JAPAN'S COOPERATION FOR AFRICA BY FIGURE Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
Current Situations in Africa History of TICAD ODA to Africa ODA for Real Fruition
The Number of Children Who Have Gained the Opportunities for Education as a Result of Japan's Programs for the Construction and Maintenance of Schools
[ Results of the Tokyo Agenda for Action in TICAD II ]
CASE 2 Toward Eliminating Regional Gaps in Education
Malawi:The National Implementation Program for District Education Plans
Target: All 33 provinces in Malawi. Drafting educational plans that meet the actual needs in each province with the cooperation from local staff. Constructing their own schools on their own.
The introduction of a free-for-all elementary school education plan had led to increased school attendance on an elementary school level to a great degree. However, given the rapid increase in education-related demand, there was not yet sufficient infrastructure, including classrooms, textbooks, and teachers, and as a result the deterioration of the quality of elementary and secondary education became an issue.

In order to solve this problem and to provide appropriate administration-level services in education, the Malawian Government indicated that they needed Japanese support in technical cooperation for strengthening the capacities of the central and local administration systems. The Japanese Government's answer was the "National Implementation Program for District Education Plans." The first phase of this program was the introduction of the District Education Plans (DEPs), now conducted in 33 prefectures provinces in Malawi.

Some of the questions facing us were like this: where should we construct school buildings and in which regions? How could we secure the children´┐Żs access to schools? The two years from 2000 were spent on drafting a basic school mapping (district planning), research and analyses on the situations surrounding education, and discussing the Development of Education Plans (DEPs). One in every six provinces was chosen as a "test province," and also training workshops for the DEPs were organized throughout Malawi. Not only representatives from the province assemblies and administrations, but also village oligarch and children-the chief beneficiaries in education-actively participated in the workshops, and it resulted in promoting a renewed understanding of the importance of education and in making them aware of their own active roles in the creation and administration of the schools: that was the concept of "ownership" needed among the Malawians.
  That is the history of the DEPs, conducted in all 33 provinces in Malawi. The Malawian Government itself also contributed by requesting follow-up projects needed for the DEPs, and in response, Japan is in the middle of conducting and completing the National Implementation Program for District Education Plans by 2005. The goals of this project include expansion of the DEPs from pilot provinces to other regions and, more importantly, providing the Malawians (including responsible people - educators and politicians - in the central and regional governments) with the means to achieve the implementation of education and the creation of appealing learning environments.

Many things, including making estimates within a given budget, setting a time table of delivery and supplying of teaching tools, such as textbooks and desks, are new to the Malawians: many of them are in fact often confused. In order to achieve the skills needed to make practical plans for school administration, they themselves need to try and see what is possible. There are so many problems waiting to be solved, such as further planning of teacher training programs, supplying teaching materials and tools, and providing teachers with housing. However, the eagerness and high motivations among the Malawians in charge of education are a clear sign that there is bright future in Malawi.

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Glossary for a New Understanding of Africa
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