Government offers complementary education without policy


By Deogratias Mmana:

The Ministry of Education has implemented the complementary basic education (CBE) programme for 17 years without a guiding policy, resulting in stakeholders using different teaching models.

Speaking Wednesday at a complementary basic education conference in Lilongwe, Director of Basic Education in the Ministry of Education Grace Milner acknowledged that this has been the case.


And, “in the absence of the guiding policy, the programme lacks proper coordination, lacks community and scholarship support and has different models of implementation”, according to her.

For example, she said, the government implements the programme within two years while other stakeholders do so for one year and 11 months.

“There is no guiding policy; as such, we need to formulate a CBE Policy. We will also harmonise all models to bring uniformity to the programme,” Milner said in her presentation.


Deputy Minister of Education Nancy Chaola Mdooko said the conference has offered the government an opportunity to discuss the issue of harmonisation with stakeholders.

Mdooko said CBE has helped the government and non-State actors increase access to basic education to about 83,444 out-of-school children and youths who have received basic education services since 2006.

“These people could have totally missed out on education if there was no CBE,” Mdooko said.

Stakeholders offering CBE include Link Community Development, Malawi Care, Build on, World Sharp, Creative Centre for Community Mobilisation and Voluntary Service Overseas.

Care Gender Justice and Advocacy Lead Billy Molosoni bemoaned the existence of different models.

Board member for Link Community Development Malawi Feston Kaupa said the learners under CBE are provided with an opportunity to expand their influence as they take on the next steps in their lives.

One of the graduates of CBE, Hanuel Michembo, said he is now pursuing a degree in Crop Science at the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

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