Minister of Education, Science and Technology Emmanuel Fabiano has been accused as the one behind the introduction of a controversial quota system deemed discriminatory by students.
The system, which involves students being selected into public universities on the basis of district or region rather than straight merit, was outlawed by the judiciary but reintroduced under the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) rule.
The district quota system was first introduced by the late dictator Hastings Kamuzu Banda’s Malawi Congress Party (MCP) in 1988. But it was abandoned following a 1993 court ruling to the effect that it was discriminatory and in violation of the fundamental right of Malawian citizens to equitable development through equal opportunities to access higher education, regardless of one’s district or region of origin or ethnicity.
However, the DPP reintroduced the system.
When Fabiano presented a ministerial statement in parliament on the selection of students to government secondary schools, he was attacked by Mzimba West parliamentarian Harry Mkandawire who said the minister was behind the reintroduction of the controversial system.
Fabiano’s report was aimed at clarifying how candidates are selected to secondary schools following a query from Northern Region members of Parliament (MPs) on why Nkhata Bay Secondary School had no students from the North.
Mkandawire asked if Fabiano was aware that the quota system was outlawed by the Supreme Court.
Mzimba West parliamentarian, who was expelled from DPP when he openly criticised former late president Bingu wa Mutharika, also claimed the Cabinet of the former DPP-led government did not approve the quota system, “but people like Fabiano misled them”.
Fabiano did not engage Mkandawire into arguments over his claims.
But Chiradzulu East MP Henry Mussa stood on a point of order asking Mkandawire “to substantiate those claims or withdraw the remarks.”
Speaker Richard Msowoya did not sustain the point of order, saying Fabiano should have been the one to complain.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :