1.0 Poor relationship between communities and schools
Neither local communities nor schools understand the relationship between "democracy" and "free primary education," and this misunderstanding (among parents, children, and teachers) negatively affects educational quality and community participation in school. Problems arising from this situation include:-
2.0 Negative Community reaction to circumstances
- Teachers uninterested in associating with local communities
- Laissez faire attitude among teachers.
- Local communities ignorant of the role they can play in the life of the school.
- Weak school committees and Parent Teacher Associations.
- Less enthusiasm on self help projects among local communities.
- Vandalism of school property by pupils.
3.0 Pupils prevented from effective learning in school
- Community frustration and despair resulting from delayed government or donor financial support for community development projects.
- Negative reaction to new school calendar :View that January - November schedule does not allow enough and appropriate time for holidays and traditional initiation ceremonies as a result, the striving for formal education declines.
4.0 Teacher frustrations
- Obstacles include:
- Overcrowded classes (100+ pupils per teacher).
- Very small or no classrooms at all
- Insufficient or no teaching/learning materials (teachers' guides, syllabi, pupils' readers, etc.)
- Lack of appropriate school facilities leading to:
- Pupils having to walk long distances during school hours for safe drinking water.
- (Pupils) and teachers returning home to use toilet.
- Pupils arrive at school tired and late because of:
- Heavy household chores
- Fishing or dancing all night
- Lack of sleep results in:
- Sleeping, and
- Lack of concentration in class
5.0 Lack of proper teacher orientation
- Lack of professional incentives such as:-
- In-service training
- Supervision, and Encouragement from district education officials
- Prospects of promotion
- Inappropriate allocation of classes and subjects by some head teachers
- Teacher tardiness and early departure.
- Misuse of class time on activities that include:
- Chatting outside classroom
- Private business endeavours
- Drinking beer
- Engaging in relationships with school girls
- Boycotting classes if pupils misbehave
Lack of teacher orientation to new primary curriculum leads to negative attitudes towards using it.
6.0 Lack of teacher training
Lack of training(of unqualified teachers) leads to problems such as:
7.0 Unclear Ministry of Education policies lead to misinterpretation at the local level
- Teaching English language lessons in Chichewa.
- Poor class organization and management.
- Inability to use local resources for teaching.
- Poor personal relationships with other teachers.
- "Decent dressing" policy interpreted differently among schools.
- Moslem students excused from classes for part of Friday but non-Moslem students must attend.
- Classification of school subjects into "examinable" and "non-examinable" leads to poor coverage of the latter.
- Lack of community level understanding of ministry's pre-school policy
- Use of multiple choice testing for public exams viewed as encouraging cheating, laziness among teachers and pupils, and not aiding language development skills among pupils.
Some GABLE SMC findings regarding access to education still emerge as issues of educational quality.
But most findings under SMC-EQ were unique to educational quality and did not directly affect access to education.