By Samuel Kalimira:
Ngoni youths on Saturday took advantage of the Umthetho Cultural Festival at Hora Heritage Centre to query Vice President Everton Chimulirenji on why the government was purportedly using quota system in selecting students into public secondary schools and universities.
The youth alleged that the recent outcome of the Primary School Leaving Certificate of Education Examinations (PSLCE) vindicates their fears that the government favours students from the Southern and Central regions.
Speaking on behalf of Mzimba Ngoni Youth Heritage Association at the ceremony, Secretary for the committee Emmie Jere pressed Chimulirenji to explain if the current government were happy to see youths in Mzimba failing to access education in public institutions because of quota system.
“We are worried with the government’s action. Right Honourable Chimulirenji sir, should we say you are happy to see us failing to meet our education goals because of quota system? We request that you consider us because we are ready to continue helping the government by contributing to its development,” Jere said.
But Chimulirenji avoided the issue and stuck to his prepared script in which, among other things, he advised people to stop destroying natural resources.
Local Government Minister, Ben Phiri, who spoke at the event, also avoided the question when asked in an interview.
Malawi Congress Party recently condemned PSLCE results arguing that there are indications that people from one region have been sidelined.
But reacting to the concerns recently, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology said it applies merit-based selection policy to place students into secondary schools.
Speaking at the ceremony, Inkosi ya Makhosi M’mbelwa V asked the government to ensure it implements programmes that benefit all citizens.
He also requested the government to approve that Hora Mountain should be on the list of tourism sites, arguing the place is rich with the history of Ngonis of Mzimba.
He also asked the government to connect the place to electricity.
The Festival is an annual event which happens every first weekend of August.