Established under the mandate to promote, propagate and defend the Kingdom of God through education and training, the Mangochi Diocese Education Commission says it will continue to strive towards high quality education standards in its three catchment districts of Balaka, Machinga and Mangochi respectively.The education commission operates under the vision of providing holistic education that enhances the self – esteem and dignity of the human person in an atmosphere of truth, belonging, care and concern for all while striving to live and witness through quality value based education for all expressed through the Gospel values.
The education policy which earlier received resistance from some quarters in the Diocese is now being reviewed for it to be in conformity with the National Education Policy. The Catholic Education Commission shows the identity of the Church through physical structures and general conduct of teachers and learners alike. Each school is entitled to have a crucifix either in the staff room or indeed in the classroom, Bishop’s portrait or that of the Holy Father as its identity. To enforce the values of the Catholic teachings, each school management committee in the Diocese would be headed by a Catholic and in the absence of one at least someone who can respect the values or principles of the same. According to the National Catholic Education Policy, teachers have to form a Catholic Teachers Association (CTA) to advance the agenda of the Church where all Parish Priests have to call for a meeting with all Catholic teachers on a given Saturday to end up with an election of an executive committee of a CTA.
The Diocese has over 300 primary schools, 24 secondary schools, 3 technical colleges and 34 early childhood development centres and one university run by the Daughters of Mary Immaculate at St. John’s the Baptist.
Meanwhile, the Commission has registered a number of success stories in its pursuit to achieve high quality education standards, indicating that there is now order in terms of communication from the Episcopal Conference of Malawi to Diocesan Commission. The Commission has also been able to collect crucial data for all the schools in the Diocese ranging from names and numbers which will in the end contribute when making certain decisions concerning the establishments.
However, not all efforts aren’t without challenges. The Commission has had a share of its drawbacks whereby some misguided communities want to overtake the Church or an NGO after construction of school structures. Some resistance on the basis of differences in religion, where in some instances other sections of the society thought the Church was forcing people to join Catholicism but that to the contrary it was only asking people to accept that God exists.
So, when everything is said and done, the hallmark of the Commission’s interventions will be witnessed in the launch of St. Timothy Ecumenical Scholarship to assist 40 secondary school students from the two Anglican and Catholic Dioceses who will have intellectual potential but economically poor.
DIOCESE OF MANGOCHI
SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT DIRECTORATE
JANUARY – JUNE, 2020
1. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND
A.TIMOTHY SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMME
- The St. Timothy Scholarship Programme is managed jointly by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Mangochi (‘RCDM’) and the Anglican Diocese of Upper Shire (‘ADUS’) together. The Scholarship Programme awards scholarships to bright children from poor families who cannot afford the school fees and other expenses associated with giving their children a secondary school education.
- Currently for the Diocese of Mangochi, this scholarship is benefting 30 (thirty) students. 15 (fifteen) girls at St. Monica Girls Secondary School in Mangochi and 15 (fifteen) boys at St. Charles Lwanga Boys Secondary School in Balaka.
B. ECM FORM ONE ENTRANCE EXAMINATIONS
- In the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) concluded between Government and Church Schools a given percentage of boys and girls enrolment in Form One are selected by the proprietor. The rest are selected by the government. A selection process of deserving learners is carried out at the diocese level facilitated by the National Education Office by way of administering form one entrance diagnostic tests.
C. INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT THROUGH RENTALS AND DONATIONS
- House rentals from teachers occupying Mangochi Diocese quarters are collected and paid in to Education Commission through either National Bank Account, Mpamba or Airtel Money official accounts by the School Management Committees [SMCs] The Committee retains 50% of the funds for minor house maintenances at the school. The other 50% is remitted to the diocese for the commission’s administrative purposes and major maintenances.
- Rehabilitation of teachers’ houses, toilets and classroom blocks in most schools is taking place by school management committees through house rentals and funds donated by Johannes Beese Stifstung (a charity organization).
D. ADMINISTRATION AND MANAGEMENT
The commission attends meetings at all levels be it national, diocesan, deanery or parish. It also conducts school management committees’ meetings and elections, Head teachers and Catholic Teachers Association meetings, school visits and data collection in schools and parishes respectively.
|1.||St. Timothy Scholarship Programme||Safeguarding Policy formulation||Safeguarding Policy drafted||–|
|2.||ECM Form One Entrance Examination||Registration of 2019/2020 candidates||A few candidates registered||The closure of schools by government due to COVID-19 pandemic halted the process|
|3.||Infrastructure Development||· Identification, Verification and Assessment of blown off classroom blocks
· Proposal Writing to JBS Foundation
· School Maintenance on Blown Off roofs and Teachers’ Houses
· Monitoring and Supervision
|Nalikolo and Thumu Catholic Primary Schools identified, verified and assessed.
K4,487,600.00 funds received
· Nalikolo classroom block and Thumu Head teachers’ house maintained
· Chiunda, Unga 1, and Sangadzi 1 Primary Schools’ classroom blocks limed and painted
· Done only once
|Material transportation done by the schools themselves due to insufficient funds
Monitoring and Supervision not adequate due to limited funds.
|4.||Administration and Management
|· Conduct house rent follow up visits to schools through deaneries.
· Conduct school management committees’ awareness meetings on Catholic Schools’ Identity through parishes.
· Conduct Headteachers and teachers meetings
· Organise school visits and verify conditions of teachers houses
· Data collection in schools
|Little rental remittance progress
17 out of 25 meetings conducted. Erection of sign posts, morning prayers during assembly and crucifix hanging in head teachers’ offices being done.
10 out of 15 meetings conducted
Poor house conditions in the few visited schools.
Data collection forms designed and delivered in most of the schools
· Rental collection difficulty due to structures dilapidated condition
· Lack of House Rent Policy document in schools
Misunderstanding of the Moslem Religion on the Catholic Schools’ Identity, is hindering the implementation processes.
Presidential Fresh, Re-run Elections’ activities disturbed the meeting programme.
Lack of finances to carter for transport, made the activity discontinue
Some schools didn’t get the forms due to cancelled and postponed head teachers meetings because of the Presidential, Fresh Re-run Elections