The governments of Norway, Germany, United Kingdom in collaboration with the World Bank and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have expressed commitment to improve the country’s education sector by supporting various initiatives.
Meanwhile the three countries, World Bank and UNICEF have committed a tune of over K14 billion to the Education Ministry through what they call education sector joint fund (ESJF)
Speaking during the launch of the Education Sector Joint Fund at Muzu Primary School in the area of Traditional Authority (TA) Njewa in Lilongwe, Royal Norwegian Ambassador Kikkan Haugen said their support is in line with the National Education Sector Plan (NESP).
He said ESJF is a multi-donor fund that provides earmarked support to some of the education sector key priorities.
“The ESJF is not a return to budget support; it is an arrangement designed to provide critical support to key government and education sector activities. This will be done through commercial bank accounts with externally contracted oversight and control in the form of a contracted Fiduciary Agent providing control and oversight to the planning and exercising of financial, accounting and procurement exercises,” Haugen explained.
The Royal Norwegian Ambassador said the ESJF arrangement is designed to support all sub-sectors of education; however, the donors having committed to the arrangement will prioritize primary and basic education needs.
Haugen said the ESJF will contribute towards performance-based school improvement grants for improving promotion and retention, support equity initiatives for the most disadvantaged, including girls by providing improved learning environment and infrastructure among others.
He said this is to accompany government to improve learning environment in early grades, improve retention of girls in upper primary and promotion of efficiency measures to reduce repetition in lower grades while the CFOA accompanies the ESJF with an intention for Development Partners and government to work cooperatively to strengthen the financial management systems and stronger financial reporting.
Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Dr. Emmanuel Fabiano assured the all partners that the ministry is determined to provide education which is of high quality and relevant to the Malawian child.
“We will ensure that all children have access to education regardless of where they are from and is my duty as a minister to ensure that this happens,” he said.
Fabiano said the Education Ministry was putting up a plan to ensure that education system expands to accommodate the learners and provide children with the necessary skills so that they should be productive citizens of the country.
The Minister said the education sector in Malawi is characterized by inadequate infrastructure, teaching and learning materials and teachers just to mention a few.
“This is being made worse in the face of a growing young population demanding for education services,” he explained.
Fabiano said the Ministry of Education needs to respond to the demands of these children since they are the future development leaders for Malawi.
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