|The Costs and Financing of Teacher Education in Malawi (CIE, 2000, 57 p.)|
The baseline analysis for this study was undertaken in the first quarter of 1999. Since then a number of developments have taken place. Three sets of development invite comment.
First, the projections of teacher training demand remain valid. No subsequent enrolment or teacher employment statistics are available which would change the conclusions reached, except in the direction of increased demand. The annual capacity of MIITEP (7,500) is on the lower margin of what would be needed to meet PIF targets. Since no new MIITEP trainees have been enrolled for 15 months the backlog of untrained teachers has remained, as it was when the estimates were made. Currently it is planned to recruit up to 10,000 additional untrained teachers. It is not clear how these will be trained. The immediate consequence of this and the delay in enrolling cohort 7 will be to increase the proportion of untrained teachers in the primary system. Moreover the effects of HIV on attrition amongst trainees and teachers have yet to peak. Attrition rates may therefore increase further. This implies that in any method of training teachers for the future must be capable of producing similar or greater levels of output as can the MIITEP system unless PIF targets are to be radically revised.
Second, several developments related to MIITEP need summarising. These are:
- The completion of cohorts 1, 2,and 3. Cohort 1 final examination results have been published. Cohorts 2 and 3 are awaiting results. MIITEP trainees have yet to be certified and placed on the salary scales of trained teachers. Cohort 7 has been selected but to date (March 2000) residential training has not commenced pending decisions on the future of MIITEP. It consists of a majority of JC holders who were not called for previous MIITEP cohorts.
- College staff are occupied in completing programmes for cohorts 4,5,and 6. This has lightened their workload since no new MIITEP students have entered the Colleges for 15 months. There will be no output from MIITEP after cohort 6 completes at the end of 2000 for at least 15 months until the middle of 2002.
- Zonal seminars and PEA visiting to MIITEP trainees has been curtailed by lack of funds. It appears that a funding gap has developed consequent to the completion of cohorts 1, 2 and 3, which have absorbed more of the finance available than originally intended. Current estimates suggest that the shortfall may be between MK12 and MK20 million for the completion of cohorts 4,5 and 6. Discussions are taking place with donors to meet this shortfall. No funding has been agreed for cohort 7.
Third, a revised PIF has been produced (Government of Malawi, January 2000). This includes new sections which relate to teacher education and indicate policy shifts of relevance to this study. The most important of these include:
· Teacher Education and Development will be regarded as a priority area and funding will be increased from 3% to 4% of the recurrent education budget.
· The percentage of unqualified primary teachers will be reduced from 50% in 1997 to 30% in 2002 and 10% by 2012
· A Teacher Education Directorate will be introduced in the Ministry to be headed by a Director level appointment
· A national strategic plan for teacher development will be produced in 2000.
· National standards will be developed for all training institutions
· MIITEP style of teacher education will continue as long as the need is justified
· Cost sharing measures will be considered for teacher education
· The government will promote the participation of the private sector in teacher education.
· TTCs will be rehabilitated and maintained and staff development programmes introduced to upgrade competencies
· The establishment of more TTCs will be considered, especially in those divisions currently without a TTC.
· The mode of teaching practice will be revised to increase its effectiveness
· Measures will be taken to promote gender balance in teacher training and appointment
· Training will be provided for teachers working with pupils with learning difficulties and other special needs.
These commitments in the most recent PIF are an indication of the importance that is now attached to this activity. They are generally consistent with analysis in this report and the conclusions summarised below.