A Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST) report on the 2016/2017 education sector performance shows that about 39 percent of teachers in public secondary schools are unqualified.
The report says some of teachers that are teaching in secondary schools are trained for primary school teaching while others have non-education qualifications.
In a graph, the report shows that out of 11 289 teachers in public secondary schools, 4 337 are unqualified while in private secondary schools, 1 785 out of 3 044 teachers are unqualified.
Rural community day secondary schools (CDSS) appear to be affected the most by this challenge.
A spot-check by The Nation found that out of 13 teachers at Chigodi CDSS in Lilongwe, only four are qualified secondary school teachers.
In an interview last week, Chigodi CDSS head teacher John Kanasu expressed worry, saying this affects the performance of CDSSs, particularly in the Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) examinations.
He said: “At this school we have 13 teachers, but only four are qualified. Most teachers at this school have primary school teaching qualifications and some have non-education qualifications such as diploma in theology.
“CDSSs are usually associated with poor performance in MSCE and these are some of the factors that contribute to poor performance.”
But in an interview at the official opening of the MoEST joint sector review yesterday, Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Bright Msaka said government will soon offer such teachers a chance to upgrade with institutions of higher learning.
“A time is soon coming when there will be no primary school teacher teaching at secondary school,” he said.
In his remarks at the joint sector review, Royal Norwegian Embassy deputy head of mission Bjorn Garden, who is also head of development cooperation, said Malawi government has shown commitment towards improving the education sector in the country by allocating more funds to it.
He said: “In view of financial commitment, the education sector is benefiting from the largest share of the national budget which is close to 18 percent of the total share. Allocating money and resources to the education sector should not be viewed as a cost to the nation but as an investment in the country’s development.”