Ministry of Education Science and Technology has spelt the need for mindset change among teachers in order to enhance their contributions to the development of the country.
Director of Teacher Education and Development in the Ministry, Misheck Munthali said this Wednesday when he officially opened a two day first Education Policy and Teacher Development Conference at Riverside Hotel in Lilongwe.
He said the country needs teachers whom are committed and dedicated to Advance their teaching skills as one of improved education quality.
Munthali said the ministry was keen to ensure that teachers that have skills and talent need to be recognized and be used to help other teachers acquire the skills through coaching and mentoring session.
“We need to come up many ideas as teachers and put them into action as a way of improving the teaching profession. Malawi need to have commitment teachers that are able to work before presenting their grenades where things are not adding up,” the Director explained.
He thanked United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) through Norwegian Teacher Initiative (NTI) for providing financial support for the conference to take placing saying although the support would be winding up next year in October, the teachers would continue with their programme that have been developed.
Munthali challenged teachers in the country come forward to produce annual teacher education newsletter, status of teacher series and annual Malawi Teacher Research Journal.
“We need to have these publications so that all our efforts, successes and challenges should be well documented for us to move forward. We want to have this conference as an annual event where teachers should gathering and demonstrate their commitment to teaching profession,” he pointed out.
He hailed that task force for the conference for doing a wonderful work in order to make it possible for it to take place.
UNSESCO NTI Project coordination, Dr George Mindano said it high time the country develop a standalone teacher policy to be used.
He said the education sector should development a teacher policy which should be widely consulted in order to improve the teaching quality in the country.
Mindano said NTI I putting much emphasis in promoting Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 4C which call for improving teaching quality.
He said that there are various interventions being done by various partners which need to be properly coordinated in to achieve the desired goals.
Member of the Organizing Team from Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR), Prof. Agnes Mwangwela said teaching profession should set standards in order to make a vibrant profession among other professions in the county.
“Not every Jim and Jack can teach. We need to encourage people to acquire teaching certificates for them to be teachers. If we are going to follow that root the teaching profession will getting its credibility,” she added.
Mwangwela said teaching profession was one to the largest in the country but surprisingly teachers seem not to get organized like other professions.
She said time has come for teacher to come out and making the teaching profession as credibility as possible but remove some of the obstacles.
The theme of the conference was “The Status and opportunities of the teaching profession within Malawi education Policy Framework.”