AIR) 1990-1997

Apparent Intake Rate for boys dropped by 115 per cent while that for girls dropped by 104.9 per cent. The AIR for males rose from 198 per cent in 1990 to 292.1 per cent in 1994 just to decline to 83 per cent in 1997while that of females rose from 184 per cent to 306.8 per cent just to go down to 84.5 per cent. The sharp rise in 1994 is due to the start of Free Primary School Education that led to the rise of total enrolment to 3.6 million from 1.9 million the previous year.

Implication: In general there is a high degree of access to primary school education to new entrants pegged at 83.8 per cent for both sexes. In 1994 even over aged pupils enrolled for classes in the primary school. The primary school Apparent Intake Rate for females is not very different from that of males. The difference is only 1.5 per cent with more females taken into the system than males. This also indicates that in general government is succeeding in closing the gender gap in primary school enrolment.

Source: MoESC – EFA tabs

(b) Female Gross and Net Enrolment Ratio.

Gross Enrolment Ratio refers to total female enrolment in primary education, regardless of age, expressed as a percentage of the eligible official primary school age population, in a given school year. Net Enrolment Ratio refers to enrolment in primary education of the official primary school age group expressed as a percentage of the corresponding population.

POLICY BACKGROUND:

From 1994 Government of Malawi planned to offer Free Primary school Education to all primary school age children. This could be achieved by:

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS: GROSS AND NET ENROLMENT RATIO 1990-1997

Female Gross and Net Enrolment Ratios have risen by 65.2 per cent and 58.4 per cent respectively. The Gross Enrolment Ratio was 57.9 per cent in 1990 and rose to 125.6 per cent in 1995. It ended up declining to 123.1 per cent in 1997. The Net Enrolment Ratio was 47.1 per cent in 1990 and rose to 102.4 per cent in 1995. Between 1995 and 1997 it rose further to 105.5 per cent.

IMPLICATION:

The 65.2 per cent rise in GER for females between 1990 and 1997 indicate that the girl participation in primary school education has more than doubled. The registering of a GER of more than 100 per cent for females, as from 1995 indicates that, in principle, Malawi is able to accommodate all of its primary school age girls. In other words Malawi has so far fulfilled a necessary condition for universal primary education for girls. The remaining thing government needs to work on in order to ensure that there is full universal education for girls is to reduce if not eliminate under-age and over-age girl-pupils in order to free places for girl- pupils in the official primary school age-group.

Similarly, the 58.4 per cent rise in Net Enrolment Ratio (NER) for females indicates that the number of girls who enrol for primary school education from the official primary school-age-group of 6-13 years old has more than doubled. This indicates improved girl participation in primary education. When the 65.2 per cent growth in GER for females is set against the 58.4 per cent growth in NER for the same females, it gives us 6.8 per cent difference which in general terms covers the under and over age girl pupils in the system.

Source: MoESC – EFA tabs

(c) NET INTAKE RATE (NIR)

This refers to new entrants to primary standard 1 who are of the official primary school-entrance age as a percentage of the corresponding population.

POLICY BACKGROUND

From 1994 Government of Malawi planned to offer Free Primary school Education to all primary school age children.

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS: NET INTAKE RATE (NIR) 1990-1997

Net Intake Rate for boys declined by 35.6 per cent while that for girls declined by 35.3 per cent. The boys NIR rose from 61.1 per cent in 1990 to 75.8 per cent in 1995 just to go down to 25.5 in 1997. The girls NIR rose from 62.3 per cent in 1990 to 87.3 in 1995 and then declined to 27 per cent in 1997.

IMPLICATION:

The decline of 35.3 per cent and 35.6 per cent for males and females respectively, in Net Intake Rate, indicates that the primary school system is enrolling 35.6 per cent less boys and 35.3 per cent less girls, of the official primary school-entrance age, (6years olds) than it enrolled in 1990. The system still leaves as many as 74.5 per cent boys and 73 per cent girls of age 6 without enrolling for school when they were supposed to .In other words, out of every 100 six-year old boys and girls 61.1 and 62.3 respectively enrolled for Standard1. In 1995 this rose to 75.8 boys and 87.3 girls. This should partly have been due to parental and pupil excitement with the FPE policy. Right from 1990 girls were ahead of boys in NIR.

