Human rights organisations have reiterated calls for Malawi Government to remove examination fees and other fees in primary schools, saying some children are denied access to free education due to such fees.
Eye of the Child, an organization that supports and fights for the rights of children in the country, says that there is a need to introduce good learning environment for children with disabilities.
In an interview with this publication, Communications Officer for Eye of the Child Asiyatu Mdala said that the right to education is for everyone in Malawi
“It is the right of every Malawian to access free primary education in Malawi and it is sad that introduction of some fees in primary schools can lead to some students failing to attain such rights,” she said.
She added that government should also make sure that the buildings and materials that are in schools should be user friendly for people with disabilities.
Mdala further said that there should also be enough teachers who are well trained on special needs education in schools so that children with disabilities should be able to access education.
On his part, Board Chairperson for Civil Society Education Coalition (CSEC) Limbani Nsapato said it was government itself that made a policy to make sure that primary education is free to everyone because some parents could not afford to send their awards to school due to poverty .
He went on to say that as it has been noticed this year, thousands of learners were on the verge of not sitting for exams organized by Malawi National Examinations Board – MANEB because they had not paid the examinations fees.
He suggested that what is needed is to remove examination fees in primary schools so that people should exercise their right to free education in primary schools.
Schools usually demand payment for learners to sit for end of term examinations. Students sitting for Primary School Leaving Certificate of Education exams are also required to pay K3,500 to MANEB.