Education Act Ready for House
Tuesday, 15 November 2011 07:42
LILONGWE: Parliament will soon be expected to discuss, for possible adoption, a new Education Act.
This follows a review of the current act by the Ministry of Education. The review has duly been passed by the legal and executive hierarchy and is said to be ready for debate, discussion and desired adoption by the national assembly.
Among others, the new law is setting up a Teachers’ Regulatory Authority.
The development has been welcomed by the local private schools’ mother body, the Independent Schools Association of Malawi-Isama-which believes the new act would help improve education in Malawi.
The existing Education Act was formulated and enacted in 1962. Review for the new one begun in 2009.
Education experts and civil society organization players have all along been demanding enactment of a new Education Act arguing that the old law was outdated and did not embrace the democratic dispensation.
Education minister Dr. George Chaponda now says a bill on the matter comes to parliament soon.
“It went through the Law Commission and from there we have a draft bill, and then the cabinet and legal affairs committee of parliament will look at it.
“I am trying as an interested party in my ministry that it should come during this session but it is most likely that it will come during the next session,” said Dr. Chaponda.
In the amended law, ministry of education is setting up a Teachers council, that will among others, will be regulating and accrediting teachers worth giving lectures.
Ministry of education argues that unqualified teachers mostly in private schools are the main source of poor education standards and the new regulatory body will be scrutinizing teachers.
Independent Schools Association of Malawi - ISAMA president Mr. Joseph Patel has welcomed the development saying it will help improve standards of education as the new law also includes the interests of private schools.
“In the revised Education Act, private schools have been accommodated. Currently the 1962 Act does not stipulate what would be required in terms of private schools but also if a private school owner does not have enough money to run the school, there is a provision that the ministry of education can take over the responsibility so that we should not deprive education tot the students,” said Mr. Patel.
The ISAMA president also say the speedy enactment of the new Education Act would be a relief to independent schools whose certificates were confiscated during the 2009 inspection exercise.
Mr. Patel says the ministry told them that their certificates were issued by a wrong ministry, ministry of trade and industry as a business entity which is against education laws and regulations.
During the same exercise, hundreds of schools were also closed down due to poor structures and human resources. - Zodiak Online
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