Strengthening Technical College’s Approach to Creating Safe Learning Environment

Towera Chilalika-Validation meeting

Technical colleges across the country will now have guidelines for addressing misconduct, particularly forms of gender based violence.

In the past, TEVET colleges had different approaches and responses to staff and trainee misconduct.  With the development of these new guidelines and terms of reference for disciplinary committees, there will now be a coherent and systematic approach used by all TEVET colleges.

On Thursday, 17th October 2019, key stakeholders met in Lilongwe to validate the terms of reference for TEVET college disciplinary committee.

Principal Quality Assurance Officer for the Ministry of Labour, Skills and Innovation Towera Chilalika says the initiative has come at the right time because there were no clear guidelines on how to handle disciplinary issues in TEVET colleges.

 “At the moment, if there are cases of misconduct, staff and students are treated differently in TEVET colleges, therefore the guidelines will help to close that gap,” Chilalika says.

She adds, “the guidelines will promote transparency and accountability in TEVET colleges and they will also encourage uniformity when dealing with cases of misconduct.”

Chief Human Resource Management Officer for the Ministry of Labour, Skills and Innovation Raphael Chiheni hailed the initiative saying the process is participatory.

“Most of the participants in this meeting are implementers and this will promote ownership,” said Chiheni.

The initiative is supported by the Skills and Technical Education Programme (STEP), which is funded by the European Union (EU) and partially implemented by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

STEP which is aimed at improving the relevance of TEVET, has a priority to strengthen colleges response to misconduct, particularly forms of gender based violence.

The objectives of the meeting were to build awareness and ownership of the new Terms of Reference of the Disciplinary Committees and to validate the Terms of Reference. Disciplinary committees will be able to access a variety of tools including resource materials and on-line training to enhance their capacity to address misconduct.

Representatives from technical colleges, Ministry of Labour, Skills and Innovation and TEVET Authority attended the validation meeting.