EDUCATION

CHAPTER 30:01
EDUCATION

Arrangement of Sections

SECTION

PART I
PRELIMINARY

   1.   Short title

   2.   Interpretation

   3.   Application

PART II
PROMOTION OF EDUCATION

   4.   General duties and powers of the Minister

   5.   Goals of education in Malawi

PART III
ADVISORY COUNCIL

   6.   Establishment and powers of the Advisory Council

   7.   Composition of the Council and its procedure

   8.   Invited persons

   9.   Reporting

   10.   Orders to be published

PART IV
GRANTS AND LOANS IN AID OF SCHOOLS AND OTHER EDUCATION INSTITUTION

   11.   Expenditure by Minister

PART V
PRIMARY EDUCATION

   12.   Provision of primary education

   13.   Free and compulsory primary education

   14.   Appointment of education committees

   15.   Duties of local government authorities

   16.   Development plans

   17.   Powers of local government authorities

   18.   Composition of education committee

   19.   Delegation of duties and powers of education committees

   20.   Duties of secretary

   21.   Establishment of school management committee

   22.   Notice to be published

   23.   Functions of school management committee

   24.   Obstruction of school management committee

PART VI
MANAGEMENT OF SECONDARY SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES

   25.   Management of Government secondary schools and colleges

   26.   Content of order establishing a Board of Governors

   27.   Responsibilities of proprietor of a secondary school or college

   28.   Board of Governors of assisted secondary schools and colleges

   29.   Contents of order, assisted secondary schools or colleges

   30.   Stamping and registration

PART VII
ESTABLISHMENT, CLASSIFICATION AND REGISTRATION OF SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES

   31.   Establishment of Government schools and colleges

   32.   Establishment of private schools or colleges

   33.   Classification of schools or colleges

   34.   Registration of schools or colleges

   35.   Duty of proprietor to conform to registered particulars

   36.   Procedure for establishing a school or college

   37.   Application for registration of a school or college

   38.   Variation of establishment

   39.   Register of Schools and Colleges, publication and inspection thereof

   40.   De-registration of a school or college

   41.   Complaints

   42.   Education Appeals Tribunal

   43.   Powers of the Education Appeals Tribunal

   44.   Power to close school or college

   45.   Power to re-open school or college and payment of compensation

   46.   Minister to handover possession to local government authority

   47.   Power to take possession

   48.   Failure to close school or college

   49.   Unsuitable publications

PART VIII
INSPECTION OF SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES

   50.   Appointment of inspectors

   51.   Inspection of schools and colleges

   52.   Functions of an inspector

   53.   Powers of inspector

   54.   General duties of proprietor

   55.   Conducting school or college without consent of Minister

   56.   Refund of grant in certain cases

PART IX
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE TEACHERS COUNCIL OF MALAWI AND REGISTRATION OF TEACHERS

   57.   Establishment of Council

   58.   Composition of the Council

   59.   Vacation of members from office

   60.   Meetings of the Council

   61.   Disclosure of interest

   62.   Functions of the Council

   63.   Powers of the Council

   64.   Committees

   65.   Appointment of Registrar and other staff

   66.   Duties of the Registrar

   67.   Qualifications and requirements for registration

   68.   Licence to teach

   69.   Teaching without licence or authority prohibited

   70.   Appeals

   71.   Offences relating to teaching and teachers

   72.   Evidence of entries in Registers of Teachers and of other records

   73.   Funds of the Council

   74.   Accounts

   75.   Audits

PART X
CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTIONS IN SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES

   76.   National curriculum for schools and colleges

   77.   Teacher training curriculum

   78.   Language of instruction

   79.   Syllabus

   80.   Religious instruction

   81.   Textbooks and other instructional materials

PART XI
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE MALAWI INSTITUTE OF EDUCATION

