President Peter Mutharika on Saturday night reiterated his administration’s commitment to creating a conducive environment for the girl-child to excel in education.
Mutharika made the remarks at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre when he presided over the official launch of the girl-child hostels resource mobilization dinner hosted by the Gertrude Mutharika Beautify Malawi-BEAM Trust.
The President said girl education was one of the pillars of his administration’s agenda and thatb his government had aligned policies to ensure that the girl-child did not lag behind in education.
“Education is a milestone towards promoting the socioeconomic development of the country. As such, my government values educating the girl-child so that Malawi moves forward,” he said.
“To ensure that the girl-child excels in education, starting from 2007 to date, about 18 hostels, each having four blocks, have so far been constructed.”
Mutharika said in addition, under Local Development Fund, about 15 hostels were yet to be completed before the end of 2014/2015 financial year.
But he said there was need to build more hostels to ease some of the challenges girl learners faced.
“In this case, there is need for various stakeholders such as companies and organisations to partner with BEAM to provide learning and teaching materials so that more girls benefit from the initiative that will assist them to become self reliant,” Mutharika said.
The First Lady, Madam Gertrude Mutharika, who is also founder of BEAM Trust, said the organisation was concerned with the welfare and future of the girl-child.
She said the launch of the initiative, which seeks support to built girls’ hostels in community secondary schools across the country, would open up opportunities for more girls to access education.
“Construction of more hostels in community day secondary schools will mean that girl learners will no longer travel long distances to access education and they will have ample time to focus on their studies,” Madam Mutharika said.
She said: “This is why BEAM has embraced the notion of beauty by considering educating girls as an important ingredient for beautifying Malawi.”
She assured the public that the mobilized resources would be used in a transparent and accountable manner.
Msauka Chakonda, a form four student at Sopa Community Day Secondary School (CDSS) in Mchinji, said the lack of adequate girls’ hostels in CDSSs had made them vulnerable to sexual exploitation.
“Since we are forced to rent houses away from school premises, most of the times, we find ourselves being sexually exploited by sugar daddies. As a result, we drop out of school.
“Besides, we get tired and fail to concentrate on our studies because of travelling long distances to and from school,” Chakonda said.
She thanked BEAM for coming up with the initiative, and expressed the hope that it would assist in alleviating the plight of the girl-child in the country.
Launched on September 13, 2014, BEAM focuses on ensuring cleanliness in streets, hospitals and schools, among other projects.-ManaFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :