- Commenced on 6 December 2013
- [This is the version of this document at 31 December 2014.]
- [Note: This version of the Act was revised and consolidated in the Fifth Revised Edition of the Laws of Malawi (L.R.O. 1/2018), by the Solicitor General and Secretary for Justice under the authority of the Revision of the Laws Act.]
Part I – Preliminary
1. Short titleThis Act may be cited as the Education Act.
2. InterpretationIn 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;[Cap. 30:08]“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 at least 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. ApplicationThis Act shall not apply to—
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 personsThe 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. ReportingThe 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 publishedThe 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 MinisterThe Minister may, from time to time, from public funds available for such purpose—
Part V – Primary education
12. Provision of primary education
13. Free and compulsory primary educationThe 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
15. Duties of local government authoritiesThe duties of a local government authority shall be to—
16. Development plans
17. Powers of local government authoritiesFor the purposes of fulfilling its duties under this Act, every local government authority shall have power to—
18. Composition of education committee
19. Delegation of duties and powers of education committees
20. Duties of secretaryA secretary of an education committee shall—
21. Establishment of school management committee
22. Notice to be publishedThe Minister shall, by a notice published in the Gazette, provide for—
23. Functions of school management committee
24. Obstruction of school management committeeIf a local government authority is satisfied that a proprietor of an assisted school is obstructing the work of a school management committee, the local government authority may suspend payment of any money due to be paid from public funds to that school.
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 collegesAll schools and colleges shall be classified as follows—
34. Registration of schools and 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 collegeA person who wishes to establish a school or college shall apply in writing to the Minister for the registration of a school or college in the prescribed manner and shall give particulars regarding—
38. Variation of establishment
39. Register of Schools and Colleges, publication and inspection thereof
40. De-registration of a school or collegeUpon the cancellation of the registration of any school or college, the Minister shall cause notice of such cancellation to be published in the Gazette and at least in one local newspaper with wide circulation.
42. Education Appeals Tribunal
43. Powers of the Education Appeals TribunalWhere a notice of complaint under section 41 is referred to the Education Appeals Tribunal, the Tribunal shall, after affording all parties concerned an opportunity to be heard, and after considering such evidence as may be tendered by them or on their behalf, have power—
44. Power to close schools or colleges
45. Power to re-open school or college and payment of compensation
46. Minister to handover possession to local government authorityWhere the Minister takes over possession of a primary school under this Act, he shall, within a period of six months, handover the school to a local government authority of the area in which the school is situated.
47. Power to take possession
48. Failure to close school or collegeAny proprietor who fails to close, in accordance with this Act, a school or college ordered to be closed under section 43 or 45 commits an offence and shall, upon conviction, be liable to a fine of K l, 000, 000 and in default of payment to imprisonment for five years, and to a further fine of K 100, 000 for each day on which the offence continues after conviction therefor and, of such further fine, or imprisonment for such period as is prescribed by the Penal Code.[Cap. 7:01]
49. Unsuitable publications
Part VIII – Inspection of schools and colleges
50. Appointment of inspectors
51. Inspection of schools and colleges
52. Functions of an inspectorAn inspector shall—
53. Powers of inspector
54. General duties of proprietor
55. Conducting school or college without consent of MinisterAny person who, without the prior consent in writing of the Minister, owns or conducts a school or college or acts as manager for a school or a college commits an offence and shall be liable to a fine of K1,000,000 and to imprisonment for five years.
56. Refund of grant in certain cases
Part IX – Establishment of the Teachers Council of Malawi and Registration of Teachers
57. Establishment of CouncilThere is hereby established the Teachers Council of Malawi, (hereinafter referred to as “the Council”), which shall be a body corporate having perpetual succession and common seal and shall, under that name, be capable of suing and being sued and of purchasing or otherwise acquiring, holding and alienating movable or immovable property and subject to the provisions of this Act, of performing all such acts as bodies corporate may by law perform.
58. Composition of the Council
59. Vacation of members from office
60. Meetings of the Council
61. Disclosure of interestIf a member acquires any pecuniary or other interest, direct or indirect, in any matter and is present at a meeting of the Council at which the matter is the subject of consideration by the Council, he shall as soon as practicable after the commencement of the meeting disclose the fact to the Council, and shall not take part in the consideration or discussion of, or vote on any question with respect to the matter.
