Discussion Paper 2. The Costs and Financing of Teacher Education in Malawi.


This monograph explores the costs and financing of teacher education in Malawi with particular reference to the Malawi Integrated Inservice Teacher Education Programme (MIITEP). First, it provides an overview of the national context in which teacher education takes place and profiles the unit costs of different levels of education. Sections two and three identify recent trends in development and explore the current status of the training institutions. Section four explains the current system of funding for teacher education colleges and identifies the main sources of costs. Section five presents data on internal efficiency issues. Section six presents data on the selection and placement of untrained teachers. Section seven examines likely patterns of future supply and demand for trained primary teachers and makes projections based on currently stated policy to establish what kinds of provision might be needed. Section eight revisits the question of costs per trainee and develops an analysis of current and future costs of training.

The last section contains some preliminary conclusions arising from the analysis as follows. Firstly, given that enrolment rates suggest current pupil-teacher ratios will rise, current teacher training capacity is unlikely to be able to meet demand and any attempt to do so will incur significant cost increases. Secondly, staffing levels in the colleges are declining. Thirdly, college infrastructure is in a poor condition and in need of improvement. Fourthly, school-based supervision of trainees is expensive and there are questions about its quality. Fifthly, the quality of teaching and learning in the colleges varies widely. Finally, there is a question mark over the validity and reliability of assessment procedures.

These conclusions lead to some policy-related observations: there is a pressing need for a decision to be taken about the future of MIITEP; it is difficult to see an alternative to MIITEP despite its limitations; and there is potential for the reinvigoration of MIITEP if certain weaknesses are acknowledged and strengths are built on.


Sussex, UK: Centre for International Education, 58 pp.

Discussion Paper 2. The Costs and Financing of Teacher Education in Malawi.

Published 1 January 2000