The First Lady got to interact with her fellow alumni at the function
* When you go to other countries, leaners are able to get their lessons right in their homes using their gadgets
* This is the direction we should be taking as we look forward to MW2063 vision
By Andrew Mkonda, MANA
The First Lady, Madame Monica Chakwera says there is need for collaborated efforts in exploring ways of coming up with a modern education system that can assist many learners, more especially girls to attain their education without challenges.
She made the call at Likuni Girls Secondary School on Saturday during the school’s 60th anniversary of educating girl child in the country, saying with the rising numbers of leaners in many schools across the country, there is need for the country to think of using modern technology in providing lessons to learners, a development she described as cost-effective.
“When you go to other countries, leaners are able to get their lessons right in their homes using their gadgets,” she said. “This is the direction we should be taking as we look forward to MW2063 vision.”
She then encouraged learners, especially girls coming from poor families, to work hard in class and never focus on their challenges, saying anyone who is focused and has a goal in life can excel in education.
“I grew up in remote areas and through struggles, but I managed to pursue my education. My village life was not a hindrance to my ambitions in life.
“I worked hard and from this school I was selected to Polytechnic, and I ended up a chartered accountant just like those who were coming from well-to-do families,” she said.
The First Lady then thanked the Roman Catholic Church and other churches in the country for complimenting government’s efforts in improving education standards in the country.
In his remarks, Archbishop George Desmond Tambala of Lilongwe Archdiocese condemned the behaviour of some learners who destroy school infrastructure whenever they have misunderstandings with the school administration.
Archbishop Tambala said destroying school infrastructure is destroying the future of the generation to come who would equally benefit from such developments.
Headteacher for the school, Sister Malia Nyendwa said the school is coming up with different initiatives aimed at making the school self-reliant, and which can also improve the well-being of the learners at the school.
“We have come up with backyard garden where we are growing vegetables and tomatoes so that our learners eat fresh and nutritious food.
“We are also keeping dairy cows that produce a lot of milk that is sold to the surrounding communities and we give some to our learners for their good health,” she said.
However, Sister Nyendwa asked well-wishers to assist the school in expanding the library, replacing rooftops of old buildings and constructing other buildings as the school enrolment keeps increasing.
Likuni Girls Secondary School was officially opened on October 28, 1963 and the First Lady is one of the school’s alumni and assisted the institution with K1 million. The anniversary’s theme was ‘Celebrating 60 Years of Educating Girl Child’.
On the consideration to innovate teaching and learning using technology, the Ministry of Education already rolled out the system through the Ministry’s National Education Sector Investment Plan (2020-2030) and the First 10-Year Implementation Plan of the MW2063 (MIP-1, 2021-2030), which aims to:
1. Facilitate and promote the digitalisation of educational content;
2. Ensure the connectivity of all secondary schools to the internet and establishment of ICT/Smart Labs in all Secondary Schools;
3. Enable access to and availability of technological facilities, such as tablets and other gadgets, by teachers and learners;
4. Encourage the utilisation of innovative training methodologies and tools; and
5. Ensure access to sustainable energy sources that support and enhance teaching and learning experiences in our schools.
This was reiterated by Director of Education Planning, Victoria Geresomo at Ngumbe Community Day Secondary School (CDSS) in Blantyre last month when Ecobank invested a state-of-the-art smart information & communication technology (ICT) lab on the commemoration of its 10th Anniversary of Ecobank Day.
Geresomo applauded the Ecobank for partnering the Ministry through its Connect-a-School programme in the efforts of transforming education in Malawi through digitalisation and digital skills development.
The refurbished and furnished Smart ICT Lab cost Ecobank K25 million, which was equipped with innovative technology that included 20 tablets loaded with the Ministry of Education’s MiLab virtual science laboratory App and zero-rated e-learning platforms.
The school’s e-lab was also equipped with a Smart TV; internet connectivity, 40 desks; a desktop computer, which was a kick-off to a digital transformation partnership that Ecobank plans for the education sector for the next 3 years.
Geresomo said: “The MW2063 recognises human capital development as a key enabler of our collective vision to create an inclusively wealthy and self-reliant nation that is propelled by a knowledge-based, innovation-centred and technology-driven economy.
“In this regard, the Ministry of Education bears the bold task of establishing a vibrant and competitive national education system that promotes development and the provision of need-based curricula. This includes ensuring necessary application of science, technology and innovation (STI) techniques to stimulate our country’s socio-economic development and industrial growth.”
She pledged that the Ministry “is determined to enhance equitable access to relevant education programs at all levels of the education system, and to enhance the quality of educational outcomes in all schools”.
She also encouraged parents and guardians that the world is rapidly changing and it is an indisputable fact that the future is digital — thus encouraged those who can afford to buy tablets and/or other smart phones for their children.—Additional reporting by Duncan Mlanjira, Maravi Express