Malawi education minister calls for international support to rebuild resilient education systems

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Malawi’s Minister of Education Agnes NyaLonje has called on developed countries and international organizations to provide more support to Malawi and other developing countries to build back stronger and resilient education systems following the Covid-19 pandemic.

NyaLonje made this call during this year’s Education World Forum (EWF) which was held between 22 and 26 May, 2022 at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in London which was participated by Education Ministers from 116 countries.

Addressing the gathering, the minister said Malawi’s education system is facing COVID-19 pandemic and multiple climate related disaster challenges which she said are undermining major ongoing interventions in the education sector.

She therefore called upon developed countries to do more to support countries like Malawi, which knows what should be done, as outlined in the new development blueprint, Malawi 2063.

“This plan outlines how Malawi might adapt to climate change and build a more resilient education system. In its first ten-year implementation plan dubbed MIP 1 (2021-2030), Malawi intends to offer at least 12 years of education to every child by 2030, and ensure that once enrolled, every learner completes their primary and secondary education.

“This feat requires huge investment in infrastructure and digitalization. So, there is need for serious consideration of meaningful financing for equitable global access to education,” NyaLonje told the forum.

The Minister then captured the attention of the gathering when she said Malawi is tirelessly working on provision of comparative quality of learning offered by schools around the country, as it is in the developed countries.

Apart from the EWF, NyaLonje also held a fruitful side meeting with the founder of “IAMTHECODE Foundation”, Lady Marieme Jammer where they agreed to develop a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on quality education in Malawi.

The minister says through this MoU, thousands of Malawian girls and youth will be trained in computer coding, for free, using the foundation’s online portal.

She then met Ms Jamie Cooper, the Chair and President of a United Kingdom based non-profit organization called Big Win Philanthropy, and they identified two major areas of intervention towards improving Malawi’s education sector.

The two agreed to work on enhancement of the efficiency of the education system through improved teacher deployment, and also improved strategic communication for enhanced engagement on education reforms.

Minister NyaLonje also had an engagement with the British Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on the Girl Child’s Education, Ms Helen Grant who emphasized on their support on expanding school infrastructure and teacher housing.

The minister has then thanked the Malawi president Lazarus Chakwera for allowing her to attend the forum claiming it was crucial for Malawi’s education sector as several developmental partners have pledged support towards improving major education challenges.

“I effectively used the forum to make a strong case for support towards Malawi. Envoys from the World Bank, the British Government, Ministers from countries such as Brazil, and non-profit education organizations, such as the Education Partnerships Group and Lego Foundation, philanthropist organizations such as Big Win and Gates Foundation, and Education Technology companies, pledged to help Malawi design and implement sustainable and effective strategies to scale up interventions that will improve foundation skills, including through teacher preparation, integration of education technologies and innovation, and improving system efficiency,” she added.

Minister NyaLonje was accompanied to the forum by Dr Joshua Valeta who is the Director of Open, Distance and e-Learning in the Ministry of Education.

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