Ministry of Education, Science and Technology says the new system of appraising primary school teachers that is being developed will ensure that only deserving teachers get promoted.
The ministry’s deputy director for basic education Ellen Simango said this in Salima on Tuesday when she opened a week-long workshop for education players on the development of a new system for appraising primary school teachers called Teacher Performance Appraisal System (T-PAS).
The project is being funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAid) and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DfID) through Local Government Accountability and Performance (LGAP).
Simango said the new system will help improve challenges the ministry has been facing in promotion of teachers.
She said: “Previously, we relied upon interviews and whoever scores highest grades would be considered. But we felt that system was letting us down because sometimes we could promote somebody who is not performing in the classroom.”
The T-PAS will have new aspects in the appraisal process such as supervising the teachers as they deliver lessons to be one of the assessment on top of the records that they already have.
Simango said the ministry is hoping to start implementing the new system next January, if funds permit.
On his part, LGAP acting chief of party Lee Rosner said he was pleased to see that for the first time in Malawi, the T-PAS will enable the ministry make evidence-based decisions on rewarding best performers, plan improvements on challenges faced by the teaching profession and sanction those performing below expectation.
He said: “Your efforts on T-PAS, therefore, is customising the tools for use in assessing performance of individuals working in the teaching profession in Malawi. These tools will be used as a module on the broader public service to allow for real time management decisions related to the performance of individuals in the teaching profession through the Human Resources Information System [HRMIS].”
Rosner called upon the participants to define decision points to be included in the new system that will facilitate management of the teaching profession cadre depending on delegated levels of authority.
Teachers Union of Malawi (TUM) president Willy Malimba welcomed the new system of appraising teachers.
“The new system focuses on the performance of the teachers and that is why we support it,” he said.