In 1990 the primary school Standard 1 enrolled 1.2 per cent more girls of the official primary school entrance-age than boys. In 1995, following the inauguration of the FPE, the gender gap between boys and girls grew up to 9.5 per cent in favour of girls. But the development between 1995 and 1997 seem to point towards a return to the 1990 scenario. Girls are still topping boys in enrolment but with a margin, which is almost as narrow as that of 1990 (1.5 per cent cf. 1.2 per cent). In general this implies that between 1990 and 1995 the proportion of pupils of the same age (6) in Standard 1 was becoming higher and higher, a positive development pedagogically. But from 1995 to 1997 the proportion of pupils of the same age in Standard 1 is nose-diving, a development which if not checked quickly may pause serious pedagogical problems and continue affecting the efficiency of the system. Finally the FPE policy came as a demonstration of the government to universalise primary education and thus the declining of NIR as is indicated by the assessment is a counter development to government policy.

Source: MoESC – EFA Tabs

(d) PUBLIC CURRENT EXPENDITURE IN PRIMARY EDUCATION AS A PERCENTAGE OF GNP

Public Current Expenditure in Education expressed as a percentage of GNP shows the share of the value of the total national production of goods and services in a given year that has been devoted to primary education.

POLICY BACKGROUND:

Government of Malawi planned to develop an efficient and high quality system of education of a type and size appropriate both to reliable resources and the political, social and economic aspiration of the country. This could be achieved by:

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS: PUBLIC CURRENT EXPENDITURE IN EDUCATION AS PERCENTAGE OF GNP 1990-1997

Public Current Expenditure in education as a percentage of GNP has risen by 0.9 per cent. It has moved from 1.1 per cent in 1990 to 2.6 per cent in 1995, just to drop to 2.0 per cent in 1997.

IMPLICATION:

The government is devoting to primary school education only 2 per cent of the total value of national production of goods and services in a given year. This however, is an improved state of affairs from a time in 1990 when only 1.1 per cent of the total value of national production of goods and services in a given year was devoted to the sub-sector. Government showed its greatest commitment to universalising primary education in 1995 when it devoted towards the cause of universalising primary education 2.6 per cent of GNP.

(e) PUBLIC CURRENT EXPENDITURE IN PRIMARY EDUCATION PER PUPIL, AS PERCENTAGE OF GNP PER CAPITA

Public Current Expenditure in Primary Education per pupil, as percentage of GNP per capita in a given financial year is a measure of the average cost of a pupil in primary education in relation to an average individual’s share of the country’s GNP in that particular financial year.

POLICY BACKGROUND

Government of Malawi planned to develop an efficient and high quality system of education of a type and size appropriate both to reliable resources and the political, social and economic aspiration of the country. This could be achieved by:

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS: PUBLIC CURRENT EXPENDITURE IN PRIMARY EDUCATION PER PUPIL, AS PERCENTAGE OF GNP PER CAPITA: 1990-1997.

Public Current Expenditure in primary education per pupil as percentage of GNP per capita has risen by 1.4 per cent It has moved from 7.6 per cent in 1990 to 11.0 per cent in 1994, just to drop down to 9.0 per cent.

IMPLICATION:

Government of Malawi is committed to investing in the Primary school education. The highest level of commitment was showed in 1994 when government spent the equivalent of 11.0 per cent of GNP per every primary school pupil. This commitment however, declined by 2 per cent between 1995 and 1997.Considering that the current Net Enrolment in the primary school is as high as 90 per cent (GOM, FPE, 1998), devoting 9.0 per cent equivalent of GNP per capita per pupil is still a sign of great commitment.

Source: MoESC – EFA tabs

(f) PUBLIC EXPENDITURE ON PRIMARY EDUCATION AS A PERCENTAGE OF TOTAL PUBLIC EXPENDITURE ON EDUCATION

Public expenditure for primary education expressed as a percentage of total public expenditure on education is a measure of the relative share of expenditure on primary education within overall public expenditure on education.

POLICY BACKGROUND

Government of Malawi planned to develop an efficient and high quality system of education of a type and size appropriate both to reliable resources and the political, social and economic aspiration of the country. This could be achieved by:

Strengthen partnership among all sectors with a view that they finance 40 per cent and government finances 60 per cent of the primary school sector and

Encourage judicious use of limited resources.

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS: PUBLIC EXPENDITURE ON PRIMARY EDUCATION AS A PERCENTAGE OFTOTAL PUBLIC EXPENDITURE ON EDUCATION: 1990-1997

Public Expenditure on primary education as a percentage of total public expenditure on education has risen by 12 per cent. It rose from 48 per cent in 1990 to 51 per cent in 1995 and rose further to 60 per cent 1997.

IMPLICATION:

Government of Malawi increased the total sum of expenditure on the Primary School Education expressed as a percentage of total public expenditure on education by 3 per cent between 1990 and 1995. From 1995 to 1997 this was increased by 9 per cent (three times as much). In other words, the government of Malawi is devoting more than half the total public expenditure intended for the whole education sector to Primary School Education. This is clear testimony of government’s commitment to giving top priority to primary education in national educational policies and resource allocation.

