Malawi Bishops’ New Policy Promotes Excellence in Catholic Schools
The policy aims to ‘offer direction’ to those who manage Catholic educational institutions to ensure that they follow the original aim of Catholic education.
LILONGUE, Malawi — The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malawi has launched a new national education policy to promote the education of Catholics and to improve the quality of schools in the country.
Bishop Martin Mtumbuka of Karonga, who chairs the Malawi bishops’ education commission, said the Church wants to “keep up with the standards” of changing times. The policy aims to “offer direction” to those who manage Catholic educational institutions to ensure that they follow the original aim of Catholic education.
Bishop Mtumbuka launched the new education charter in the national capital, Lilongwe, on April 15, according to a statement by Prince Henderson, the Malawi bishops’ communications officer.
The effort has the financial support of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops through its overseas charitable arm, Catholic Relief Services.
Bishop Mtumbuka, who chairs the Malawi bishops’ education commission, said that the new policy would also help promote the quality of education in the country as a whole.
He reflected on the various challenges facing the country’s education sector and further stressed the need for collaborative action.
He said there is a lack of qualified teachers, teaching materials and learning materials, as well as shortcomings in school infrastructure. At the same time, there has been an increase in the number of orphans requiring assistance, alongside problems from poverty, poor water and sanitation facilities and HIV/AIDS.
Due to poverty and related issues, it is common for students to drop out of school, especially girls.
These are matters that the Church cannot manage alone, Bishop Mtumbuka said. He noted that young people face challenges in the context of social, cultural and religious complexity.
The bishop also thanked the government of Malawi and its agencies for support. The country’s education ministry has assisted Catholic education since 1926. He also acknowledged and thanked the people of Malawi, who support Catholic schools through their taxes.
Charles Msosa, principal secretary in the Ministry of Education, praised the new policy and said it would help educational development.
Msosa said the initiative is “a sure sign of commitment to improve education outcomes for all Malawians.”
He assured the Catholic bishops’ education commission of the education ministry’s continued support.
Catholic missionaries and educational institutions have played a significant role in promoting literacy programs and schools in Malawi.