Global Partnership for Education (GPE), an organisation devoted to providing children in developing countries with quality basic education, has given Malawi government a grant amounting to US$44.9 Million (K33.7 billion).
The grant follows a successful implementation of the US$90 Million (Mk67.5 Billion) grant which saw the country among others construct 2,936 classrooms and 14 boarding facilities, provide bursary packages to 70,052 students, and train 23,550 teachers through the open and distance learning programme.
President Peter Mutharika who received the grant commended Global Partnership for Education for its interest in improving the country’s education system.
Mutharika said education is the cornerstone for Malawi economic growth as well as development and that it still remains one of the main pillars on which the country’s vision rests.
“Education is our best way for creating human capacity for developing Malawi. However for many years, the sector has been faced with numerous challenges ranging from lack of resources and increased enrolment in education which has demanded new approaches.
“For the betterment of this nation, this is why my Government is carrying out reforms and mobilizing resources to improve the education standards of the country. With this grant, you have given my government one of the best things,” Mutharika said.
He further said the grant will support the country’s new school leadership development programme since it is expected to train and produce qualified school leaders who will then effectively and efficiently run the schools.
It will also help in equipping head teachers with new skills and support the efforts to improve the teaching and learning environment where more quality classrooms for quality education will be constructed.
“My pursuit is that every child must sit in a proper classroom with a qualified teacher. With this grant, we will construct additional classrooms in some schools.
“I am happy that the girl child will be targeted in this programme. This will help us ensure that a lot of girls remain in school and complete their education. And as UN Champion for He For She, I am more than pleased that the grant prioritizes the education of girls,” the Malawi leader said.
Alice Albright, Chief Executive Officer of the Global Partnership for Education said a second implementation grant for Malawi was approved by the GPE Board in June, 2016.
Albright disclosed that the grant will focus on improving existing school buildings and construct new schools and sanitary facilities in 8 of the most disadvantaged districts.
She added that the vulnerable populations including girls and children with disabilities will benefit from the programme.
“30 percent of the grant is based on achievement of results on selected indicators of equity, efficiency and learning retention of girls and reducing repletion rates in lower primary education,” Dr Albright explained.
She also emphasized that the aim of giving Malawi the grant is to improve on three things of efficiency and effectiveness in managing the primary education; improve access to quality education and improve the teaching and learning environment for teachers and children.
Global Partnership for Education works with 65 developing nations and its aim is to build consensus on education issues and support the development of effective education sector plans.