Malawi off track on primary education

Included to make a comment on statistics!

I only ever comment on what I see, and I have yet to see anything that might approximate to any type of decent primary education, in any village where we work. These are remote nad rural, but how can you teach up to 80 students who are sitting on a bare floor, looking at a white board, that was once black, with no chalk, no books, no copies, learning by rote from poorly or untrained teachers, who are paid one third the wage of nurses, (about €60 per month).

Contrast this with free University education, how dim can you be!!

The answer to so many issues in Malawi is good, appropriate primary education and more especially for girls. The enclosed article is more windowdressing and only shows what you can do with statistics. Get real.

Malawi off track on primary education
BY DICKSON KASHOTI
08:23:09 – 12 June 2007

Malawi is on track to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) for gender parity in primary and secondary education but off track in relation to universal primary education.

A draft report of the number of primary school age children in school and their survival to Standard 5 and adult youth literacy rate, says only a tiny fraction of those who enroll in Standard one complete primary school.

According to the draft joint programme review for 2006, which assesses the Ministry of Education, since the introduction of free primary education in 1994, the education sector has made significant progress with around 80 percent of primary age children now in school, saying gender parity has now been achieved at primary level.

“Literacy levels amongst young people have dramatically improved by 13 percent between 1998 and 2005. Nevertheless, significant challenges remain. Although access at primary level is good compared to many other countries in the sub-Saharan Africa region, 20 percent of primary school children are not attending school and quality continues to be low,” says the report.

The report says less than a third of children who enroll in Standard one complete primary school. Nearly a fifth of children repeat a year. Only three percent of Standard 4 students were recently assessed competent in Mathematics and English.

At secondary school level, the report says, access is poor: only 6,000 children started secondary school in 2005, saying this means only about seven percent of the children who started primary school in 2006 would have probably proceeded to secondary education.

“Quality at secondary also needs to improve: on average, 50% of secondary students fail the final exam. In addition, as the MGDs highlights, access to
tertiary education needs to expand if Malawi is to produce the professionals it needs to work, in hospitals, schools, business and government. On average, 1,300 students a year graduate from the universities of Malawi and Mzuzu,” says the report.

The report asks government to align national budgets with MGDs, saying the 2006/07 budgets were poorly aligned and this affected the quality of education.
Malawi is on track to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) for gender parity in primary and secondary education but off track in relation to universal primary education.

“Literacy levels amongst young people have dramatically improved by 13 percent between 1998 and 2005. Nevertheless, significant challenges remain. Although access at primary level is good compared to many other countries in the sub-Saharan Africa region, 20 percent of primary school children are not attending school and quality continues to be low,” says the report.

The report says less than a third of children who enroll in Standard one complete primary school. Nearly a fifth of children repeat a year. Only three percent of Standard 4 students were recently assessed competent in Mathematics and English.

At secondary school level, the report says, access is poor: only 6,000 children started secondary school in 2005, saying this means only about seven percent of the children who started primary school in 2006 would have probably proceeded to secondary education.

“Quality at secondary also needs to improve: on average, 50% of secondary students fail the final exam. In addition, as the MGDs highlights, access to tertiary education needs to expand if Malawi is to produce the professionals it needs to work, in hospitals, schools, business and government. On average, 1,300 students a year graduate from the universities of Malawi and Mzuzu,” says the report.

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