Minister of Education, Science and Technology Agnes NyaLonje has reaffirmed government’s commitment to speed up the formulation of Open Distance Policy which would allow the Malawi College of Distance Education (MCDE) to be independent in its operation.
She said this on Friday during a familiarisation tour of MCDE offices in Blantyre.
The minister said in the absence of the policy, the institution was facing a number of challenges such as understaffing and lack of staff promotions, among others.
NyaLonje said: “We are working around the clock to employ more teachers so that the institution can deliver its heart best in the wake of Covid-19. Another issue is promotions, we will work very hard so that teachers are motivated enough to perform.”
She said MCDE was crucial to sustaining Open Distance Learning (ODL) for students who are currently at home following the closure of schools due to Covid-19 pandemic.
On his part, MCDE acting deputy director Henry Gwede said there are only 49 staff members against 125 required to ensure smooth running of services, representing only 39.2 percent filled posts.
He asked government to purchase new machines so that the institution can meet school’s demands.
Said Gwede: “Most equipment here is archaic. For example, the printing machine was commissioned in 1991; hence, our plea to the minister for more financial and machinery support.”
MCDE was established in 1965 to provide ODL.