The department was set up to ensure a comprehensive and effective teacher education, development and management system that is relevant and responsive to the needs of the nation.
Its mission is to educate and continually develop professionalism of teachers so that they are able to effectively and efficiently deliver quality and relevant education at both primary and secondary school level.
Strategic objectives as derived from the MGDS and National Education Sector Plan
- Expand equitable access to teacher education to reduce qualified pupil teacher ratio.
- Improve quality and relevance of teacher education
- Improve governance and management in teacher education to enable more effective and efficient delivery of services.
Pre-service teacher training
In line with these objectives, the department strives to reduce qualified teacher: pupil ratio from the current 1:74 to 1:60 by 2015 and reduce it further to 1:40 by 2017. DTED is doing this by:
- Training primary school teachers through conventional mode in the Ministry’s six public teacher training colleges whose current annual output is 4,360. In line with this function, the following has been done.
- 35,860 trainees have been recruited through the conventional programme. Selected 4,529 trainees, 2236 females and 2293 males for IPTE 9 conventional programme this year. 4,851 IPTE 8 trainees passed their first year examinations(2665 females and 2186 males)
- Graduated 4316 IPTE 7 trainee teachers (2,024 males and 2,292 females)
- Strengthened year two of the Initial Primary Teacher Education (IPTE) programme through:
- Development of course materials for student teachers which state weekly tasks for each term related to teaching skills and whole school issues
- Revision of the programme handbook to incorporate changes and new developments in the system
- Offering support structures for the student teachers like through developing stronger partnership between TTCs and Teaching Practice Schools, training of 1,370 Mentors and Head teachers in mentorship and use of course materials including 262 from private TTCs, strengthening supervision from TTCs, supplying additional resources to T.P. Schools such as Teachers’ Guides, Learners books, reference books, steel lockers, mattresses, tables and chairs.
- Review of the assessment procedures by way of creating a fair, transparent and holistic assessment of the students.
- Introducing a computerized TTC database which will enable a standardized way of data management across all TTCs
- Upgrading all lecturers to minimum of first degree level
- Training primary school teachers through Open and Distance Learning (ODL) whose recruitment is zonal-based with placement of trainee teachers in rural primary schools with critical shortage of teachers. To achieve this, DTED has done the following:
- 22,000 trainees have been recruited through this programme since 2010.
- Selected 6,039 trainees for ODL 4, 3281 males and 2758 females
- 5638 ODL3 TRAINEES phase 1 examinations(2232 females and 3406males)
- 5181 ODL 2 candidates passed (3,613 males and 1568 females)
- Recruited a total of 200 ODL Field Supervisors in all the districts
- Conducted skilling up seminars for all Field Supervisors
- Procured 220 motorcycles for mobility of ODL Field Supervisors
- Conducting Field Supervisors Rider Trainings
- Constructing additional primary teacher training colleges in each of the following districts: Phalombe, Chikwawa, Mchinji, Chiradzulu and Rumphi with a capacity of 540 teacher trainees each.
- Plans are under way to construct a Japanese funded secondary school teacher training college in Lilongwe.
- Involving non state actors in teacher training: The 6 private TTCs are currently producing about 500 qualified teachers annually.
In-service teacher training
The Ministry also aims at improving quality and relevance of teacher education. This strategic objective is achieved through provision of Continuous Professional Development to all teachers at all levels. The department is currently implementing the following:
Secondary in-service teacher training
- Upgrading unqualified secondary school teachers to University Certificate in Education at Chancellor College and Mzuzu university with a combined intake of 40 per year.
- Regular training of Mathematics and Science teachers through Strengthening Mathematics and Science in Secondary Education (SMASSE)
- Monitoring and evaluation of SMASSE INSET through DIAS, DTED and Education Divisions.
- Improving governance and management by training secondary school managers in financial management, school improvement, guidance and counseling, HIV / AIDS and gender issues in order to improve service delivery.
Primary in-service teacher training
- Organizing and conducting training for Primary Education Advisors (PEAs) and Assistant Teacher Development Centre (TDC) Coordinator in the management of TDCs
- Organizing and conducting training for TTC lecturers in various challenging topics
- Organizing and conducting trainings for primary school teachers in various challenging topics
- Monitoring and evaluating TDC activities including school based CPD