62. Functions of the CouncilThe Council shall be the sole registering authority of all persons required to be registered or licensed as teachers under this Act and shall have the following further functions—
63. Powers of the CouncilFor the better performance of its functions, the Council shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, have power—
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
71. Offences relating to teaching and teachersAny person who—
72. Evidence of entries in Registers of Teachers and of other records
73. Funds of the Council
74. AccountsThe Council shall cause to be kept proper books of accounts and other records relating thereto in respect of its funds and shall in every respect comply with the provisions of the Public Audit Act, the Public Finance Management Act and the Public Procurement Act.[Cap. 37:01][Cap. 37:02][Cap. 37:03]
75. AuditsThe accounts of the Council shall be examined and audited annually by auditors appointed by the Council.
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. SyllabusThe Minister shall exercise supervision and control over the instruction given in all schools or colleges to which this Act applies and may control the course of instruction in any school and colleges or category of schools by prescribing the syllabus which shall be followed in the school or college or category of schools or colleges.
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 officeA member of Board other than an ex officio member, shall cease to be a member if he—
87. Secretary of the BoardThe Executive Director of the Institute shall, unless the Board otherwise directs, be the secretary of the Board.
88. Meetings of the Board
89. Procedure at Board meetings
90. Executive Director
91. Deputy Executive Director
92. Other staffIn addition to the Executive Director and Deputy Executive Director, the Board shall appoint such other staff as may be required to carry out the functions of the Institute.
93. Terms and conditions of serviceThe Executive Director, Deputy Executive Director and other staff appointed by the Board shall be subject to such terms and conditions of service as the Board shall, with the approval of the Minister, determine.
94. Proposals and reports to the Board
95. Withdrawal and suspension of students or participants
96. Finance and Audit Committee
97. Control of financesThe Executive Director shall, on behalf of the Board, control the day-to-day expenditure of the Institute, and shall present an account of such expenditure to the Board three times a year or as often as the Board may direct.
98. AccountsThe Board shall furnish the Minister annually, or as often as the Minister may direct, accounts in respect of finances and property of the Institute, as well as an estimate of income and expenditure of the Institute for the following year, and in this regard, the Board shall comply with the relevant provisions of the Public Audit Act and the Public Finance Management Act.[Cap. 37:01][Cap. 37:02]
100. Appeals for public subscriptionThe Board may, with the approval of the Minister, appeal to the public or any person or body for subscriptions and donations towards any project or purpose which it considers to be for the benefit of the Institute.
101. Borrowing and investmentsSubject to the Public Audit Act, the Board may—
102. Property of the InstituteThe Board shall keep all property of the Institute in good state of repair, and may make such alterations to the grounds, buildings, fixtures, or fittings as it may consider to be for the benefit of the Institute.
Part XII – Students
103. Duty to obey school or college rules
104. Medical examinationThe Minister or a local government authority, as the case may be, may, after notification of parents, cause a medical examination to be carried out in respect of students at any school or college but such consent may be dispensed with if, in the opinion of the management of school or college, circumstances so require on account of emergency or other factors.
Part XIII – Fees
105. Minister may prescribe certain fees
Part XIV – Miscellaneous provision
106. Power of Minister to make regulations or rules
107. DelegationThe Minister may delegate any person by name or the person for the time being holding any designated office to exercise, on his behalf, any power or perform, on his behalf, any duty which he is by this Act authorized to exercise or perform, subject to such conditions, exceptions and qualifications as the Minister may specify, and thereupon, or from the date specified by the Minister, the person to whom the Minister has delegated shall have and may exercise such power and may perform such duty subject to any conditions, exceptions and qualifications as aforesaid:Provided that nothing in this section shall empower the Minister to delegate to any person any power—
108. Defective appointment of member to be of no effectNo act or proceeding of any Board of Governors, school management committee or other body constituted or established under this Act shall be invalid on account of the appointment of any member having been defective.
109. General penalty for offencesAny person guilty of an offence against this Act for which no special penalty is provided by this Act shall be liable to a fine of K100,000 and to imprisonment for twelve months.
110. Service of notices and other documentsAny notice, request, demand or other document authorized or required by this Act to be given, sent or made to or served on any person may be given, sent, made or served by delivery thereof to that person or by sending a copy through the post in a cover addressed to him—
111. Repeal and savings
112. Transitional provisionsAt the commencement of this Act—
History of this document
06 December 2013