Chakwera concerned over low number of female teachers in rural areas

President Lazarus Chakwera has expressed concern over gender inequality in the teaching workforce and the low number of female teachers in rural areas.

Chakwera made the remarks in his address on Sunday for the International Teachers Day which is commemorated on October 5.

According to the Malawi leader, there is gender inequality in the teaching workforce which is a deep rooted and systemic problem that need to be addressed.

Chakwera said there is a pattern of decrease from lower to higher education level in the representation of female teachers.

“The disparity is also noted between the urban and rural schools. These disparities are problematic. For instance, the absence of female teachers has the unintended effect of depriving girls in rural communities of role models that can challenge deep rooted gender stereotypes,” said Chakwera.

His remarks came two days after genders activists demonstrated against his administration of low representation of women in parastatal boards.

In his speech on Sunday, the Malawi leader  directed the Ministry of Education to fast track the establishment of the Teacher’s council which will ensure that the best practise about teaching are replete with new ideas and inspiration leadership.

The council will also boost the status of teaching and maintain consistency in the standards of teaching across the dedication system even if it means issuing licences to protect the practice.

“The horrendous numbers of unqualified teachers must be remedied. This is why I commend our Ministry of Education for working on issues of pre-service and in-service teacher training,” he said.

Chakwera then hailed teachers who have went beyond their normal duties to help students during the period school were closed because of the Coronavirus pandemic.