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Activist, ministry fault federalism advocates

The Ministry of Education Science and Technology has described as baseless demands made by federalism advocates that they would chase students from the Central and Southern regions learning in public schools in the Northern Region if government does not abolish the quota system.

In their 15-points petition presented to President Peter Mutharika last Friday, the Coalition of Federalists (Cofe) among others threatened that if government will not respond positively to their demand on the quota system, people will regroup and close all government secondary schools in the Northern Region to force authorities to transfer the students back to their regions.

According to Cofe chairperson, Bina Shaba, the move will force the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government to start using the merit system when selecting pupils to public schools.

However, education activist Benedicto Kondowe described the demand as baseless and destructive to the country’s education set-up.

Kondowe said: “Once their plan is implemented, it will bring chaos all over the country because some people from the Central and Southern regions will also chase students from the North. Why are they bringing politics into education?

He also said chasing students from the Southern and Central regions would be violating their rights, adding that parents also have rights to send their children to any school in the country.

Meanwhile, Ministry of Education spokesperson Manfred Ndovi said the demand by federalism advocates is unjustifiable.

“As ministry we have not yet received the petition but surely the demand is baseless and destructive. Can we improve education standards with such plans? Do they know that the calls might threaten some students who are currently preparing for examination?” questioned Ndovi.

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