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Government to recruit 8,000 teachers in this year

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The Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Bright Msaka, has said government will soon recruit 8,000 primary school teachers to augment the current teaching professionals in public schools.

Msaka said government will recruit more teachers on the sidelines of a familiarisation visit to Chimphepo Full Primary School in Traditional Authority Mtema in Lilongwe.

Chimphepo Full Primary School is one of the schools across the country that are benefitting from the Malawi Education Sector Improvement Project (Mesip), a Global Partnership for Education (GPE)-funded initiative that aims to improve the equity and quality of primary education service delivery.

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Msaka said the recruitment of the 8000 teachers this year is part of a series of interventions government intends to undertake this year to reduce the yawning gap between the pupil: teacher ratio in public schools.

“Last year, the ministry recruited and deployed 9, 600 primary school teachers in a move to reduce the pupil: teacher ratio from 78:1 to about 67:1. This has never happened before for government to recruit such a huge number of teachers,” he said.

The minister disclosed that the National Education Sector Plan recommends a pupil: teacher ratio of 60:1, but that government intends to further reduce it down to 45:1.

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He said government will also consider promoting the use of auxiliary teachers to provide remedial classes to slow learners.

But Msaka acknowledged that this could only be achieved if government commits adequate resources in training and recruiting more teachers.

He said under the Mesip, government has constructed 754 learning shelters and 69 sanitation facilities in the targeted 800 schools and millions of grants have been disbursed to the 800 targeted schools in order to improve promotion and retention rates for learners in Standards One to Four.

“This development has enabled more learners that were taking their classes to move into proper structures, conducive for learning. In addition, the project has constructed a total of 69 girls’ change-rooms, amongst other interventions,” said Msaka.

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Member of Parliament for Lilongwe City North, Chrissie Tembo, said inadequate classroom blocks and teachers are one of the problems affecting the delivery of quality education in her area.

Tembo asked government to consider allocating additional resources towards recruitment of teachers and construction of learning blocks.

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