Teachers in Malawi say a comprehensive teacher policy is critical

The teacher policy in Malawi is very timely and will be critical in addressing most of the challenges teachers have been facing in the country. This was the view of teachers and other stakeholders at a teacher conference held recently in Lilongwe. 

The conference, held in early June in Lilongwe with the title: Teachers, Education policy and practice in the time of COVID 19: opportunities and dilemmas aimed to review, reflect and discuss the draft national teacher policy and draft Continuous Professional Development (CPD) implementation plan; and to share experiences and explore effective ways of continuing teaching and learning in the context of COVID-19 and future emergencies.

James Manyetera, Director of Administration within the Ministry of Administration said “the ministry will continue to work hard to ensure that Malawi’s educational policy frameworks put teachers, as implementers of the curriculum and facilitators of learning, at the centre of ensuring access to and quality of education".

We are cognizant of the fact that while we note some positive strides within the education sector, there remains several challenges which will require us to ensure that we have a motivated teaching force, better working conditions for teachers, strong governance and better management of teacher education; and the teacher policy will help us achieve this.
James Manyetera, Director of Administration

Misheck Munthali, Director of Teacher Education and Development (DTED)   said “the policy will help push the Ministry’s agenda to ensure that we are improving conditions for teachers and addressing teacher issues by motivating and professionalizing the teaching force.”
UNESCO supported the development of the draft teacher policy through the Norwegian Teacher Initiative (NTI) project. 

Simon Jan Molendijk, UNICEF’s Chief Education Officer acknowledged that “this initiative provides a platform that will bring teachers together to address critical issues and inform policy framers on what is practical and how best we can improve issues affecting teachers on the ground”.

Ms Chifuniro Kamwendo, a teacher said “the policy is coming at the right time and will help overcome critical issues like career pathways and working conditions of teachers which have remained hanging for so long”.

The conference brought together about 170 participants including teachers, teacher managers, policy makers, curriculum specialists, researchers, development partners and civil society activists.  

It consolidated inputs to the draft teacher policy and CPD implementation plan in the context of emergencies and allowed participating teachers   to share experiences on effective ways of continuing teaching and learning in the context of Covid-19 and future emergencies.