Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar) researcher and lecturer Loveness N’galamadzi has advised schools to conduct career talks that promote technical skills-based careers.
She said a recent research done by Luanar established that most students and parents shun programmes offered by the Technical, Entrepreneurial and Vocational Education Training Authority (Teveta) because they consider them inferior.
In an interview on Tuesday after a day-long fair on Teveta activities to secondary and primary school students from Dowa at Mponela, N’galamadzi said the programmes have proved to be helpful.
She said: “We conducted a three-year applied research on Teveta from 2016. We targeted Teveta because we know the country has many youths who are unemployed and their programmes build skills. To our surprise, we found that many people shun the courses, but we have seen many products of Teveta succeeding.”
N’galamadzi said there is need for government to review the Teveta curricula.
“The curricula should be constantly updated. There is also need for career guidance and parent and teacher advocacy meetings on the benefits of Teveta programmes,” she said.
Teveta head of training and programmes Chrispin Daudi said the findings are not new and observed that the negative perception is not peculiar to Malawi.
“The research sought to find the perceptions of Teveta programmes, the reach and target of beneficiaries and how are we preparing those in secondary schools for careers.
“The research findings are not surprising to us. Throughout the Sadc region there is a negative perception towards these programmes,” he said.
To make the programmes attractive Daudi said Teveta has embarked on a number of interventions to change the perceptions, infrastructure and curricular in its institutions.
Teveta is a regulatory body established in 1999 by an Act of Parliament to promote and regulate sustainable acquisition of quality technical, entrepreneurial and vocational training for Malawian workforce in a socially responsible manner.