Introduce Music in Technical Colleges


There has never been one single trade that has generated youthful interest in Malawi at any given time than what music has done.
It all began with the advent of multiparty system of government and that was in 1993. If my mathematics is perfect that has to be 17 years ago.
It is a shame that government has not realised how to work something out, institutions have come and gone all in the name of representing the interest of the youth in the country including the establishment of the so called National Youth Council whose objective of promoting promiscuity has been achieved and I hear it’s time for its dissolution.
When the first head of state was structuring our education system, he created technical colleges which are supposed to offer vocational courses.
In the wisdom of the time, learners had to be carved to become or based on trades like Carpentry and Joinery, Brick Laying, Painting and Decoration, Plumbing, Motor Vehicle Mechanic, Auto-electrician, Electricians, General fitters etc.
If we look at these trades critically, we would realise that it was meant to build the country.
Take for example, construction of a government office structure or workshop. First to be on the ground would be brick layers before technicians that had mastered carpentry and joinery put their hands to work, then plumbers and electricians would appear on the scene before those in painting and decoration.
The same would happen to our houses; and for the workshops we had the motor vehicle mechanics, auto-electricians, and general fitters etc.
What was also happening was that once the learners had completed a course, they would be given a tool box with which they will use to start small scale workshops or joined established institutions with similar pursuant.
Just like a house, a song is also built with the involvement of different skills.
The technical colleges with music trade has to start with the elementary lessons in music in the first year, while in the second year, learners can choose who they want to become.
Guitarists, drummers, saxophonists, trombonists, percussionists, keyboardists or pianists should be one group while the other group should concentrate on music production, the third on music engineering in terms of studio recording while the other group should dwell on marketing.
Imagine if graduating learners were to undergo this kind of process and given the start-up equipment after their courses, believe you me, we would not have been talking of mediocre music that dominates our market.
There is one major challenge that technical college students face which is the competition from ‘bush’ artisans.
There are bush mechanics, bush carpenters etc. These are people who are accomplished at doing their work in particular trades, when they have never been inside a classroom. The same challenge would still be faced even when music was to be introduced in the technical colleges.
Nonetheless, this is the best way to assist the youth; considering that even initiatives like Youth Enterprise Development Fund is something borne out of political whims and therefore has no plan on how best it has to be executed.
Seriously, government has to make use of Bachelor of Arts graduates from the Chancellor Constituent College of the University of Malawi who major in music but do not know what to do next with it.
If government would invest in music, they would be surprised that many things would be reduced because the youth would have the chance to study something in which they have a passion for and like Jamaica Malawi can start exporting music. Programmes that are initiated to change harmful behaviours of the youth would also reduce.
Conduct a feasibility study to prove me wrong please!
Feedback: drummingpen@columnist.com

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