Every school in Malawi should have a School Management Committee (SMC). Besides it is recommendable to have a Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and Mother Group. Some roles and responsibilities of the committees of parents are: to make sure that teachers and learners come to school and are there in time, encourage other parents to send their children to school – education is not compulsory -, make sure that government recommendations are implemented, inspect and maintain the school buildings, take initiatives for school development projects – like constructing classrooms, toilets and teachers’ houses – and implementing these and monitor the quality of education. The parents, who have got some or no education, know little of the new curriculum (PCAR) and the official duties of SMC and PTA, but are expected to further develop their schools.
Mariska is training and coaching the various committees of parents to improve the quality of education in the schools together with the head teachers, teachers and wider communities. The trainings are facilitated in Chichewa, since most parents do not speak English.