Parley Committee hails boNGO for working to bridge inequalities in education sector

Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Social and Community Affairs, Savel Kafwafwa, has hailed a local education-focused organization – based on Need-driven Grassroots Ownership (boNGO Worldwide) – for initiating programmes aimed at addressing inequalities in the education sector.

Kafwafwa observed that since it was established in 2007, boNGO Worldwide has undertaken various initiatives that are designed to complement government efforts in improving the quality of teaching and learning in all public schools in Malawi.

Mirovicova–We are committed to improving the quality of teaching and learning in public schools

The Dedza North legislator made the remarks at Mtsiliza LEA School in Lilongwe on Tuesday when boNGO Worldwide handed over ‘happy classrooms’ to officials from the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.

Through its Happy Schools Programme, the organization has been supporting the ministry to improve teaching and learning environment by, among others, painting classrooms with syllabus-related print-rich items.

The organization spends between K550, 000 and K850, 000 per ‘Happy Classroom’.

Kafwafwa described Happy Classrooms Programme as a great initiative towards bridging inequality between public and private schools in Malawi.

Kafwafwa talking to journalists after the handover of the Happy Classrooms at Mtsiliza LEA School in Lilongwe–Photo by Watipaso Mzungu, Nyasa Times

“Indeed, this is a wonderful project. And as you can see that in Malawi, this is a new concept altogether. But what is more surprising is that you only see that such kind of initiatives are in private schools. So, it looks like our public schools were lacking such initiatives. Each and every private school in Malawi, you will see some kind of painting and beautiful drawings,” he said.

“And interestingly, those people who have money, sometimes even the policymakers themselves, take their kids to private schools because they know that they can’t access such kinds of drawings in these public schools. So, for us as a committee, that looks at the social welfare of our kids, this is a very good initiative because it is trying to bridge the inequalities that have been existing because, as a nation, we know what the good standards are, but we don’t follow them,” he added.

Kafwafwa disclosed that his committee will discuss with other members of Parliament (MPs) to see if they can consider adopting the initiative so that it becomes a government programme.

In her remarks, boNGO Worldwide Managing Director, Tereza Mirovicova, assured that it remains the vision of her organization to see Malawian children and youth having the opportunity to develop their full potential to support a healthy development of the nation.

“boNGO exists to help the Malawi Government in raising education standards in the fields of early education, primary education and youth education where young people are producing films and using them as a platform for facilitating discussion on important topics such as peer pressure and gender,” said Mirovicova.

She said through the initiative, boNGO intends to paint 44, 000 classrooms.

Deputy Director of Basic Education in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Ellena Gertrude Chonde-Simango, said the government appreciates the support the organization has been providing to the Malawi Government.

Chonde-Simango stated that the government alone cannot achieve its goals for improving the quality of education; hence, collaboration remains key to promoting quality education in Malawi.

Lilongwe City West MP George Zulu promised that he would use part of the resources in the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to paint classrooms in schools that fall under his constituency.

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