Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Bright Msaka Friday launched the Malawi Education Sector Improvement Project (MESIP) in Dowa with a call to parents and all education stakeholders to ensure that no child drops out of school at Primary level.
The Minister made the remarks at Senga Model Primary School in the area of Traditional Authority (TA) Mponela in Dowa and was attended by Dowa District Council Officials, Traditional leaders, Teachers and learners, among others.
Msaka said he was happy to note that learners at Senga had performed well during this year`s Primary School examinations, saying this meant government effort in reducing teacher -pupil ratio was bearing positive results.
He commended traditional leaders for passing by-laws to ensure that children of school going age do so, and do not drop out.
The Minister bemoaned a five per cent drop out and 20 per cent repeaters rates at the school observing it were on the higher side.
He called for community participation in the project to ensure success and pledged the government support to the school.
“I have heard that the school received 80 desks which only cater for standard 8. I will send 100 more desks to the school besides other resources. A model school should have infrastructure and resources befitting its name,” Msaka promised.
The Minister thanked the government of Norway for providing financial support to ensure that MESIP goes into phase two and extends to Dowa, Nkhotakota, Mulanje and Rumphi districts.
TA Kayembe, expressed gratitude for the Project observing that education was a key to the development of any country.
She said chiefs will ensure that by-laws which are in place in many areas in the district were being adhered to.
“We put in place by-laws to ensure that no child is out of school. We impose penalties such as paying a goat for parents whose children impregnate or get impregnated. The proceeds from such penalties are used to help needy children continue with school” the Chief said.
Head teacher for Senga Model School, Jasten Mvula said the school has inadequate classroom blocks and asked government to assist.
He said teachers at the school were working hard to ensure that learners pass, priding that out of the 187 students who sat for this year’s Primary school examinations, 186 passed, representing a 99.5 percent pass rate and that of those, 126 were selected to various secondary schools across the country.
Mvula said the school with an enrolment of 1, 964 learners and 44 teachers has 8 classroom blocks only, with 22 classes learning on open ground.
He thanked government for providing a sum of K1, 919, 540 for the construction of a learning shelter which he said will ease challenges faced due to lack of enough classroom blocks.
MESIP is a project by the Malawi government, aimed at improving the equity and quality of primary education service delivery in early grade level, with an emphasis on improved accountability and functioning at the school level.
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