The Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Agnes Nyalonje, has disclosed the government is in need of K2.85 trillion to construct new secondary schools across the country.
Nyalonje made the revelation at the Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe where she was addressing journalists on the outcome of the 2020 Primary School Leaving Certificate of Education (PSLCE) Examination and selection for the Form One students.
The minister, who had earlier briefed President Lazarus Chakwera, disclosed that out of the 225 387 students who passed the 2019/20 examinations, only 84 947 candidates have been selected to start Form One in various secondary schools, leaving out 140,440 eligible students because of severe shortage of spaces in the country’s secondary schools.
“It is for this reason that my ministry has made construction of additional secondary schools a top priority because to double the transition rate from 37.73 percent to 76 percent we need 949 secondary schools which translates into 11,388 classrooms and 5,694 classroom blocks,” said Nyalonje.
“Costed at MK3 Billion per school, this comes to MK2.85 Trillion. If we were to stagger the construction of these schools across a five-year period we would require MK569 Billion per year,” she added.
Flanked by senior officals from the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) and the Malawi Police Service (MPS), Nyalonje explained that the 250 secondary schools being supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will create 1,000 classrooms by 2023.
She said currently 44 of these schools have been completed and by the end of 2021, an additional 40 schools will be completed.
“The low overall selection rate reflects the low number of secondary school places available across the country and a collective national failure to meet the needs of our young people. As a ministry, and as Tonse Alliance, we commit to working with all relevant stakeholders to try and address the need for secondary school places. And that is why my ministry is doing everything possible to speed up the construction the rest of the 206 schools,” narrated the minister.
Meanwhile, Nyalonje has announced that all the students who have been selected to start Form 1 are requested to report to the secondary school they have been selected on Monday, 1st February, 2021.