Reaping what we sowed on Malawi education

Malawi Primary school

It is over twenty years since Free Primary Education was introduced in Malawi to improve access to education.

However, high pupil-teacher ratio and insufficient teaching and learning materials are among the issues that have compromised the quality of education in the country over the past decades.

Malawi Primary school
A class at a primary school in Malawi

Going by the words that the “youths are future leaders”, a student who has passed through the circles of education that has witnessed the trade-off of quality since free education was established, “shattered grammar” in speaking and writing English is the immediate sign noted from our education system.

Earlier this week, a video clip of the youthful Member of Parliament (MP) Fyness Magonjwa who had challenges in speaking English in an interview with Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), enjoyed massive sharing on the social media.

The clip has received mixed criticism from the public with some people adoring the confidence that 24 year old parliamentarian had in granting the state broadcasting house an interview on development projects in her constituency, while ignoring the flaws she had in communicating using the queens language.

Perhaps the lawmaker is just a victim of laughter from public for failing to communicate with standards of the queen’s language as per requirement of the office of the legislator.

Her flaws in speaking using English need not to be placed on her but on the type of education that the country adopted during former President Bakili Muluzi’s era.

Being an MP at her age is something that many youths need to be motivated on, to be the present leaders of the country but her stumble has seriously raised eyebrows on whether children who go to schools where overcrowding is the norm are groomed to be effective future leaders.

One of the news analysts for Nation Publications Limited (NPL) James Chavula is of the view that, clapping hands for confidence and ignoring the grammatical errors remains a super hypocrite behaviour.

“They are the same top guys who want your child to learn everything in the so-called ‘mother tongue’ as if all pupils are born of one giant mother, yet they send their children to high schools of imported names where every child learns to speak in foreign tongues like bereaved birds of the air,” said Chavula.

He added that such flaws on people holding high offices call for the review of the education system as many youths are likely be left without being nurtured to be responsible future leaders that can take leadership roles in the country.



  1. Ms. Fynes Magonjwa will rise. She is willing to learn. She works hard. She has targets in her life. English and European languages dominated the industrial revolution. But we will be there. And Fynes will win. For all of us.

  2. Am not surprised. Kamuzu made us pay but it was minimum. Our ministers are so selfish they make their children swim in a sparkling pool when the rest of our children swim in a swamp. Our education system will never catch up with the rest of the world for as long as our children don’t know how a smart phone connects us to the rest of the world. Our village kids are disadvantaged and what they are learning is not relevant to what the rest of the world is doing. Somebody in the cabinet stand up to fight for the village child

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