The United States (US) government has disclosed that it will start constructing 200 schools under Secondary Education Expansion for Development (Seed) Project beginning this year.
United States Agency for International Development acting Education Office Director, David Onunda, told The Daily Times that the US government has committed $90 million to the initiative.
“Through Seed, over 40,000 new secondary school space will be created. Seed will significantly improve primary-secondary school transition rates and create the opportunity for many Malawian youths— particularly adolescent girls and young women— to obtain a post-primary qualification, stay healthy and positively contribute to the socio-economic development of Malawi,” he said
The US is providing funds for construction of up to 200 secondary schools, with work starting in phases. Implementation of the first phase starts this year.
Through a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2018 between Malawi and the US, this country committed to provide land for construction, deploy qualified teachers to the new secondary schools, provide teaching and learning resources and maintain the facilities once construction is completed.
Malawi has made swathes of land available for the project while some of the obligations are linked to progress of construction works.
The US completed the Seed Urban Component of the project, which involved the expansion of 30 secondary schools in Blantyre, Zomba, Lilongwe and Mzuzu. The updated facilities were handed over to the Ministry of Education.
Meanwhile, Civil Society Education Coalition Executive Director Benedicto Kondowe has said the secondary schools are urgently needed in the country.
“The current transition rate of 38 percent from primary to secondary school is a source of great shame to the nation. Competent students should not be declined access to secondary education services on account of inadequate space. This is why we have been advocating flexible modalities for expediting the completion of these facilities,” Kondowe said.