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Malawians, aspire to have adequate and good quality social services especially education and health; and efficient and effective utilization of human resources in both the public and private sectors.


7.2.1 Improving Health Strategic Challenge
The following are among the most serious problems facing the health sector in Malawi: many people have no access to health services; there are weak management systems at all levels of the health delivery system; there is inadequate financing of health services; there are poor linkages with traditional medicine; there is high infant mortality and maternal mortality; there is widespread malnutrition among children; there is poor quality of health services at all levels of the health delivery system; and there is a high incidence of the HIV/AlDS, pandemic which has resulted in serious social, economic and health problems.

The strategic challenge to achieving better health in Malawi includes provision of adequate social services, and improving the availability, accessibility, and quality of health services. Strategic Options
The options to achieving better health in Malawi include:

  1. improving programmes on preventive health; providing essential clinical services,
  2. strengthening health technical support services, improving human resource management, strengthening and rationalizing health financing; improving quality and coverage of health services; strengthening links with traditional medicine; and improving the management of health services;
  3. improving primary health care particularly public health and essential clinical services;
  4. strengthening Health Technical Support Programmes through improved management and ensuring availability of pharmaceuticals and drugs; building more and appropriately designed and equipped hospitals and health centres;
  5. improving human resource management by providing adequate supply of trained personnel at all levels of the health delivery systems; providing training opportunities for all cadres of health personnel; providing better remuneration packages; improving supervision; and proper deployment of staff;
  6. improving quality and coverage of health service by types of services at each level of the health delivery system; improving management; encouraging more private sector and non-governmental organizations to enter the health sector; improving customer oriented services; protecting the rights of both patients and health workers; and improving communication between police and hospitals;
  7. improving management of health services by decentralizing; promoting intersectoral
  8. relationships; ensuring greater community involvement in health delivery; and strengthening coordination between health providers;
  9. improving and rationalizing health financing by increasing budgetary allocation to the health sector; improving budgetary allocation to priority areas within the health sector; increasing allocation of the health budget to rural and peri-urban areas; expanding and strengthening the system of private patients wards in hospitals; introducing Information Education and Communication (I.E.C.) programmes in cost sharing; introducing drug revolving funds and expanding the coverage of health insurance and; contracting out some services; and
  10. strengthening links with traditional medicine through provision of research and development (R and D) in traditional medicine, promoting interaction between traditional and clinical practitioners.
7.2.2 Improving Education Strategic Challenge
Due to low incomes in the country, most people are unable to meet the cost of education. The situation is made worse by long distances to schools, inadequate facilities and teachers, and cultural barriers.

The challenge to improving education is improving access, quality and equity in primary, secondary and tertiary education; increasing uptake of science and commercial subjects; increasing skilled people in technical and vocational education and training; improving special education; improving access to and the quality of tertiary education; improving performance of support institutions in the education system; and developing effective and efficient management in education system. Strategic Options
Strategic options are concerned with the problem of access, quality and equity at the various levels of the education system and include:

  1. improving Access, Quality and Equity in Education through: (a) continuing with the policy of free primary education; (b) making primary education compulsory; (c) construction of additional units by both the public and private sectors; (d) introducing free and compulsory secondary education; (e) increasing the numbers of teachers and college tutors; (f) providing more and better school facilities; (g) providing adequate learning materials; (h) introducing entrepreneurial subjects in curricula; (i) increasing budgetary allocations to primary education; (j)encouraging preventive maintenance for buildings and equipment, (k) rehabilitation of buildings; Q) establishing and enforcing minimum standards for secondary schools; (m) reviewing the selection process to secondary education to ensure that it is fair and contributes to quality sustenance; (n) providing students with adequate appropriate instructional materials; (o) establishing a textbook fund for replacement and maintenance of instructional materials; (p) providing library facilities to all secondary schools; and increasing collaboration with communities, NGOs and the general public in the provision of secondary school education; (q) introducing compulsory free primary and secondary education and changing attitudes towards education; (r) making curricula sensitive to gender issues; (s) ensuring appropriate designs to cater for people with disabilities; (t) strengthening the guidance and counseling services in order to address the academic, psychological and socio-cultural needs of pupils; (u) increasing the number of well trained teachers and reducing teacher - pupil ratios; (w) and improving the production and distribution of learning materials;
  2. improving Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) through: (a) introducing technical education in communities, primary schools, secondary schools, the university and other post-secondary institutions; (b)introducing science and technology subjects; (c) and increasing the number of technical and vocational training institutions;
  3. improving Special Education by: (a) offering equal education opportunities to people with disabilities; (b) increasing the number of institutions offering special education; and (c) increasing the number of special education teachers;
  4. improving Tertiary Education by: (a) increasing access in the University by reviewing conditions for admission to allow more of those that can afford to pay and providing scholarships to those in need; (b) encouraging individuals and organizations to establish private universities and tailor their courses to acceptable standards; (c) improving quality by diversifying university programmes to serve clearly identified areas of human resources needs; (d) introducing more postgraduate programmes; (e) improving equity by paying special attention to the enrolment of women and students with special needs; (f) decentralizing the management of the University; (g) reviewing the University Act; (h) improving the financial performance of the University; (i) increasing financing for university research and increasing the number of faculties covering pharmacology, engineering architecture; 0) increasing the number of Teachers Training College (TTC) tutors; (k) upgrading tutors to degree level; (1) training unqualified tutors; (m) providing management skills to all heads of colleges; (n) increasing the number of TTCs; (o) increasing financial resources to TTCs; and (p) encouraging private sector involvement in TTCs;
  5. improving Support Institutions in the Education Sector by: (a) strengthening the management of examinations and of examination bodies; (b) reviewing assessment procedures; (c) enhancing security of examinations; (d) ensuring fairness and transparency in the selection process; (e) ensuring that suitable textbooks and other materials are available in libraries; (f) promoting the local publishing industry; and (g) improving management at the ministry level; and
  6. improving Management in the Education System by: (a) improving human resource management by better remuneration packages and better housing for teachers; (b) more promotion opportunities, and better supervision; (c) finding a better or workable mechanism of inspecting and supervising private and public schools before issuing licenses; (d) improving inter-sectoral coordination, particularly between the Ministry of Education and other ministries involved in training matters; (e) reviewing the Education Act especially in areas of discipline, and harassment of female students; (f) selection of students on merit; (g) improving conduct and management of examinations, and (h) training specialized teachers for students with disabilities.
7.2.3 Reducing Population Growth Strategic Challenge
The strategic challenge to population growth is slowing down the rate of population growth (reducing the total fertility rate as well as the high mortality rate), and raising the literacy and economic status of women. Strategic Options
The strategic options to reducing population growth include:

  1. enhancing family planning and reproductive health services;
  2. improving IEC on population issues;
  3. promoting safe motherhood;
  4. improving the status of women through increased access to income generating activities (IGAs);
  5. improving population planning;
  6. increasing awareness about critical population issues; and
  7. introducing a civil registration system, which will act as a support mechanism to the proposed strategies.
7.2.4 Human Resource Management and Development Strategic Challenge
The strategic challenge is to ensure optimal deployment and utilization of human resources in the public and private sectors, ensuring that there are adequate numbers of skilled personnel. The public sector may have adequate public servants but if they are wrongly deployed and they are underutilized. Professionals in several sectors - doctors, scientists, researchers, engineers, administrators and managers - are often deployed in routine administrative work or in areas not attune to/with their expertise. A second problem in the public sector has been the poor prospects for career development and the gaps in middle management due to a freeze on recruitment. Thirdly, there is a high exodus of public officers to the private sector. Finally, the advent of AIDS has led to the loss of highly productive officers.

Problems affecting the private sector include: poorly qualified and skilled staff, inadequate numbers of skilled personnel; over-reliance on expatriate managers and low productivity and high attrition.

The strategic challenge in human resource management is to identify measures, which will ensure that human resources in both the public and private sectors are appropriately trained, deployed and utilized; and that they are in adequate numbers. Strategic Options
The strategic options for better human resource management in the public sector include:

  1. creating more training opportunities for public officials;
  2. instituting a proper reward system;
  3. establishing optimum staffing levels;
  4. depoliticizing the public service;
  5. establishing rewards for good performances, giving promotions based on merit; and
  6. enhancing career counseling and guidance in school.
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