   82.   Establishment of the Institute

   83.   Composition of the Board

   84.   Duties of the Board

   85.   Powers of the Board

   86.   Vacation of office

   87.   Secretary of the Board

   88.   Meetings of the Board

   89.   Procedure at Board meetings

   90.   Executive Director

   91.   Deputy Executive Director

   92.   Other staff

   93.   Terms and conditions of service

   94.   Proposals and reports to the Board

   95.   Withdrawal and suspension of students or participants

   96.   Finance and Audit Committee

   97.   Control of finances

   98.   Accounts

   99.   Expenditure

   100.   Appeals for public subscription

   101.   Borrowing and investments

   102.   Property of the Institute

PART XII
STUDENTS

   103.   Duty to obey school or college rules

   104.   Medical examination

PART XIII
FEES

   105.   Minister may prescribe certain fees

PART XIV
MISCELLANEOUS PROVISION

   106.   Power of Minister to make regulations or rules

   107.   Delegation

   108.   Defective appointment of member to be of no effect

   109.   General penalty for offences

   110.   Service of notices and other documents

   111.   Repeal and savings

   112.   Transitional provisions

21 of 2013

An Act to provide for the establishment, organization, governance, control, regulation and financing of schools and colleges; to provide for the establishment of the Teachers Council of Malawi; to provide for the establishment of the Malawi Institute of Education; and to provide for incidental matters thereto

[6TH DECEMBER, 2013]

PART I
PRELIMINARY

1.   Short title

   This Act may be cited as the Education Act.

2.   Interpretation

   In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

   "Advisory Council" means a Council established under section 6;

   "assisted college" means a college which is maintained in whole or in part by grants-in-aid;

   "assisted school" means a school which is maintained in whole or in part by grants-in-aid;

   "Board" means the Board of the Malawi Institute of Education;

   "Board of Governors" means a Board of Governors established under section 25;

   "college" means a teacher training college other than a university established under any written law or any other university recognized by the Minister;

   "Council" means the Teachers' Council of Malawi established under section 57;

   "Education Appeals Tribunal" means a tribunal established under section 42;

   "Government college" means a college wholly maintained by the Ministry out of public funds;

   "Government school" means a school wholly maintained by the Ministry out of public funds;

   "Government Teaching Service Commission" has the meaning ascribed to it under the Government Teaching Service Commission Act;

   "grant-in-aid" means a grant of money from public funds or the funds of any public authority or local government authority in aid of any school, college or education activity;

   "Institute" means the Malawi Institute of Education established under section 82;

   "local government authority" means a District Council, Town Council, Municipal Council or City Council;

   "maintain", in relation to a school or college, means to pay the current outgoing expenses of the school in respect of staff salaries, wages, tuition and boarding costs, rent, repairs, electricity and water supply and similar expenses;

   "manager", in relation to a school or college, means a person other than the head teacher or principal, who, on behalf of, or instead of, the proprietor, attends to the maintenance of a school or the employment and supervision of staff;

   "parent", in relation to a student, includes a guardian, whether by customary law or otherwise, and every person who has the actual custody of the student;

   "primary education" means atleast the first seven levels of formal education;

   "primary school" means a school at which primary education is provided;

   "proprietor", in relation to a school or college, means the person in whom is vested the ownership, custody or control of the place at which the school or college is carried on, and of the buildings, equipment and other things provided for the student attending the school or college and, where such ownership, custody or control is vested in more than one person, includes both or all of them, and any person registered as the person authorized to act as a manager on his or their behalf, but shall not include a landlord or other owner who has no right to immediate possession;

   "Register of Schools and Colleges" means the register of schools and colleges established and maintained in accordance with section 34;

   "school" means an institution at which a student receives regular secular instruction whether by personal tuition or by open and distance learning and any assembly of students for the purpose of receiving any such regular secular instruction, and any institution or place from which regular secular instruction emanates, or is imparted by means of open and distance learning, and includes any part of a school and any playing fields, recreational facilities, workshops, dormitories, kitchens, sick bays, hostels, laboratories staff quarters and ancillary buildings used in connection with a school, but does not include—

