Double Celebrations In Phalombe As APM Opens TTC, Lays Foundation Stone For District Hospital
President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika on Tuesday officially opened Phalombe Teacher Training College (TTC) and laid a foundation stone commissioning construction works for Phalombe District Hospital at Migowi in the district.
Speaking to a crowd that gathered at the TTC after laying the foundation stone for the hospital, President Mutharika said his government understands the importance of education and health services hence the prioritization of the two institutions that he said would be providing advanced and reliable services.
“The opening of this Teacher Training College should serve as a sign of my government’s commitment towards improving education in the country. We all know that education is the foundation of all development in a country,” the president said.
He added that his government has outlined a number of educational projects such as construction of new primary and secondary schools across the country and three TTCs in Rumphi, Mchinji and Chikwawa Districts.
“These government schools and teacher training colleges should be able to reduce the teacher-learner ratio which currently stands at about 1:73 to the international recommended standard of 1:60 or even less,” he added.
On health, the Malawi leader reminded people of Phalombe of his various achievements aimed at standardizing health services provided in the country, citing the cancer center under construction in Lilongwe as an example.
Commenting on the importance of training more teachers in the country, Head of Department for International Development (DfID) in Malawi, Jane Marshall, said the introduction of free primary education in Malawi in 1994 provided children in the country with an opportunity to attain an education hence the need for more teachers to teach them.
Marshall further pledged DfID’s support to the Malawian education system saying the department understands how education remains a pillar for growth and development in Malawi.
In his remarks, Minister of Education Science and Technology, Dr. Emmanuel Fabiano, commended the president for his passion of uplifting education standards in the country.
The Minister said, currently, the country produces at least 5, 500 teachers per year, and employs most of them.
“While sometimes we may not be able to employ all the graduate teachers at once, our government is trying all it can to ensure that all the student teachers are employed and by August 1 this year, we will have employed the other group which is still unemployed so that by the start of the next term, they should be at their duty stations,” announced the Minister.
Speaking earlier, Minister of Health, Dr. Peter Kumpalume, commended the president for taking the necessary steps in ensuring that the Phalombe District Hospital dream is realised.
Dr. Kumpalume said according to the current agreement between the government and the contractor, the hospital is expected to be finished by the end of 18 months from the day construction works begins.
“Your Excellency I would like to warn the contractor that this ministry does not take delays in a friendly manner, therefore, he should make sure that he delivers in time so that the people of Phalombe can start enjoying the fruits of our work,” said Kumpalume.