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close this bookThe Costs and Financing of Teacher Education in Malawi (CIE, 2000, 57 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentMulti-Site Teacher Education Research Project (MUSTER)
View the documentAbstract
View the document1. Overview of National Issues
View the document2. Recent Development of the Teacher Education System
View the document3. Current Status of Colleges
View the document4. The System of College Funding and Sources of Costs in Colleges
Open this folder and view contents5. Internal Efficiency of the Colleges
View the document6. Selection, Admission and Placement of Untrained Teachers
View the document7. Analysis of Teacher Supply and Demand
View the document8. Cost per Trainee Analysis
View the document9. Postscript on Recent Developments
View the document10. Conclusions
View the documentReferences

3. Current Status of Colleges

The Colleges of Education now have about 175 staff according to the data we have collected (1999). The reduction in numbers since 1996 is partly because Mzuzu College became a University and staff were transferred and because one College was converted to secondary training. It is also because Colleges have lost staff who have not been replaced. This number of staff represents the resource available in the Colleges to support MIITEP at College level (Table 5).

Table 5: Number of Lecturers in Colleges and Nominal Student Capacity1999

College

Number of lecturers

Number of non-teaching staff

Capacity (Female)

Capacity (Male)

Capacity (Total)

Staff/Student Ratio

BTC

26

35

240

300

540

21

LTC

32



540

540

17

Karonga

28

25

100

200

300

11

Kasungu

28

6

200

400

600

21

St Joseph

23

20

300


300

13

St Montfort

38



450

450

12

Total

175

86

840

1890

2730

16

Staff-student ratios vary from 11:1 to 21:1. Thus Lilongwe TTC has a student capacity of 540 and 32 lecturers while St. Montfort has a capacity of 450 students and is allocated 38 lecturers. Karonga TTC with a student capacity of 300 has a team of 25 support staff while Kasungu TTC with a student capacity of 540 has a team of only 6 support staff. It appears there is no systematic way of allocating staff to the colleges according to standard ratios.

The current cadre of staff are concentrated in the older age groups. More than three-quarters are over 40 and a little under a half are over 45 years old. Well over half have completed 20 years service or will do so soon. Mandatory retirement age is 55 and pensions become payable on resignation after twenty years' service. Some staff have resigned to take up other forms of employment at this point. Mostly these join private secondary schools as teachers and various NGOs as trainers. Table 6 shows that over 12% of the teaching staff in college will reach mandatory retirement in the next five years. Our fieldwork suggests that apart from resigning and retiring the system also loses staff due to transfers to other posts, promotion and death. Apparently dismissals are very rare.

Table 6: Number of Staff by Age


Over 50

46-50

40-45

34-39

Less than 33

Total

Blantyre

1

6

5

6

2

20

Lilongwe

2

12

8

3

1

26

Karonga

2

8

8

2


20

Kasungu

2

7

7

5

1

22

St Joseph's

1

8

6

5

1

21

St Montfort

3

3

6

7


19

Total

11

44

40

28

5

128

Table 7: Length of Service of College Staff in Years

College

Years of Service





Total


0-5

6-10

11-15

16-20

21+


BTC

3

2

3

7

17

32

LTC

0

4

3

6

19

32

Kasungu

2

2

7

7

14

32

St Joseph







St Montfort







Total

5

8

13

20

50

96

Tables 6 and 7 illuminate a disturbing feature of staff turnover in the teacher training colleges. Few have been recruited over the past 10 years. There appears to be no systematic recruitment procedure in teacher training colleges, which would provide a more balanced age structure. Most staff are fairly old and have worked for more than 10 years. This is a consequence of there having been no new training of teacher trainers since 1988. The cadre of teacher trainers that was produced is either in the Colleges or has been absorbed into other departments of the Ministry of Education. In the next five years as many as three-quarters of the staff will have completed 20 years of service and be eligible for retirement. Limited career pathways in the Colleges are a major reason why this may result in high rates of attrition since there are very few promoted posts. It is intended that the number of established posts in the Colleges will be increased with more posts at higher levels. If these planned posts are implemented (Table 8) it may help retain existing teacher trainers in the Colleges. Our estimates of primary teacher demand (below) suggest that there is an urgent need to address problems of age structure and attrition of staff in the Colleges.

Table 8: New Teacher Trainers Establishment

Post

Grade Old/New

Old

New

Principal

P6/P5

7

6

Dept Principal

P7/P6

7

6

Head of Dept

P8 or P7

22

218

Senior Lecturer

P8

6

168

Lecturer

PO

88

150

Total


130

548

The new teacher establishment provides for 62 new positions of lecturers, 162 senior lecturers, and 190 heads of department. The salary scale for principals has also been increased. We note that the old establishment is less than the number actually in post. However the new establishment projected is much greater than those currently working in the Colleges. The new establishment requires that all staff possess at least a first degree. Most current staff are not degree holders. It is likely to be difficult to attract a sufficient number of degree holders to the new posts. Promotion of those without degrees may also become an issue.

It was clear from the Colleges we visited that none of the Colleges appears to have a strategic plan for staffing or for identifying priorities for development in the short to medium term. Crisis management appears the common modus operandi. This may be a result of using personnel in acting positions for long periods of time since this creates uncertainty and undermines the authority and leadership role of the Principal. It is not clear that there is a clear progression through the structure which would prepare Principals for the responsibilities that they are given. Nor is it apparently the case that management training is provided to promoted staff.