Anjimile Mtila Oponyo

Anjimile Mtila Oponyo to Introduce New Secondary School Curriculum Next Year

The Final Secondary School Curriculum and Assessment Review (SSCAR) Consultative meeting with University Deans from all Universities and Colleges in the country was held in Zomba to ratify, modify and put recommendations before its implementation next year.

Principal Secretary for Basic and Secondary Education in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Dr. Anjimile Mtila Oponyo said the meeting organized to consult the Deans from various Universities had come at the right time to make sure their contributions are included to add value to the curriculum.
Dr. Oponyo explained her ministry had consulted widely from Chitipa to Nsanje meeting heads of schools to seek their views to make the syllabus accepted as a national programme aimed at tackling the needs of the country for social, political and economic development.

Asked on what has been the major change in the proposed new syllabus, the Education PS said: "Language (Chichewa and English) teaching will be a combination of language and literature as one subject."

Dr. Oponyo further said Physical Science has been split into Physics and Chemistry from forms 1 to 4 adding emerging issues such as climate change, disaster risk management, gender, information and communication technology (ICT) were among others included.

She said her ministry found it necessary to consult the university experts to contribute on the curriculum change especially to look into the transitional part from the secondary education to university section.

The principal secretary also said her ministry is intending to put forward a recommendation to parliament to consider abolishing the Junior Certificate of Education (JCE) saying the examination at the moment has no meaning because the standard formal education for employment has been raised to the Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE).

However, Dr. Oponyo was quick to say the matter needed wide consultation with all sections of people to reach at a collective decision adding her ministry had no final say on the matter.

"The current situation is that even if people get the Junior Certificate, they cannot be employed. Therefore the certificate has lost its value. Should we continue spending on preparing this examination and issuing the certificates that will never be used? It's for all of us to decide," she said.

Malawi Institute of Education (MIE) Director Dr. William Susuwele said the new secondary school syllabus has taken into account, among other things, citizenship, economic development, environmental management, occupational, entrepreneurial, practical, scientific and technological skills.

He said according to the calendar in September 2014 the form 1 students will start the new syllabus then forms 2, 3, and 4 in September 2015, September 2016 and September 2017 respectively.

Dr. Susuwele said as a center of curriculum development, they decided to consult the Deans of Universities to make the syllabus rich and designed for the smooth transition from secondary school level to university or college level.
A cross section of participants from Chancellor College, Mzuzu University, Kamuzu College of Nursing, Health sciences, Catholic University, Seventh Day Adventist University, University of Livingstonia, Polytechnic and Domasi College among others, attended the meeting.
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