(g) PUBLIC CURRENT EXPENDITURE IN PRIMARY EDUCATION, EXPRESSED AS PERCENTAGE OF TOTAL EXPENDITURE ON EDUCATION SECTOR: 1990-1998.

Public Current Expenditure in primary education, expressed as percentage of total expenditure on the education sector has risen by 13 per cent. It rose from 46 per cent in 1990 to 51 per cent in 1995 and rose further to 59 per cent in 1997.

 

 

Source: MoESC – Planning (Finance & Budget)

This table is not explained.

(h) PUPUL-TEACHER RATIO (PTR)

Pupil-Teacher Ratio refers to the average number of pupils per teacher in primary education in a given school-year Teachers are persons who, in their professional capacity, guide and direct pupils’ learning experiences in gaining the knowledge, attitudes, and skills that are stipulated in a defined curriculum programme. This indicator is used to measure the level of human resources input, in terms of number of teachers, in relation to the size of the pupil population.

POLICY BACKGROUND

Government of Malawi planned to promote efficiency in the primary school education system by improving its physical and human resources especially by ensuring that the qualified teacher/pupil ratio is maintained at 1:60. To achieve that government planned to upgrade, recruit and train teachers under Distance Teacher Education Programmes and re-employ retired qualified teachers.

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS: PUPIL TEACHER RATIO: 1990-1997

At the level of all teachers inclusive, pupil-teacher ratio has improved by 4.7 per cent. It stood at 64:1 in 1990, rose to 68:1 in 1994 and lowered down to 61.1 in 1997. Pupil Qualified Teacher Ratio has improved by 7.5 per cent moving from 80:1 in 1990 to 74:1 in 1997. However, it became worse in 1995 when it rose to 108:1. This is explained by the influx of pupils into the system following the inauguration of the FPE policy.

IMPLICATION:

The data indicates that both at unqualified teacher and qualified teacher levels Malawi Government has not yet achieved its officially established normal pupil-teacher ratio. Comparatively however, the situation is much better at the level of unqualified teacher-pupil ratio that is just above the official norm by 1.1 pupils per teacher. At the unqualified teacher-pupil ratio level, therefore, the major problem that remains to be solved by government could be fair teacher distribution. At the level of qualified teacher-pupil ratio however, the situation is still grim, as there are still 14.1 more pupils per teacher to reach the officially required norm of 60.1.

Source: MoESC – Planning (Statistics Unit)

(i) PERCENTAGE OF PRIMARY SCHOOL TEACHERS HAVING THE REQUIRED ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS

This percentage refers to the number of primary school teachers with at least the minimum academic qualifications required by the public authorities for teaching in primary education, expressed as a percentage of the total number of primary school teachers. This indicator measures the proportion of primary school teachers who meet the basic requirement in terms of academic qualifications as specified by the country’s authorities. It indicates the general quality of a country’s human capital involved in teaching in primary education.

POLICY BACKGROUND

Up to December 1998, the official minimum academic qualification for a career in primary school teaching was Malawi Junior Certificate of Education (JCE), but from January 1999, this has been revised upwards to Malawi School Certificate of Education. Since this change is just recent and, the assessment considers those teachers who do not have an MSCE qualification but trained and qualified to teach in the primary school sector as teachers with minimum academic qualifications.

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

Teachers with minimum academic qualification constitute 98.6 per cent of the whole teaching force (MOE, CTL, 1999).

IMPLICATION

Government of Malawi is succeeding in fulfilling one of the necessary conditions for quality education.

(j) PERCENTAGE OF PRIMARY SCHOOL TEACHERS WHO ARE CERTIFIED TO TEACH ACCORDING TO NATIONAL STANDARS

This refers to the number of primary school teachers who are certified to have received the minimum organised teacher-training (pre-service or in-service) required for teaching in primary education, expressed as a percentage of the total number of primary school teachers. This indicator measures the proportion of primary school teachers trained in pedagogical skills, according to national standards, to effectively teach and use the available instructional materials. It reveals also a country’s commitment to invest in development of its human capital involved in teaching activities.

POLICY BACKGROUND

Malawi government planned to promote efficiency in the primary education sub-sector by upgrading the quality and expanding the output of primary school teachers. This could be achieved through provision of regular in-service training to all teachers through school-based in-service programmes and the periodic recruitment and training of additional teachers using Distance Teacher Education approach.

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

Percentage of primary school teachers who are certified to teach according to national standards has stagnated at 81.4 per cent after some shakes between 1990 and 1997. It grew by 0.3 per cent between 1990 and 1994 and then dwindled by 22.4 per cent between 1994 and 1997. The sharp decline between 1994 and 1997 can be explained by the injection into the system of the 20,000 untrained personnel to begin teaching as a remedy to the sharp rise in pupil enrolment following the inauguration of the FPE.

