Govt told to widen tax base in order to invest in education

Several organisations have urged Malawi Government to broaden its tax base in order to increase domestic resources available for education and other services.

Civil Society Education Coalition (CSEC), Save the Children, Action Aid and Coalition for Child Rights made the call at press on Monday in Lilongwe.

Speaking with reporters, CSEC Executive Director Benedicto Kondowe said that the national budget must have the sensitivity to respond to the poorest and most marginalised in order to counteract inequality, discrimination and exclusion in education.

He added that domestic resources remain the most important source for sustainable funding of education as such government should make a clear commitment to provide equitable financing proportionate with the country’s education priorities, needs and capacities to advance the progressive realisation of the right to education for every Malawian.

“The government must increase its tax base in order to increase domestic resources available for education and other services. Substantive tax reforms are needed to fairly increase the size of the overall government budget and as a result increasing the education budget proportionately as well,” he explained.

Kondowe further said that there is a need to construct houses for teachers, including special needs teachers.

“The state must also guarantee that other targets can be achieved, related to learning quality, teachers professional development, access to cultural assets, global citizenship education and lifelong learning,” he said.

He also said that government must provide free quality education for all and end the trend towards the privatisation and commercialisation of education so that education can be accessed by all Children.

According to the 2020/21 FY budget, government allocated 46.00 Kwacha per learner for Teaching and Learning Materials (TLM) in primary education.
The education sector in Malawi was already facing devasting crisis and the pandemic has only exacerbated this.

The pandemic hit an education system that already has 86,000 teacher deficit in both primary and secondary education and currently leaves 2,592,00 pupils in primary school to learn out in the open due to lack of an estimate 21600 classroom blocks.

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