In continued efforts to scale up education standards, Government has signed up a grant agreement of U$ 44.9 million (about K32.8 billion) from the Global Partnership for Education (GPE).
The grant will support Malawi’s Education Sector Implementation Plan (ESIP), a four year GPE project aimed at improving equity and quality of primary education in early grade levels according to Finance Minister, Goodall Gondwe, who signed the grant agreement on Government’s behalf.
“I appeal to the Secretary for Education to ensure faithful implementation of this project because I have no doubt that our education standards would tremendously improve if this project were to be faithfully implemented,” explained Gondwe addressing Charles Msosa, Secretary for Education, Science and Technology, who was also present at the function.
The project will be administered by the World Bank as a Trust Fund and present at the signing ceremony was World Bank Country Manager, Laura Kullenberg, who expressed concern at the country’s high school drop-out rate, teacher-to-student ratio and low girl child enrolments among others.
She wondered:”Can one teacher really teach 100 students, can students learn without well trained teachers while sitting under a tree, can the country really progress with such a huge dropout rate, and can a country afford to have so many girls undereducated?
“This project we are signing today provides an opportunity to make real progress in addressing these challenges thanks to the joint efforts Government and development partners.”
The GPE grant is expected to build 500 classrooms apart from addressing the need to retain girls in schools by constructing 300 gender friendly latrine blocks, according to Kullenberg.
She disclosed that the grant will also give 800 schools performance-based grants to keep kids in school and reduce the rate of drop outs while training teachers and headmasters in classroom management.
In an interview, Msosa described the grant as a timely intervention as per the challenges facing the education sector which has for a long time been under resourced.
Prior to MESIP, the GPE also contributed U$ 90 million (about K67.5 billion) to the Project to Improve Education Quality in Malawi (PIEQM).
Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :