President Peter Mutharika has joined pop star Rihanna in calling on world leaders to fund education in Malawi.
Musician Rihanna, who is the global ambassador of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), visited Malawi in January and met with students and teachers.
Rihanna has been urging world leaders in advanced economies to give money to the organization for its work across the world.
Now Mutharika has joined her. In an article on Project Syndicate, the Malawi leader has encouraged donor countries around the world to contribute generously to GPE at its upcoming financing conference in Senegal on February 2, 2018.
Mutharika says the organization, which aims to distribute more than $2 billion annually to help improve education in developing countries around the world, has over the past eight years helped the education sector in Malawi.
“Since 2009, GPE funding has enabled Malawi to conduct long-term planning and data collection, and has brought domestic and international partners together for a common cause. GPE’s support has helped us build more facilities, overhaul our curriculum, improve access for girls, and train more educators.
“It would not be an exaggeration to say that Malawi’s partnership with GPE has been transformative, which is why I am urging donor countries around the world to contribute generously to GPE at its upcoming financing conference in Senegal,” says Mutharika.
He notes that 825 million young people across the world depend on GPE’s work to get the education or skills that will enable them perform well in the workplace of the future.
He says lack of funding could lead to growing unemployment, poverty, inequality, instability, and other factors that threaten not just individual countries or regions, but the entire international community.
Mutharika adds that his government has increased education spending from 12.5% of the total domestic budget in 2010 to 21% in 2015 to improve quality and access to education.
“This represents one of the highest percentages among developing countries anywhere, and I hope that our example will encourage leaders elsewhere to devote at least 20% of their national budgets to education,” he says.
In the education sector, Malawi faces challenges such as dilapidated schools, high pupil-to-teacher ratios, and significant gaps in inspection and oversight capabilities which make it hard for teachers to teach and for students to learn.