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World Bank gives Malawi K210 billion for education

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Limbani Nsapato

By Wezzie Gausi

The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology has received $210 million [about K210 billion] from the World Bank for infrastructure development projects and service provision in the education sector.

The funds are meant for the construction of 10,900 classrooms, engagement of 3,500 auxiliary teachers and construction of 1,000 sanitation blocks.

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The ministry’s spokesperson Chikondi Chimala said the project will, among other things, help expand access, improve quality and performance of the primary education sub-sector.

He said the project is for four years and will see the World Bank and Global Partnership for Education pumping in $150 million and the government providing the balance.

“It is, indeed, true that the government, through the Malawi Education Reform Programme (Merp), intends to undertake various infrastructure development projects and [offer some] services in the education sector.

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“I am delighted that the construction of these cost-effective classrooms will bring down the Pupil to permanent Classroom Ratio from 102:1 to 84:1,”Chimala said.

Chimala said Merp will also support the Primary School Improvement Grant by increasing the minimum grant of K600,000 to K800,000.

Edukans Country Manager Limbani Nsapato said the grant has come at the right time when most learners are learning under the sun.

He, however, said, instead of recruiting auxiliary teachers, the government should consider recruiting teachers on permanent basis.

“We are happy with the project but it is our plea that the resources are used for the intended purpose. Many are the times that we have seen public funds being plundered.

“We want the government to be accountable in how the money will be spent and there has to be a change in all schools,” Nsapato said.

In December 2021, the ministry said only 94 classroom blocks it was constructing under the low-cost classrooms construction project across the country were ready to be used by January 2022.

The low cost classrooms are part of the Covid response in the education sector. The ministry was expected to construct 383 classrooms across the country.

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