Tension is brewing in the Northern Region as some civil society organisations (CSOs), under the banner Quota Must Fall Movement, are strategising to put to an end the government’s alleged use of quota system in selecting students into public secondary schools and universities.
The pressure group has come out following the recent release of Primary School Leaving Certificate of Education Examination (PSLCE) results which have been faulted by some sections of society for favouring students from the Central and Southern regions.
Led by interim chairperson Charles Kajoloweka of Youth and Society, the CSOs are meeting to, among other things, elect leaders to spearhead operations of the anti-quota system movement.
Kajoloweka said his organisation was asked to convene the meeting after 200 delegates expressed interesting in taking part in deliberations.
“We are pushing for the abolishment of the quota system. So we are drawing our membership from concerned Malawians and institutions that are against quota system. We had over 200 delegates who expressed interest in participating in the discussions but, for the sake of manageability, we will have at least 100 delegates,” he said.
He added that the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology had been invited to take part in the deliberations where, among other issues, it would be given a chance to explain how candidates were selected.
Ministry of Education officials could not respond to our calls on several attempts on whether they would attend the forum.
One of the concerned institutions, Livingstonia Synod of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian, said yesterday, through General Secretary Reverend Levi Nyondo, that they would write the ministry to shed light on the selection process.
A recent statement by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology indicated that it applied merit-based selection policy to place students into public schools.
This year, out of 282,428 students who sat PSLCE, 218,756 passed competing for 82,072 secondary school places in secondary school categories in the country.
In the statement, which was signed by the ministry’s principle secretary Justin Saidi, the ministry said the 2019 form one selection analysis shows that 42.7 percent of students who passed PLCE from the North were selected, 37.4 percent from the central and 35.6 were from the Southern Region.
Apparently, some CSOs and concerned people in Karonga District are also planning to demonstrate against the quota system.
Recently, Malawi Congress Party also punched holes into the selection process, asking for suspension of the results.