|Primary Teacher Education in Malawi: Insights into Practice and Policy (CIE, 2002, 144 p.)|
|Chapter 8: The Colleges And Their Tutors|
Data from two of the six colleges in Malawi gives a flavour of their character. St. Joseph's College is for women only; it was founded in 1932 by the Roman Catholic Church and is now funded by the Government through grants. Management is the responsibility of the church. At the time of fieldwork the Principal was a nun. The college is 15km away from the town of Dedza. It has a mixture of old and new buildings, many dating from the late 1980s, comprising a large assembly hall/refectory, hostels, laboratories and a library. Although students generally were proud of their facilities, the hostels were over-crowded, with some sleeping three to a room. The college stands in a well-tended park-like environment with plenty of open space and net-ball courts. Tutors' houses are strung about 100 metres away on one part of the college campus. Part of the campus is fenced. The college has a primary school about one kilometre away which is used during teaching practice when students are in residence.
In contrast Blantyre Teachers College is situated on the outskirts of the main commercial city. It was built in 1962 as a secondary school teacher training college and it is owned fully by the government. It has classrooms, a large library, laboratories, a large assembly hall, a refectory, a two-storey hostel complex and a separate administration block. The college buildings are becoming dilapidated, and lack many essential facilities; this has been exacerbated by frequent burglaries and acts of vandalism because the college is not fenced. Water supply and sanitation are unsatisfactory. Staff houses are situated 50 metres behind the teaching area. There is a large sports field just nearby. The college also has a primary school about 100 metres away for conducting teaching practice during residential periods.
Both colleges have been receiving their funding irregularly and in inadequate amounts. At the time of the study they had received only about 20% of their recurrent budgetary needs for the year and were receiving irregular tranches of funds following no discernible pattern. The colleges then had to go without essential resources for teaching and learning and for the upkeep of students. For example lack of light bulbs at BTC prevented students from studying at night. Food supplies were a continuous problem. Such conditions inevitably militated against the proper implementation of MIITEP.