IMPLICATION

Malawi government has not made any progress in her efforts to upgrade the quality and expand the output of teachers through providing them with the necessary training to certify them to teach according to Malawi’s own standards. Today the primary school system still continues utilising 18.6 per cent of its teaching force that is not certified to teach according to national standards. However, the consolation is that the percentage of those certified outweighs that of the uncertified by far and at the same time it is possible that even among the uncertified some may have already acquired equivalent pedagogical skills through professional experience.

k) SURVIVAL RATE TO STANDARD 5: 1990-1997

Survival Rate to Standard 5 refers to the percentage of a cohort of pupils who enrolled in the first Standard of primary education in a given school year and who eventually reach Standard 5. The purpose of this indicator is to assess the "holding power" and internal efficiency of an education system. The Survival Rate to Standard 5 indicates the proportion of a pupil cohort that completes Standard 4 and reaches Standard 5. Conversely, it indicates the magnitude of dropout before Standard 5.

POLICY BACKGROUND:

Malawi government planned to institute strategies to reduce both drop out and repetition rates to less than 5 per cent in standards one to seven and 15 per cent in standard eight.

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS:

The survival rate to Standard 5 of males has declined by 22.7 per cent from 68.9 per cent in 1990 to 45.2 per cent in 1997. That of females has declined by 12 per cent from 55.6 per cent in 1990 to 43.6 per cent in 1997. The trends for both male and female survival rates show a start with steep rise between 1990 and 1995 followed by a steep follow beginning 1995. The inauguration of the FPE policy in 1994 and its consequent people’s excitement still remains the available explanation behind the high rates in 1995.

IMPLICATION

In general people responded positively towards the inauguration of the FPE policy but they seem to be steadily losing the zeal and interest in primary education. This might probably be a sign of inherent problems to do with the primary school system might be frustrating both pupils and parents.

PRIMARY TEACHERS SALARY STRUCTURE

Table 8.3.

Primary Teachers’ Guide

Entry Point

Bar/Ceiling

PTI

MK31140.00 P/annum

(US$ 2076)

MK37020.00 P/annum

(US$ 2468)

PT2

MK28428 P/annum

(US$ 1892.20)

MK31116.00 P/annum

US$ 2074.40)

PT3

MK21852.00 P/annum

(US$1456.80)

MK26460.00 P/annum

(US$ 1764)

PT4/T2

MSCE holder

MK13656.00 P/annum

(US$910.40)

MK18648.00 P/annum

(US$ 1243.2)

PT4/T3

JCE holder

MK12,504.00

(US$833.60)

MK18648.00 P/annum

(US$ 1243.2)

Source: MOE, CERT; 1998.

(m) PERCENTAGE OF CLASSES WITH ADEQUATE INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS

Results of a GASPM survey conducted by CERT show that at the time of the survey 21.1 per cent of the schools in Malawi had no textbooks, 4.4 per cent had no notebooks/slates and 1.8 per cent had no pencils/pens. The schools, which had adequate textbooks constituted 27.2 per cent, those with adequate notebooks/slates comprised 62.3 percent while those with adequate pencils made 59.6 per cent. The order of inadequacy of materials was 43.0 per cent, 13.2 per cent and 14.0 per cent for textbooks, notebooks/slates and pencils/pens respectively.

Table 8.4.

Type of Materials

Adequate

Inadequate

Not available

Textbooks

27.2

43.0

21.1

Notebooks/slates

62.3

13.2

4.4

Pencils/pens

59.6

14.0

1.8

Total Classes Observed.

114

 

 

Source: MOE, GAPSM, 1999.

IMPLICATION

There is disparity in the way instructional materials are distributed to schools. Those schools that have adequate materials may have their pupils learning efficiently while those that either have inadequate or nothing at all may not be able to teach the pupils effectively thereby limiting the effectiveness and quality of education services offered by the primary sub-sector.

IMPROVEMENT IN LEARNING ACHIEVEMENT

PERCENTAGE OF PUPILS HAVING REACHED AT LEAST STANDARD 4 AND 6 OF PRIMARY SCHOOLING WHO MASTER A SET OF NATIONALLY DEFINED BASIC LEARNING COMPETENCIES

This refers to the number of pupils who have mastered a defined level of basic learning competencies by standard 4 (or another higher grade), expressed as a percentage of the total sample or of the total number of pupils in standard 4 (or the corresponding grade). This indicator seeks to measure learning achievement in respect to the minimum basic knowledge and analytical skills expected of pupils having reached that standard.