   (a)   any institution, assembly or place maintained or approved by a Ministry or Department other than the Ministry for the purpose of providing specialized instruction; or

   (b)   any institution, assembly or place in which the instruction is, in the opinion of the Minister, wholly or mainly of a religious character:

   Provided that any class, division or section of any such last mentioned institution, assembly or place in which instruction is, in the opinion of the Minister, wholly or mainly devoted to secular subjects, shall be deemed to be a school;

   "student" means a person of any age for whom education is provided or is required to be provided under this Act and any person enrolled on any register of enrollment of persons in attendance at a school or college maintained in a school or a college;

   "teacher" means a person authorized or licensed to teach in accordance with this Act;

   "university" means a university established under any written law, and any university recognized by the Minister by notice published in the Gazette.

3.   Application

   This Act shall not apply to—

   (a)   a university;

   (b)   any education institution which is established, administered, controlled, licensed or supervised under the provision of any other law;

   (c)   an institution established by a department of the Government other than the Ministry, except as may be prescribed by order in consultation with the Minister responsible for the portfolio subject under such department; and

   (d)   any other institution that provides education solely of a religious, social or recreational nature.

PART II
PROMOTION OF EDUCATION

4.   General duties and powers of the Minister

   (1) It shall be the duty of the Minister to—

   (a)   promote education for all people in Malawi; irrespective of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, disability or any other discriminatory characteristics;

   (b)   formulate policies, plan and manage information systems at national level;

   (c)   mobilize and allocate resources;

   (d)   design and develop the national curriculum;

   (e)   set and maintain national education standards;

   (f)   monitor, assess and evaluate the education system; and

   (g)   provide effective mechanisms for a transparent and accountable education system at all levels.

   (2) In the exercise and performance of all the duties and powers conferred and imposed upon the Minister by this Act, the Minister shall have regard—

   (a) to the general guiding principles of access, quality, relevance, efficiency, equality, equity, liberalization, partnership, decentralization, transparency and accountability; and

   (b)   in particular, to the general principle that, in so far as is compatible with the provision of efficient instruction and training and the avoidance of excessive public expenditure, students are to be educated in accordance with the wishes of their parents.

5.   Goals of education in Malawi

   (1) The purpose of education in Malawi shall be to equip students with knowledge, skills and values to be self-reliant, and to contribute to national development.

   (2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), the national goals of the education system in Malawi shall be to—

   (a)   promote national unity, patriotism and a spirit of leadership and loyalty to the nation;

   (b)   develop in the student, respect for the Constitution of Malawi and the principles of good governance;

   (c) inculcate in the student, acceptable moral and ethical behaviour;

   (d)   develop in the student, an appreciation of one's culture and respect of other people's culture;

   (e)   develop in the student, an awareness of appropriate environmental resource utilization and management practices;

   (f)   develop in the student, an appreciation of the impact of rapid population growth on the environment and delivery of social services;

   (g)   impart vocational and entrepreneurship skills in the student in order to raise personal income and improve living standards;

   (h)   develop in the student respect of practical work in order to stimulate industrial development;

   (i)   promote equality of educational opportunity for all Malawians by identifying and removing barriers to achievement;

   (j)   develop in the student knowledge, understanding and skills needed by Malawians to compete successfully in the modern and ever-changing world;

   (k)   develop in the student a spirit of inquiry, independent thinking and problem solving; and

   (l)   promote innovation and development of appropriate technologies.

PART III
ADVISORY COUNCIL

6.   Establishment and powers of the Advisory Council

   (1) There is hereby established an Advisory Council to advise the Minister on matters affecting education.

