World Bank Mission visits Chanco for SDP progress update
The leader of the delegation, Dr Innoncent Mulindwa, pointed out that, for all projects being funded by the World Bank, it is a requirement that they receive progress reports every 6 months. In this case, the mission was aimed at receiving a comprehensive overview of what is happening at Chancellor College. In response, the team leader of the Skills Development Project at Chancellor College, Dr. Jonas Mwatseteza, assured the mission that the college was working towards progress consistent with the mid-term review of the project.
During the discussions, which were hosted at the Faculty of Law complex, the project Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator, Dr. Bob Chulu, made a presentation in which he summarized the milestones achieved and the difficulties encountered, as well as measures taken to address them. He pointed out that the overall aim of the project was the combining of education, labor and market activities to improve the skills needed for productivity and economic growth in Malawi. In particular, the project is geared towards the training of science teachers.
In his presentation Dr. Chulu highlighted six Disbursement-linked indicators (DLIs), which are the obligations that Chancellor College is meant to fulfil. These include development and adoption of institutional implementation plan (completed), increasing of enrolment of students into the Bachelor of Education Science programme, the construction of infrastructure, the development of new science programmes, the training of staff, and the running of a tracer study. On the matter of enrollment, Dr. Chulu highlighted that the college has registered success in recruiting students into the programme, even though there had been some problems faced in attracting female students. In this regard, the Dean of Education has been proactive in marketing the programme to students in secondary schools.
So far, curricula for six programmes have been developed in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and the private sector. These are programmes in computer sciences, mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology and human ecology. A number of members of staff have also embarked on training. A tracer study is also currently being run. Through a bidding process, the college has also recruited a designer and supervision consultant, Joadah Consult, and plans for construction are at an advanced stage. It is envisioned that construction will begin in mid-December, 2016. The construction work is aimed at producing 7 science laboratories and 3 lecture theatres, and will be completed within 14 months.
In their remarks, members of the World Bank Mission expressed appreciation that Chancellor College had complied with national legal procedures of procurement and recruitment of designer and supervising consultants. They also sounded a warning that the engineers should work within the original budget, and expressed a wish that the buildings should be environmentally friendly. It was also emphasized that all the construction work should be done with the provision of environmental and social safeguards. This is to ensure the safety of workers as well as the community close to the construction site.