POLICY BACKGROUND

Measurement of achievement on lines of nationally defined learning competencies as an exercise independent of classroom continuous assessment and national examinations, is a recent development that Malawi government did not take into account in its primary education policy plans for the decade 1990-2000. However, having benefited from what the EFA convenor organisations have suggested and done elsewhere in the world, Malawi came up with competencies in Life Skills, English Literacy and Numeracy upon which achievement is assessed in standards 4 and 6.

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

Over 60% of standard 4 pupils master a set of nationally defined basic learning competencies in Numeracy and Life Skills while 37% master competencies in English. In standard 6, only 0.6 per cent reach desirable mastery level in English literacy skills. **

IMPLICATION

Over half of the primary school pupils achieve the expected learning skills in mathematical subjects and Life Skills as they finish their first 4 years of primary school education. Only 37 per cent and 0.6 per cent of the primary school pupils in standard 4 and 6 respectively, achieve the expected learning skills in English literacy. The low performance in English at both standard 4 and 6 is clear indication that an appropriate assessment of literacy in the junior primary school should be done in the dominant language of the locality of particular schools to be inline with the national policy of teaching the junior primary school pupils in their local language. The level of difficulty of items in the senior primary school classes should take into account that Malawi pupils begin using English as a mode of instruction four years latter than elsewhere in the world.

(4) EXPANSION OF BASIC EDUCATION AND TRAINING IN OTHER ESSENTIAL SKILLS REQUIRED BY THE YOUTH AND ADULTS.

(a) TARGETS

The targets here constitute expansion of basic education and training in other essential skills required by youth and adults, with programme effectiveness assessed in terms of behavioural changes and impacts on health, employment and productivity.

POLICY BACKGROUND

The youth policy in Malawi, aims to offer expanded and quality skill-based education and training to children of 10 to 14 years who for some reason have failed to attend formal primary school education. It also aims to offer technical/vocational skills to the youth-out-of-school, where youth means any body between the age 14 to 25. The policy gives special priority to the urban and rural poor, street youth, school dropouts in general, the disabled, the semi-literate/illiterate, the deviant, young women and the unemployed. In the 1990 decade the policy intended to cover the needs of these youth through:

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

This is an area where it has been hardly possible to come up with any statistically valid data for analysis of any sort. As such, the assessment made here has been predominantly inferential. Out of such an inferential assessment have come out several issues among which most outstanding are presented in chapter 11which presents general conclusions arising from the assessment.

5. REDUCTION OF THE ADULT ILLITERACY RATE, ESPECIALLY THE DISPARITY BETWEEN MALE AND FEMALE ILLITERACY RATES.

(a) TARGET:

The target in this sub-sector of basic education is reduction of the adult illiteracy rate (the appropriate age-group to be determined in each country) to, say, one half of its 1990 level by the year 2000, with sufficient emphasis on female literacy to significantly reduce the current disparity between male and female illiteracy rates.

NATIONAL TARGET:

An adult in Malawi is a person of 15 years and above.

Malawi government aimed at making 60 per cent of its 1990 illiterate adult population literate by:

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS:

The Adult Literacy Programme reaches a large number of learners. However, basing on NALP’s periodic reports and impact evaluation studies conducted in 1990 and 1993 respectively findings have revealed that the annual coverage of the literacy programme has always been lower than projected. For instance by 1990 the programme was expected to cover a total of 550,000 adult illiterates. Apparently only 300,761 were covered representing 55 per cent. This trend has continued to the present time. In actual sense there has been a decline in the total numbers of adults reached by the Adult Literacy Programme from 1990 and 1998. Table 8.5 shows that while in 1990 a total of 44,150 adults were reached, in 1998 only 17,286 were reached representing a 60.8 per cent decline in coverage. The decline in coverage was equally sharp between 1990 and 1995. The trend shifted from a total of 44,150 to 25,000 representing 43.4 per cent decline. The cumulative coverage of the NALP by 1998 was below the intended target for 1990 by 2.5 per cent (i.e. NALP intended to cover 550,000 adults by 1990 but by 1998 NALP had only reached 536,044 adults, which is 2.5 per cent behind a target to have been attained eight years before).

To date Malawi’s illiteracy rate is estimated at 58 per cent indicating a percentage higher than the 1990 reduction-target of 30 per cent .In other words, illiteracy has gone beyond the target rate of reduction set in 1990 by 28 per cent. Illiteracy among women has stagnated at 66 per cent instead of going down to 30 per cent and from the general trend of events in the NALP it is unlikely that male participation has been increased by any considerable degree. The male illiteracy rate stands at 34 per cent.

