The Minister of Education, Science and Technology Dr. Williams Susuwele Banda says all students who have been selected to various public secondary schools across the country during the second selection were selected based on merit.
Susuwele Banda made the sentiments after the Quota Must Fall Movement noted that the second selection list which was released by the Ministry was dominated by students from Southern part of Malawi.
The movement, a grouping that advocates for the abolition of quota system of selecting students to institutions of higher learning, noted dominance of learners from Southern Region districts of Phalombe and Mulanje to national secondary schools.
But addressing the media on Friday the Minister of Education Banda said the second selection was strictly based on merit.
“This selection was strictly based on Merit Principle in all categories of secondary schools. Economic and Proximity Principles were not considered in this selection as it was stipulated in the press statement which the Ministry released on 22nd October, 2019.
“This means that students were not confined to their Education Division but spread to other divisions for the purpose of building national unity,” said the Minister.
Susuwele Banda added: “For District Boarding Secondary Schools, students in the District filled the spaces within the District where as Conventional Day and Community Day Secondary Schools, students from feeder schools within the community were considered as the case has been”
The Ministry released the 2019 Form One second selection results on 27th December, 2019 in which 17,831 students were selected into various secondary schools to fill the gaps created by those who did not report.
A total of 125 students were selected to National Secondary Schools while 3,105 students were selected to other Conventional Secondary Schools and 14,381 students were selected into Community Day Secondary Schools.
In an analysis posted on his Facebook page, education rights activist Limbani Nsapato said out of the 125 students selected to national secondary schools, 29 students representing 23.2 percent are from the Northern Region, 17 or 13.6 percent from the Central Region and 79 representing 63.2 percent are from the Southern Region.
The analysis highlights that the first selection had shown that 1 893 students were selected comprising 267 (representing 14.1 percent) from the North, 782 (41.3 percent) from the Centre and 844 (44.5 percent) from the South.
Said Nsapato: “A comparative analysis shows that North has gained by +9.1 percent while South has gained by +18.7 percent, but the Centre has lost by -27.7 percent. This would imply that the best winner of merit principle is the South while the loser is the Centre.”
He also contends that the merit principle has disadvantaged girls, becoming now a setback to move towards gender parity while on the economic front, the system is also said to have disadvantaged girls from rural areas.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :