EVERY country sets its target on development but for some the means of reaching that target remain questionable. Malawi is a perfect example.
It is quite surprising that short-term initiatives to development are preferred at the expense of sustainable means that have proved effective elsewhere.
For a country that is committed to define its own destiny, education should be at the centre of its initiatives. We cannot talk of development without considering education as a catalyst. This is the reason the exclusion of crucial targets in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology budget is a huge concern to every Malawian who dreams of seeing a developed country someday.
Some of the targets excluded are planned construction of four national secondary schools and community day secondary schools, teachers’ recruitment and promotion of primary school teachers while there is no provision of initiatives aimed at promoting girls’ education.
Promotion of teachers is crucial and this should have been included in the budget. It is sad that teachers continue to be ignored when it is well known that promotion is a motivation factor considering that teachers’ salaries are not enough to last the month. If the teachers are not motivated, the pupils’ will not enjoy their right to education and if the quality of education is affected, the country is doomed.
What should be remembered always is that education is one of the fundamental factors of development. Malawi would not achieve economic development without investment in human capital.
Education improves the quality of life and it leads to broad social benefits. For a country that is burdened with diseases, education would save the scarce resources since an educated society is equipped with knowledge that is vital in disease prevention.
It is important therefore that when the country is setting development goals, education should always be considered part of development otherwise the achievements in the other sectors would be eroded if the crucial targets in the education sector are neglected.
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