Table 8.5 National Coverage of learners by year

YEAR

LEARNERS REACHED

CUMULATIVE COVERAGE

1987

1988

1989

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

68,750

49,700

44,086

44,150

40,661

40,243

38,500

51,288

25,000

11,608

10,637

17,286

162,825

212,525

256,611

300,761

341,422

381,665

420,165

471,453

496,453

508,121

518,758

536,044

Source: Ministry of Gender, Youth and Community Services,

Lilongwe, Malawi 1999

(b) ADULT LITERACY RATE:

Adult literacy rate is defined as the percenage of the population aged 15 years and over who can both read and write with understanding a short simple statement on his or her everyday life. Generally, the term ‘literacy’ embraces also ‘numeracy’, the ability to make simple arithmetic calculations. The adult literacy rate reflects the accumulated achievement of primary education and adult literacy programmes in imparting basic literacy skills to population, thereby enabling people to apply such skills in daily life and to continue learning and communicating using the written word.

POLICY BACKGROUND:

The adult literacy policy of Malawi aimed at offering quality education to the adults and to reduce the national adult illiteracy rate of 50 per cent to 30 per cent; increase male participation in adult literacy education by 20 per cent and reduce women illiteracy rate by 45.5 per cent. This could be achieved by:

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

National literacy rate has declined from about 50 per cent in 1990 to about 42 per cent in 1997. Literacy rate for women has also declined from about 44 per cent to 33 per cent. Attempts have been made to make the adult literacy programme equivalent to standard 3 of primary education or even above, but limited financial resources have hampered progress.

Functional activities have been incorporated into the literacy programme especially by the non-governmental organisations, but the problem has been the relevance of the functions to the current socio-economic conditions. Most of the functions are agriculture and home-management-based, which seem not to appeal much to the current burning needs of the adults. Similarly the cultural coverage lacks relevance to crucial contemporary needs of the adults.

It is however, indicated that a curriculum review is under way to improve the situation by incorporating social, economic, political and cultural concerns, which arose from a Needs Assessment Survey, conducted in 1997.

From assessment results obtained annually, it can be ascertained that the objective of turning those who join the classes literate is being achieved. Participants, who persistently and regularly attend classes do become literate (become able to read, write and enumerate). Hence the process of learning, re-learning and inter-learning has hitherto become inherent in them. The majority of the patronage to literacy classes is women who comprise approximately 88 per cent of the total annual enrolment. The adult literacy programme, therefore is succeeding to meet its target group; the disadvantaged rural women.

The number of rural information centres has dwindled from the 450 mentioned in 1991 to 374 of which 226 are Community Information Centres, 83 are agriculture-related centres, 57 are served at Community Centres and five are hospital-related centres (Cf. Annex 4).

Table 8.6 shows that funding of the Adult Literacy Programme has not been in tune with planned activities especially after 1997. The cash-budget system being followed by the government compelled the public treasury to reduce Other Recurrent Transaction (ORT) funding by 57.8 per cent. The ORT funding was MK4, 673,244(US $103,849.86) per annum in 1997 and this has been reduced to MK1, 970,043 (US $43,788.73) per annum in 1999/2000. This ORT is the funding the NALP uses to meet requirements in Literacy Instructor honoraria and training together with training of village committees and purchase of teaching and learning materials. This lack of sufficient funding has negatively impacted on both the delivery and quality of services of the NALP

Table8.6 Annual Expenditure on Adult Literacy

DESCRIPTION

FINANCIAL

YEARS

 

 

Adult Literacy

Allocation

Personal

Emoluments 1

ORT 2

1996/97

 

6,325,326

US$14056.28

 

1,647,508

US$36611.28

1997/98

 

10,283,175

US$228515.00

 

4,673,244

US$103849.86

1998/99

 

9,154,044

US$203423.2

 

4,255,320

US$94562.66

1999/2000

 

10,077,590

USS223946.4

 

1,970,043

US$43788.73

TOTAL

7,972,834

US$36611.28

14,956,419

US$322364.86

13,409,364

US$297985.86

12,047,633

US$267725.17

Source: Estimates on Revenue and Expenditure on Recurrent Accounts and Budget Estimates, Ministry of Gender, Youth and Community Services,

Lilongwe.

(c.) LITERACY GENDER PARITY INDEX

The literacy gender parity refers to the ratio of female to male literacy rates. It measures progress towards gender equity in literacy and level of learning opportunities available for women in relation to those available to men. It serves also as a significant indicator of the empowerment of women in society.

POLICY BACKGROUND

Malawi government policy seeks to close the gender gap in literacy as much as possible by providing quality adult literacy education to all the youth and adults from the age of 15 and over with special interest vested in the underprivileged rural women.

