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Donors urge increased investment in education

Norwegian Deputy Head of Mission, Bjarne Garden, has said increased investment in education is key to national development.

Garden made the remarks at the education joint sector review meeting which took place in Lilongwe on Monday.

He said the government should increase its annual budgetary allocation to the education sector.

“Allocating money and resources to the education sector should not be viewed as a cost to the nation, but as an investment for the betterment of the country’s development and for its people’s well-being,” Garden said.

He bemoaned challenges the education sector is facing to actualise the government’s agenda and goals to expand access to education, improve quality and relevance of education and improve governance and management as set in the National Education Sector Plan (Nesp).

Garden cited the Education Sector Performance Report, which indicates that Malawi has “very little evidence” on the learning outcome for the primary subsector in particular.

“There is no surprise that the annual report also directs us towards areas where the sector is far from reaching the set target. For the secondary subsector, we still struggle with the participation of girls. Unfortunately, our date continues to demonstrate that adolescent pregnancy rate remains high for Malawi and that girls are not completing primary and secondary education due to this factor,” he said.

Garden said, when Nesp comes to an end, the government should make careful decisions on prioritisation of areas taking the country to 2030.

Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Bright Msaka, said the ministry is committed to the institutional reforms that are guided by the Public-Sector Reform Programme (PSRP) commissioned by the Office of President and Cabinet.

Msaka said to this end, the ministry has developed and is implementing a number of legal instruments, policies and strategies aimed at enhancing the performance of the sector.

“One of the notable [ones is] the establishment of the Malawi Qualifications Authority which will be charged with the responsibility of developing, implementing and managing the National Qualifications Framework the Education Act of 2013; the National Education Policy 2016; National Education Standards 2015; National Council for Higher Education Act of 2011; and the National Inclusive Education Strategy.

“The inclusive education strategy ensures that all children that would be potentially prone to exclusion and discrimination, access quality education and life-long learning,” he said.

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