Expectations are high that the governance of technical colleges is expected to improve following the contribution of Skills and Technical Education Programme (STEP).

The five-year programme is partially implemented by UNESCO and the Malawi Government with financial support from the European Union.

Lilongwe Technical College Acting Principal Suzgika Mvalo said the college will benefit a lot from the initiative.

“The exercise of improving governance in the colleges is so significant because it is supposed to enhance quality in the delivery of services,” he said.

Lilongwe Technical College is one of the four national and three community colleges piloted with the process of decentralization.

“On completion of the exercise, the expectation of everyone is that colleges will be more agile, innovative, entrepreneurial and play a significant role in the economic development of Malawi,” he said.

Issues under decentralization include engagement of stakeholders in governance and management of TEVET colleges through being members of the board of directors and catalyzing the notion of self-sustenance within colleges through establishing income generating projects.

Other issues being decentralized are the capacity of the colleges to determine courses to be offered at respective colleges and promotion of regional industrialization through college-industry partnerships.

Mangochi Community Technical College is one of the technical colleges the governance project is being implemented. The college’s Principal, Mbasa Mwawembe, said STEP is assisting them a lot on governance.

“The improvement of governance is of great importance to Mangochi Community Technical College as we are about to be decentralized,” he said.

He said the exercise will help the college to collaborate well with Mangochi District Council and the community.

“The college has become more creative and innovative and looks at more ways of being independent, financially,” he said.

The other technical colleges under the pilot phase of the initiative are Salima, Nasawa, Ngara and Kasama.

If the pilot phase is successful, it will be rolled out to all the technical colleges and this is being implemented by the Ministry of Labour, Skills and Innovation.