The Malawi Paralympic Committee (MPC) and the Ministry of Education have launched a sport against stigma contract targeting students with physical challenges in 110 schools.
The contract will run up to December 2023 and has been funded by the International Paralympic Committee to the tune of K75 million while Malawi National Council of Sports will add about K25 million.
MPC president, James Chiutsi, said the project will also help identify athletes and coaches in the Paralympic movement within Malawi.
He appealed to the minis try and Sports Council to work jointly in making sure that the goal is achieved.
Head of Special and Inclusive Education in the Ministry of Education, Noel Mwango, described the contract as overwhelming stressing that it will help boost morale of learners who are somehow sidelined in sporting activities due to physical challenges.
“Generally there is stigma when teachers and other stakeholders are carrying out physical education activities found in the curriculum and school timetable, children with disability are usually left aside,” he said.
He explained that such children do not feel good when they see their friends “jumping around” while they are left out.
“So this move is a very great one and is going to remove the kind of attitude that education providers have towards leaners with disabilities in as far as sporting activities are concerned,” Mwango added.
Sports Council acting Executive Secretary, Henry Mereka, hailed the MPC for being one of the best performing sporting association’s in the country adding that now there are more athletes than before.
He said the contract is encouraging those with disability to take part in the sporting activities.
“When we look at their (MPC) activities locally, they are able to produce programs, annual plans and account for financial resources that they get for the Sports Council,” he said.
Mereka also hailed MPC for finishing among top three associations in the annual sport awards.
Mathews Kasanda is a journalist who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from University of Malawi (The Polytechnic).
In 2015, Media Institute of Southern Africa awarded him the Best Print Media Education Journalist of the Year accolade.
He joined Times Group Newsroom in September 2019.