Member of Parliament for Mzimba South, Makwenda Chunga of opposition People’s Party (PP) has condemned education quota system, saying it is bad therefore it should be abolished or else be extended in development and backed calls for introduction of federal system of government.
Chunga said this in his contribution to the 2015/16 proposed budget which Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe presented in Parliament on May 22.
He said quota system leads to a lot of wastage of training opportunities as evidenced by the rise in the number of students who are withdrawn on academic grounds.
“Quota system is bad and should be abolished in this nation. If we are saying there should be quota system in education, then we should have quota system in terms of development as well. That is why people are calling for federal system, which will be like quota system in education.
“We will also need budgetary quota system because everyone wants to access equal development,” Chunga told the House.
The lawmakers told the House that the Nkhata Bay and Mzuzu Government Secondary Schools’ selection that had no northerners selected in 2014 has gone without comment by the Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Emmanuel Fabiano.
“We asked the Minister of Education last year, he did not answer. Why was it that 100 per cent of students selected to Nkhata bay Secondary School came from the Southern Region? Why did Mzuzu Government have 100 per cent from the Southern Region? We are asking today, the Minister has to respond because we also have intelligent boys and girls who are supposed to go to Mzuzu Government Secondary School,” said Chunga.
He pointed out that the Mzuzu TTC that was converted to Mzuzu University has not yet been replaced up to today.
“We are very thankful to the former President, Dr. Bakili Muluzi for giving us a university in the north but also we are asking the government to give us a teachers training college in Mzuzu,” he said.
According to Chunga, oath Enterprise Development Fund (YEDEF) equipment has not been disbursed to beyond Jenna Road block to the north despite numerous applications by youth from the Northern Region.
He continued to say the mining industry is not benefiting the North equitably. Kayelekera is neither equitably benefiting Karonga nor Chitipa asking the government has to look into the matter “very clearly.”
Chunga also said USAID projects are concentrated away from the North as well.
“Nyika and Vwaza have not been attended to as much as the potential income generators from the North. There is no better road access to Nyika and Vwaza. Every year we talk about the budget of Nyika and Vwaza Road but up to now, nothing has been done,” he said.
Chunga went on to tell parliament that the identification of the actual physical location of Mzuzu Airport has been strategically delayed, “even though, we all know that the location of the airport has led to stalling of construction of three storey skyscrapers within that area.”
The lawmaker said it has also delayed economic development of Ekwendeni and the airport as it was supposed to stimulate the construction of the hotels, banks and other infrastructure.
Chunga also bemoaned that most of registration applications for NGOs in the Northern and Central Regions are taking long to be approved, strategically delaying recognition, and access to funding.
The MP said the upgrading of Mzuzu Hospital into cancer treatment centre was diverted.
“Mzuzu does not have a district hospital, only Mapale which is a dispensary. Those who are referred to Mzuzu Central Hospital are supposed to pay K1, 500.00. We do not have a Health Science College in the North,” said Chunga.
He said 20th July, 2011 will still ring bells for the protestors who were shot dead in the North by the first DPP-regime.
“We are asking the government to compensate the affected families,” Chuga said, stressing that the protestors were “brutally murdered in cold blood” when they were simply exercising their constitutional rights.
The Deputy Government Chief Whip, Grace Chiumia, who is also Minister of Youth and Sports made a point of order on YEDEF equipment , saying government is “ encouraging” the youth to apply for funding.
“We do not impose the equipment on them. So, they are supposed to apply and follow proper procedures. If there are any youths who have been denied the equipment, I do not have any reports on my table,” she said.
On the delay of registering NGOs, Chiumia said government need to make sure that these NGOs really exist.
“We have got NGOs which do not even exist but are using money from different partners,” she said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :