The last eleven years MIRACLE has been in existence can be broken down in to five phases. Each of those phases can be seen as stepping stones for MIRACLE to be where she is today. They are vital in learning where MIRACLE has been, and where MIRACLE plans to be in the coming years.
The first phase is marked by humble beginnings and would be within the years 1999 to 2002. It was the foundation phase and whose main objective was to provide vision and mission. The Marianist Brothers at MIRACLE then, offered to the trainees, staff members and the community at large “The why of MIRACLE”. It was a time when the team that had participated in the feasibility study, actively passed on the values that MIRACLE stood for, and what she hoped to achieve by promoting the same values to the trainees. The phase was also marked by development of the basic structures namely classroom, sanitation facilities and offices.
Though MIRACLE started well in job and life skills training, the phase was also marked by a certain level of consternation since none of what was taught for the first and second year had been tested to ascertain marketability. In the last year of the first phase all fears were relieved when MIRACLE was able to place trainees in places of internship and later in jobs.
In the second phase (2003-2005), MIRACLE concentrated on strengthening the training structures. MIRACLE learned from other institution on various issues pertaining to training and matters related to staff members. One major achievement was a partnership that was formed between MIRACLE and TEVETA. The result of the partnership has had a lot of impact on how MIRACLE conducts her skills training. At present all four main departments employ CBET curriculum in imparting skills. A second notable happening during the second phase was external evaluation that was conducted in 2005. The evaluation helped MIRACLE in reinforcing activities which were in line with her mission while improving on those that were distant from her mission.
The third phase that alludes to the period 2006-2008 can be referred to as the time of technical competency, sustainability and integrated growth. MIRACLE did well in initiating upgrading courses for the staff members in order for them to offer quality training to students. MIRACLE believed that upgrading trainers was going to have direct effect in quality of skills offered to trainees. The phase also saw less drop-out from school attributable to better recruitment and counseling of trainees.
MIRACLE also ventured into producing items for sale. They include furniture and textile items that are sold to those who place orders, but also to the neighboring community who come to MIRACLE to buy finished goods. This venture is a step toward some level of sustainability.
The fourth phase running 2009-2011 took Miracle to a different level. The following are seen as the achievements of the phase.
- Introduction of textile designing in the tailoring department that gave trainees a more competitive edge in employment places.
- Introduction of equipment in all departments. This process has started earnestly though has been slowed by prohibitive cost of some of the equipment MIRACLE desires to have.
- MIRACLE acquired additional working space for Carpentry, and electrical departments plus the progressive construction of training kitchen for catering department.
- MIRACLE intensified her campaign on behaviour change with the aim of improving the morals of the trainees.
- Spiritual formation continued to be important part of training.
- Computer skills were introduced as a complimentary course for all trainees.
- Job Creation Program office was introduced to co-ordinate job placement.
The fifth phase that is 2012-2014 There is a certain level of integrated growth that has taken place in the fourth phase and which places MIRACLE firmly as a leading training institution in the Northern Malawi. This can be judged first by the quality of graduates MIRACLE produces and secondly by the physical plant which includes a modern library, a multipurpose hall, computer lab and upcoming hostels. She has faith that the hostels will add value to the formation of her young men and women. The hostels will help in prevention of early pregnancies and marriages, students will have enough time for studies. Those coming from far distances will as well get enrolled thus increasing the impact. In the long run the hostels will generate some revenues to MIRACLE.
The phase has intensified the educational visits, cooperation with other institutions and extra curriculum activities too. Apart from a long lasting partnership with Tevet and Trade Test, MIRACLE has embarked on partnering with City and Guilds, an international examination body that assesses and awards catering and hotel management trade. She has also partnered with Malawi National Examination Board (MANEB) and Trade Test. The two shall certify Electrical Installation and, Carpentry and Joinery trades.
In the process of introducing the two new courses MIRACLE has partnered with Public Accountants Examination Council (PAEC), an institution that promote the accountancy profession and to protect the public in Malawi by ensuring that students and members attain the required qualifications and are equipped with the relevant and up-to-date knowledge and skills which are comparable to international standards. Another one is ABMA, an awarding organization based in the UK and recognized by Ofqual, the UK government’s examinations regulator. Both PAEC and ABMA will examine and awards the students.
MIRACLE believes that with such educational web her students shall stand better chances of having them employed and better their lives. MIRACLE has forged ahead in advancing her staff so that in turn they give the best to her young men and women. MIRACLE remains open to introduction of other new courses that would add value to her education system.