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Education gets K32 billion boost

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The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) has given Malawi’s education sector a grant of $44.9 million (approximately K32 billion) for programmes that target access to education and quality of education, among others.

GPE Chief Executive Officer, Alice Albright, announced the grant at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe on Tuesday during a meeting which she and her delegation had with President Peter Mutharika.

Albright said 70 percent of the grant is a fixed part which will focus on improving existing school buildings and constructing new schools and sanitary facilities in eight of the most disadvantaged districts in the country.

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“The grant will also support the recruitment and training of teachers and enhance school management practices and vulnerable populations including girls and children with disabilities will benefit from this programme,” said Albright.

Thirty percent of the grant is a variable part which will be based on achievement of results on selected indicators of equity, efficiency and learning which includes retention of girls in upper primary schools, among others.

Mutharika hailed GPE for the grant which he said is critical in the accomplishment of some reforms taking place in the education sector.

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“We are now better poised to advance more reforms and interventions in order to deliver more impact in programmes that have dragged over the last 20 years.

“We are now set to change the status quo. We are aware that new challenges such as our rising population and increasing enrolment in education demand new approaches,” said Mutharika.

He added that he was particularly delighted that the girl-child will be targeted in the programme; a thing which he said will help government ensure that a lot of girls remain in school and complete their education.

Malawi joined the GPE in 2009 and received a first $90 million (approximately K62 billion) implementation grant for the period 2010-2015. It was part of a pooled fund of $256 million in which other partners contributed.

On Tuesday, Mutharika also received a letter of credence from new India’s High Commissioner to Malawi, Suresh Kumar Menon.

In an interview after meeting Mutharika, Menon said one of the key areas which he wants to concentrate on is the improvement of trade between the two countries.

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