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

The literacy-gender parity index in Malawi is 0.5.

IMPLICATION

A literacy gender parity of less than one as is the case here indicates that proportionately there are fewer women than men having literacy skills. However, the truth in Malawi is that the problem of gender differences has been long entrenched in the primary school sub-sector where for a long time since independence jn1964, the trend of enrolment and dropout have been biased against girls. Otherwise the adult literacy programme in Malawi is predominantly for women. Nevertheless It is worth pointing out that though the adult literacy classes are predominantly patronised by women, the women’s dropout rate is also high due to pressure of domestic chores at home in a society where the majority of the rural disadvantaged couples have little appreciation for gender equity.

(6) INCREASED ACQUISITION BY INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES OF THE KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND VALUES REQUIRED FOR BETTER LIVING, MADE AVAILABLE THROUGH ALL EDUCATION CHANNELS

TARGET:

The target here is increased acquisition by individuals and families of the knowledge, skills and values required for better living and sound and sustainable development, made available through all education channels including the mass media, other forms of modern and traditional communication, and social action, with effectiveness assessed in terms of behavioral change.

POLICY BACKGROUND

The policy in the area of print and electronic media and theatre has undergone tremendous evolution between 1990 and to date. The main reason for the tremendous policy evolution is the change from one party democracy to multi-party democracy bringing with itself all the democratic freedoms which single party democracy could not allow. The basic thrust of the policy since 1990 has been to inform, educate and entertain. However, before 1994, the information, education and entertainment were highly limited by strict censorship laws which limited the number, variety and content of newspapers and magazines in circulation; radio programmes aired; radio and television stations, and type of plays staged and or aired by theatre groups.

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

Due to time constraints and other technical and logistical problems the Assessment Committee has not been able to come up with an up to date and thorough lists of educative radio programmes and theatre groups reaching the public between 1990 and 1993 to contrast with those reaching the public after 1993. Annex 2 and 3 however, attempt to give an overview of the current situation in the print and electronic media. From these annexes and the general consultations made during the assessment come the following broad inferences:

PRIO TO MULTIPARTY ERA

    1. There was only one radio station broadcasting to the nation on medium and short wave.
    2. The Radio Station was dominated by announcements and news bulletins about the activities of the single ruling party.
    3. English and Chichewa remained the only medium of transmission for Programmes, news bulletins and all-important educational announcements. Those other groups who could not understand the two languages were put at a disadvantage.
    4. Strong censorship laws prohibited the production and broadcasting of programmes which would present dissenting philosophies and views from those of the ruling party. Thus programmes on human rights, labor movements and democracy were not allowed.
    5. There were only three newspapers and one popular church related magazine. Two of the three newspapers were published by a company owned by the president himself while the third one was published by government print. The magazine was confined to religious and social issues minus politics.
    6. There was no television broadcasting for fear of proliferation of "undesirable" information, education and entertainment.
    7. Some remote rural districts had serious problems of radio transmission coverage.

POST-MULTIPARTY ERA:

NATIONAL LIBRARY CONTRIBUTION

In general, the NLS is operating eight library branches offering lending, references and information services. The eight branches have a total of 1130 library centers, 202,690 registered users, 471,608 non-registered clients and 273,354 book loans. The southern region has 430 centers comprising 38.05 per cent of the total, followed by the central region which has 374 centers representing 33.09 per cent and then the northern region with 326 centers representing 28.8 per cent The NLS has a total volume of 745,000 books (NLS EFA Workshop Paper, Capital Hotel-Lilongwe, August 1999).

EFFECTIVENESS OF THE EFA STRATEGY

Soundness of Agreed Strategy

It has been indicated in the foregoing sections of the report that there was no EFA Secretariat established to oversee, manage and periodically assess progress of the EFA agenda. Stakeholder ministries of Education, Sports and Culture; Community Services; Gender, Youth and social Welfare (the Ministry of Women, Children, Community Services and Social Welfare); Health; Agriculture; Information, Broadcasting, Department of Youth and Malawi Young Pioneers. Were expected to jointly handle all the diversified issues of EFA as part of their daily routines. Everything, including the issues of donor funding of EFA activities went through the trays of the Directors and Principal Secretaries the same way all other ministerial activities did.

The absence of a special EFA Secretariat put in the context of limited resources, more often than not, undermined the urgency with which EFA activities were supposed to be handled to meet global or sub-regional targets. The fact that the officers involved had to combine their normal duties with EFA responsibilities, put EFA activities at the ransom of other overriding priorities within the areas of the officers’ jurisdiction.

