Malawi Journal of Development Education - latest Issue
Volume 1, Issue 1, 2003
Author John MinnisSource: Malawi Journal of Development Education 1, pp 1 –15 (2003)More Less
Despite the climate of economic and political uncertainty that pervades most African countries, there is an urgent need for governments to incorporate environmental policies with efforts to liberalize markets and reform political systems and institutions. Agriculture must be the main engine of future sustainable development and, as a consequence, the role of education must be modified to reflect this new imperative. Human capital theory impels cash-strapped governments to expand education, a situation which contrasts radically with the need to moderate and manage the demand for education suggested here. At the same time, the income-earning options of smallholder fanners who make up the majority of the agricultural production system must be increased. This will have the effect of mitigating the pressure on families to send their children to school, thus reducing overall demand. Within this context, there is a variety of ways to reconfigure the formal and nonformal education sectors as a means to improve the livelihood of smallholder farmers, thus bringing about a more appropriate correspondence between education and the economy.
Author Emmanuel N. N. DzamaSource: Malawi Journal of Development Education 1, pp 16 –34 (2003)More Less
Poverty in Africa continues to be common, widespread, deep-rooted, severe and unyielding. The main pre-independence aspiration of the people of Africa: to raise their standard of living, has largely come to nothing. The standard of living of most Africans has in fact been deteriorating since independence. In the past forty years, Malawi in particular has failed to raise the standard of living of the majority of her people. This study identifies some of the factors leading to the failure of the development effort in Malawi. Specifically, the study sought to answer the question: What are the intrinsic factors in Malawi that have hindered the achievement of aims of development? The study reviews the literature on development, colonialism, science, technology and education in Malawi and other nations to suggest that attitudes that some Malawians adopted from the colonialists are a major hindrance to development. These include attitudes to labour, education, development education, science and technology, and critical thinking. The implications of these findings are discussed. It is concluded that development programs in the country should not only involve building structures such as school blocks, bridges, clinics, or setting up money-lending institutions, as is the case at present, but also include changing the attitudes that have in the past hindered the attainment of development.
Source: Malawi Journal of Development Education 1, pp 35 –54 (2003)More Less
A framework is proposed to facilitate the systematic comparison o f the teaching and learning contexts of first, second, and foreign languages. The contextual framework consists of four major components overlapping in a quadrant: psychological, sociological, ideological, and technological. After being descriptionbed, these contextual components are related systematically to the teaching and learning of languages in Malawi. Chinyanja is both a first language for 50% of the population, and a second language for another 25%. There are also a number of other vernacular languages which were not formally recognized under the dictatorship of Kamuzu Banda (1964-1994). English is the official second language, being also the medium of instruction from year 5 of primary school. French is taught as a foreign language from secondary level onwards. The psychological, sociological, ideological, and technological aspects of the contexts of language teaching and learning are finally related to previously developed frameworks for language and learning.
The effects of cognitive development, age and gender on the performance of secondary school pupils in science and other subjectsAuthor Nellie M. MbanoSource: Malawi Journal of Development Education 1, pp 55 –76 (2003)More Less
As in other African countries, pupils in Malawi perform more poorly in science subjects than in other subjects on national examinations. Factors such as the quality of teachers, pupils' prior knowledge, cognitive ability and learning strategies, school environment, home environment and government policies may affect the performance of pupils in science and other subjects. Shayer and Adey (1981), using results from a national survey in England based on Piaget's cognitive development theory, have suggested that much of the science taught in secondary school requires formal operational thinking, yet only a minority of pupils have this ability. This study explored the effects of cognitive ability, age and gender on the performance in science of secondary school pupils in Malawi. The pupils' cognitive ability was assessed using science reasoning tasks and this correlated with their age, gender and performance in four subjects on the Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) examinations. The results showed that girls were on average one year younger than boys and had lower cognitive ability than boys in the same class. There was a negative correlation between age and cognitive ability in Form 3 boys and girls, as there was between age and performance on MSCE, which was higher for boys than girls. There was a larger positive correlation between cognitive ability and performance on MSCE for boys than for girls. Possible explanations for poorer performance of older boys and girls are discussed.
Short report: Summary of findings from an investigative study of abuse of girls in Malawian primary schoolsSource: Malawi Journal of Development Education 1, pp 77 –83 (2003)More Less
The main objectives of the study were to investigate the nature, pattern and extent of abuse of girls in Malawian primary schools, examine ways in which the schools addressed the issue of abuse, and recommend strategies for reducing its incidence. The study was part of a larger research project covering Ghana and Zimbabwe as well as Malawi, based at the Centre for International Education, University of Sussex, England, funded by the Department for International Development (DFID).
Author Hartford MchazimeSource: Malawi Journal of Development Education 1, pp 84 –93 (2003)More Less
Malawi went through a curriculum review from 1989 to 1991. During this period, new learning materials in all the primary school subjects were developed and are in use now. From the theoretical point of view, the English language course is comparable to many of the communicative era materials. There is an emphasis on collaborative learning and functional use of language. The introduction to the Teachers' Guides points out that the key word in the course is ""activity"". A child only learns a language by doing things with the language. Since the new curriculum was launched in 1991, not much has been done to monitor the effectiveness of the new materials. The immediate question that arises, therefore, is: Are the language lessons indeed activity based? This paper examines the extent to which class teachers use the collaborative strategies advocated in the new materials.
Source: Malawi Journal of Development Education 1 (2003)More Less
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