   (2) The powers and functions of the Advisory Council shall be to—

   (a)   advise the Minister on educational matters upon the Advisory Council's own initiative or any question referred to the Advisory Council by the Minister;

   (b)   monitor and evaluate the implementation of educational policies;

   (c)   monitor the improvement and maintenance of quality in the education system;

   (d)   initiate review of overall effectiveness of particular aspects of the education system;

   (e)   foster public awareness and understanding of education policies;

   (f)   provide the Minister with professional information and advice for the development and execution of national policies of education; and

   (g)   exercise and perform such other powers and functions conferred or imposed upon it by or under this Act.

7.   Composition of the Council and its procedure

   (1) The Advisory Council shall, subject to this section, consist of fifteen members who shall hold office for a period of three years and the members may be eligible for re-appointment at the expiry of that term for one more term.

   (2) The Minister shall, for the purposes of appointing members of the Advisory Council, by notice in the Gazette, invite bodies or institutions with interest in education to nominate persons for appointment.

   (3) The members of the Advisory Council shall be persons with sufficient interest or experience in the education sector or in some special aspect of the education sector.

   (4) The Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson of the Advisory Council shall be elected from among the members at the first meeting of the Council.

   (5) The Secretary of the Advisory Council shall be an official from the Ministry.

   (6) The Advisory Council shall determine its own procedures.

8.   Invited persons

   The Advisory Council may invite any person or persons to attend any meeting of the Council or any of its committees and such person or persons may take part in the proceedings of that meeting but shall not be entitled to vote.

9.   Reporting

   The Chairperson of the Advisory Council shall report to the Council at each meeting the action taken by the Minister in any matter on which the Council has advised the Minister.

10.   Orders to be published

   The order appointing an Advisory Council, and every appointment, revocation of appointment, and resignation of a member of an Advisory Council, shall be published in the Gazette.

PART IV
GRANTS AND LOANS IN AID OF SCHOOLS AND OTHER EDUCATION INSTITUTION

11.   Expenditure by Minister

   The Minister may, from time to time, from public funds available for such purpose—

   (a)   establish, maintain or make grants or advances on loan in aid of schools or colleges and services related to education;

   (b)   maintain or make grants or advances on loan in aid of boarding accommodation, physical training and recreation at schools and colleges;

   (c)   maintain or make grants or advances on loan in aid of anybody or persons, institutions or organizations which promote the education of the people of Malawi or a substantial section thereof; and

   (d)   subject to the Technical, Entrepreneurial and Vocational Education and Training Act or any other written law, make grants or advances on loan in aid of any person who provides technical instruction by way of an apprenticeship scheme or otherwise.

PART V
PRIMARY EDUCATION

12.   Provision of primary education

   (1) The provision of primary education shall be the responsibility of the local government authority for the area over which it exercises its jurisdiction.

   (2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), a local government authority may enter into an agreement with another local government authority to administer and manage primary schools in the jurisdiction of the other local government authority.

13.   Free and compulsory primary education

   The provision of primary education in Government schools shall be free of tuition to all and compulsory for every child below eighteen years of age.

14.   Appointment of education committees

   (1) Every local government authority shall appoint an education committee to which it shall refer all matters relating to the performance of its duties and exercise of its powers under this Act.

   (2) Every local government authority shall appoint an officer to be secretary to the committee.

   (3) A committee appointed under subsection (1) shall submit quarterly and specific reports to the local government authority.

   (4) Every local government authority shall consider a report from its education committee before exercising any of its powers under this Act.

15.   Duties of local government authorities

   The duties of a local government authority shall be to—

   (a)   implement the Government primary education policy in its area of jurisdiction;

   (b)   estimate the immediate and prospective needs of its area in respect of primary schools and primary education and the financial and other resources available for the establishment, maintenance, staffing and other requirements of such schools;

   (c)   prepare and submit to the Minister a plan (in this Act referred to as a "development plan") within such time and in such form as the Minister may direct, showing the action which the local government authority proposes should be taken for furthering primary education in its area and to prepare and submit to the Minister further development plans from time to time whenever required by the Minister, and to carry into effect development plans for its area published by the Minister;

   (d)   provide such funds as are available to it for the establishment and maintenance of primary schools, educational services related to primary education, physical training and recreation at primary schools and other expenses of primary education in its area in accordance with the primary education development plan for its area as the local education authority shall publish from time to time;

   (e)   exercise control, in accordance with this Act and any subsidiary legislation made under this Act, over primary schools in its area, to allocate funds provided for such schools and to control expenditure in accordance with estimates approved under any written law applicable to the authority and, in particular, to ensure that money provided by or through such local government authority for a particular purpose at any school is so used or is refunded;

   (f)   prepare and submit to the National Local Government Finance Committee established under the Local Government Act annual estimates of revenue and expenditure in respect of matters relating to primary education in its area in such form as the National Local Government Finance Committee may, by rule, prescribe;

   (g)   compile financial records and keep such financial books and other documents, and make such returns in respect of financial and other matters relating to primary education as the National Local Government Finance Committee, with the concurrence of the Minister responsible for Finance, may prescribe;

   (h)   comply with all policies adopted and guidelines issued by the Minister in accordance with powers conferred on him by this Act; and

   (i)   make recommendations to the Minister with respect to the ownership, management and registration of private primary schools.

16.   Development plans

   (1) A development plan shall cover such period as a local government authority may in any case decide and may provide for all matters in respect of which the local government authority has duties and powers.

   (2) In the preparation of its development plan, a local government authority shall consult the proprietors or persons representing the proprietors of all schools other than schools maintained by the local government authority which would, in the opinion of the local government authority, be affected by the execution of the plan and shall, after preparing the plan as soon as practicable furnish to the proprietors of every school such particulars relating to the plan as are sufficient to show the manner in which the school would be affected by the execution thereof.

   (3) Where a development plan has been prepared under this section, a local government authority shall, if it is of the opinion that no particulars or insufficient particulars of the plan have been furnished to any person who, in its opinion, would be affected by the execution of the plan, give such directions as it considers expedient for securing that sufficient particulars are so furnished.

   (4) A local government authority shall make available a copy of the development plan to the proprietor of every primary school in its area.

17.   Powers of local government authorities

   For the purposes of fulfilling its duties under this Act, every local government authority shall have power to—

   (a)   receive subvention or sums of money as Parliament shall appropriate for the purpose of primary education;

   (b)   seek and receive, with the approval of the Minister responsible for Finance, grants-in-aid from public or private funds;

   (c)   allocate funds for the establishment and maintenance of primary schools, educational services related to primary education, physical training and recreation at primary schools in its area;

   (d)   provide funds for scholarships and bursaries for maintenance and transport of pupils attending courses of instruction approved by the Minister within its area or outside;

   (e)   determine the siting and establishment of primary schools, through the education development plan or otherwise,

   (f)   require a proprietor of any primary school in its area to provide such information regarding the staff, students, classes and equipment of such school, the fees payable and received for tuition, boarding and otherwise, the funds available for maintenance and expansion of such schools and all such other information as it may require for the purpose of the preparation of development plans;

   (g)   allocate, in accordance with regulations made under this Act, funds provided by the Minister for primary schools in its area;

   (h)   maintain primary schools in its area, educational services related to primary education, physical training and recreation connected herewith;

   (i)   where it is justifiable, withhold any grant-in-aid to any assisted primary schools;

   (j)   inspect the buildings, furniture and equipment of and records, books and accounts kept at all primary schools in its area, report to the Minister the result of such inspections, and take steps to remedy any faults found; and

   (k)   attend to the performance of all its other duties under this Act or under any subsidiary legislation made under this Act.

18.   Composition of education committee

   (1) Every education committee shall consist of such number of members as may be appointed by a local government authority from time to time.

   (2) A chairperson of the committee shall be elected from among its members at the first meeting of the committee.

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