Students registered for the May 21 tripartite elections in Ntcheu have pledged to hit polling booths in large numbers to elect leaders who can bring meaningful transformation to the nation and advance their right to education.
They made the pledge during school-based voter education rallies, which the National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) Trust conducted in secondary schools with financial support from the European Union (EU) and the Germany Embassy in Malawi.
The students observed that, over the last two decades, majority of the elected politicians only paid lip service to the electorate.
“We’re tired of lip services; and, that is why we have decided to mobilise ourselves and our parents, too, to ensure we elect leaders who will advance policies to designed and aimed to help better protect the rights of their people in every form, including quality education from primary to the college,” said Samson Banda, a student at Njolomole Community Day Secondary School (CDSS).
Sheilah Chaima, a form student at Njolomole CDSS, said as students, they expect the next government to address challenges that are affecting the delivery of quality education in the country.
Chaima said she, among others, expects the next government to abolish the equitable selection of students to the public universities (otherwise known as the quota system) and reinstate the Junior Certificate of Education (JCE).
Ntcheu NICE district civic education officer, Alinafe Chikakuda, had earlier urged the secondary school students registered for the May 21, 2019, tripartite elections to use their first-time ballots to determine their social and economic future.
Chikakuda stressed that with the eyes of the nation waiting to see whether youth political engagement and participation would make a mark at the polls, NICE is asking first-time voters to come out in large numbers and exercise their right to vote.
“The students have expressed that they are passionate and concerned about a wide range of issues. NICE designed school-based voter education to ensure that students, who are largely first-time voters, are sufficiently knowledgeable and well-informed to cast ballots that are legally valid and to participate meaningfully in the voting process,” she said.
Chikakuda further stated that in every election, voter and civic education are necessary to ensure that all constituents—men, women and the youth alike—understand their rights, their political system, the contests they are being asked to decide, and how and where to vote.
Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :