Management and Administration of Education

The Ministry of Education (MoE) has administrative, financial and academic control over primary, secondary, tertiary (including the university), distance education as well as the training of primary school teachers. The system of education is organised in four tiers. At the top of the national structure is the minister of education. While the MoE plans and administers the system as a whole, the responsibility of managing and administering the three levels above is assigned to one Principal Secretary who is assisted by heads of departments. The second tier is the division administration. Under the recent efforts to decentralize education services, the previous regions (three) were split into six and renamed divisions each headed by a division manager. The divisions are organised into 33 education districts of which four are urban. After the introduction of the FPE policy, there was attempt at improving the management of the education system which saw the  districts being demarcated into zones. Each zone is manned by a primary education advisor (PEA) with a maximum number of schools of up to 15 and a teacher development centre in each zone. These are expected to play both inspection and supervisory roles in the schools.

At the bottom of the tier, are the schools. According to the 2003 education statistics, there were 5055 primary schools, 103 conventional secondary schools, 636 community day secondary schools, 246 private secondary schools, 6 TTCs, 4 technical colleges and two universities (including the new Mzuzu University) in the country.

There are also two autonomous institutions which greatly contribute to education in the country. The Malawi National Examination Board (MANEB), which oversees examinations and the Malawi Institute of Education (MIE), which has in recent years played a leading role in curriculum and material development and in-service teacher education. Other Institutions include the Centre for Educational Research and Training (CERT) which is a unit attached to the University of Malawi that was established to undertake educational research studies. The Malawi National Commission for UNESCO is a national organization that links government ministries in the fields of education, science, culture, and communication. The Commission provides some training for education personnel in various fields of management. It also helps to solicit funding and to involve the Ministry in UNESCO programmes that have a bearing on the development of education in Malawi. The Malawi National Library Service has responsibility for promoting, establishing, equipping, and managing national libraries. Two other ministries are also involved in education on a smaller scale. These are the Ministry of Gender and Community Services which is responsible for early childhood education and adult literacy, and the Ministry of Labour which is responsible for technical education and vocational education and training.

See the SACMEQ reports for more information.