By Glory Msowoya for Mana
Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare, Dr. Patricia Kaliati has expressed government’s assurance to source more funding for adult education in the country.
Kaliati made the remarks on Thursday during the launch of a Diploma in Adult Education and Development Programme at Catholic University of Malawi-CUNIMA in Chiradzulu District. The programme is aimed at supporting professionalism and enhancing the capacity of adult learning.
Kaliati said with the introduction of the course, government is ready to source more funding in a bid to support instructors under the activities of adult education. “Some of these programmes were not seen to be fully important because we did not have professionals,” she said. “However, by having this diploma course, we are going to take it seriously by supporting the financially.
“But to get funding, we need also to retain some of the programmes which are taking place, donors cannot fund programmes which are non-existent,” Kaliati said.
She then urged CUNIMA authorities to raise awareness and mobilise other universities to introduce a similar program.
“Catholic University is the first institution offering a Diploma programme in the field of adult learning and education, so reaching this far, I understand that the institution has the capacity to help other education institutions to provide the same programmes,” she said.
In his remarks, CUNIMA Director of Academic Affairs, Fr. Wilfred Sumani said the university noticed that adult learning programmes were lagging behind despite efforts from government and other stakeholders due to lack of professionals in the field.
“We have come up with this programme to address some challenges that have been there in adult learning programmes for a long period.
“Our programme is hosted by social sciences consisting of economics, community development, political studies and social work, all these sectors will empower adult education practitioners with insights stemming from various disciplines in order to provide education that responds to the needs of the whole human person,” Fr. Sumani said.
Country Director for Edukans, Dr. Limbani Nsapato urged government to increase the allocation of funding to adult education programmes as one way of improving adult literacy levels in the country.
“In adult literacy education programmes, challenges are there but the major one is inadequate funding from government and donors.
“For the past years, government has been allocating less than one per cent from the needed three per cent of the total budget allocated to the education sector,” Nsapato said.
Catholic University of Malawi has been the first to introduce third level course for adult educators with technical and financial support from DVV International, a German organisation which provides worldwide support to the establishment of sustainable structures for youth and adult education.
During the launch, DVV International promised 10 scholarships to students and made a donation of resources such as books, computers and screen projectors worth K10.8 million.