Bishops speak tough on education collapse


Catholic bishops on Tuesday described as a pity the closure of some colleges in the country in wide ranging attacks on the collapse of education system.

The bishops said the failure by the government and religious institutions to build people’s capacity through sound education has resulted in citizens’ failure to choose good leaders and to kick out bad ones.

“It is a pity that some universities remain closed. It is very sad that universities are not functioning. It is not only universities, even primary and secondary schools [as well as] the healthcare system. People participate in governance issues when they are educated. But here in Malawi, the whole concept of education is abandoned,” said Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) Vice Chairman, Bishop Martin Mtumbuka, in Lilongwe.


He was speaking on behalf of the Catholic bishops at the opening of a two-day roundtable conference between the ECM and its donors.

“Unless we take education seriously, all our efforts will be futile in the end. The education system is down and the people are not capacitated and bad politicians are thriving on that. We should capacitate people to choose good leaders and to kick out bad leaders,” Mtumbuka said.

“Because of lack of education and capacity, people spend time discussing who is a good or bad politician. We are wasting our time in the country if we do not capacitate our people to participate in national issues,” he said.


Mtumbuka said most of the problems the country is facing are a result of incompetence of leaders.

He challenged the delegates at the conference to give honest views arguing “this is not roundtable of politicians, so let us have honest discussions.”

The Catholic Church, Mtumbuka said, is committed to holistic and integral human development. He said despite the many challenges in the education sector, the Church has the best schools in the country.

He also said the Catholic Church covers 37 percent of the health services in the country. The church, he said, has commissions with promising and best practices in food security, governance, health, communication as well as pastoral ministry.

One of the donors, Trocaire, said it is high time the church started looking for sustainable ways of running the projects as donor funding may not be always available.

Trocaire Country Director Emmet Bergin commended the development structures of the church for rolling out various projects in the areas of agriculture, climate change and governance. among others.

Just a week ago, President Peter Mutharika said Malawians should not expect him to solve all problems in the public universities arguing that that is the role of university councils.

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