The creation of a separate Ministry of Education to deal with Basic Education (Ministry of Basic Education) comprising 1,608 officers plus one minister, in addition to the staggering Ministry of Education (which could be turned into Ministry of Secondary and High Education, UNESCO-MALAWI, TIFANFEM, 1991), was positive move. However the fragility of the economy renders this policy proposal unrealistic.

The rest of the EFA Programmes and targets were clear and set in good faith. However, they did not put into consideration the inherent economic capacity of the country to shoulder such huge and diverse sector of expenditure. The implementation of the programmes and targets depended more on the "God shall provide syndrome" this ended up putting issues of financing in most of the areas at the mercy of donors and NGOs. This coupled with the 1990-93 political agitation in the country and the consequent donor suspension of Balance of Payments, slowed down in progress the EFA programmes.

The Post 1994 Era

After the declaration of government’s commitment to alleviating peoples’ poverty using education as one of the main instruments, efforts in improving Basic Education on the lines of Jomtien became more pronounced. There are three milestones Malawi cannot avoid to be proud of in this endeavour and these are:

  1. Free Primary Education (FPE);
  2. Girls Attainment in Basic Literacy Education (GABLE) and
  3. Reproductive Health Management (for both youth and adults).

Free Primary Education: Gains:

(a) Increased Access

Following the inauguration of FPE in 1994, primary School Enrolment shot up from 1.9 million to 3.6million ending up settling down at 2.9 million (MOESC-ES, 1999). Net enrolment has, over the past five years risen to 90 percent while attendance rate is at 80 percent (UNICEF-SOTWC, 1999).

Gender Parity

Girls Net Enrolment Rate has shot up to 82.7 percent (FPE-PAS, 1994-98) from a humble 44 percent in 1991(UNESCO-MALAWI – TIFANFEIM, 1991) coming almost the same as boys enrolment which is at 84 percent (FPE-PAS, 1994-98)

Decreased Disparity in Regional Spending

Disparities in regional Spending per pupil have decreased though not necessarily because of attempts to equalise spending across regions but rather because of increase in enrolment in those regions which received less spending before (MOESC-1998).

Access According to Income levels

The share of public education resources received by pupils from poor families increased form 15 percent in the 1990/91 year to 20 percent to 16 percent in the same period. Gross Enrolment Rates by quintiles for both boys and girls between 1990/91 year and 1994/95 year have also increased. The increase for boys is higher (with a positive change of 35 percent overall) than that of girls (with a positive change of 21 percent overall)-(FPE-PAS, 1994-98).

Curricular Consideration of Cultural Issues

The revised Primary School curriculum which was first launched in the Infant Section (Standards 1 – 4) in 1992 has considered the contribution of language of instruction, religion, and other traditional activities to inequities in school participation.

Thus from 1992 Primary School instruction in standards 1 – 4 takes in the mother tongue of the school’s locality. Pupils switch on to English (official language), as specific disciplines, in standard 5. Similarly, from 1992, Religious Education covers all the three major religions of the land: Christianity, Islam, African Traditional Religions (ATR). This coupled with vigorous Social Mobilisation Campaigns, has boosted enrolment in Islamic communities who previously feared to enrol in schools which were predominantly Christian in Culture (FPE-PAS, 1994-98).

Introduction of Relevant School Calendar

The months of July to December are pick months for the rural Malawians for preparing gardens in readiness for planting as soon as rains begin to fall anytime late October or early November. This factor was believed to affect pupil enrolment during the first term of school, which before 1994 was opened in September.

The 1994 FPE decree included the change of the school calendar. Now schools open in January and the last term closes early November, giving the children two months of free time to assist their guardians in the fields. In addition to serving this important economic factor, the change of school calendar also served to put Malawi in line with the practice followed by her Southern African countries.

Teacher Recruitment and Training

Free Primary School Education created an opportunity for the primary school sector to have a massive injection of human resource (20,000 untrained new teachers plus 2,000 recruited retired teachers). After receiving a two and half-week orientation to teaching, the 20,000 were expected to undergo residential training at Teacher Training Colleges through an innovative training programme called Malawi Integrated Inservice Education Programme (MIITEP). This did not only lower down the Teacher-Pupil ratio as indicated earlier on, but it also provided an opportunity for employment to the employed youth and sustained better conditions of living to the retired teachers who teachers who otherwise would have been living on the miserable pension package.

Teacher Professional Support

Free Primary Education, shortage of trained teachers and recruitment of untrained personnel as teachers necessitated the establishment of the Malawi Schools Support System Programme (MSSSP) which, using donor assistance, has already gone ahead organising zone and school-based Inservice training for teachers and the construction of Teacher Development Centres (TDC). So far, no research has been conducted to assess the coverage and impact of this programme.



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