Malawi Parliament on Tuesday allowed Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Joseph Mwanamvekha to borrow the equivalent of Special Drawing Rights (SDR) 64 500 000 (K70.2 billion) from the International Development Association (IDA) to finance Equity and Quality and Learning to Secondary Project.
The House has since told government to put the loan to good use, considering the country has over the years borrowed a lot with very little to show for it.
Mwanamvekha said the objective of the programme (Bill 14 of 2019) is to improve quality of science and mathematics institutions in community day secondary schools (CDSS) and increase access to secondary education in remote areas.
“This is a very important project in improving education in the country especially in CDSSs,” said Mwanamvekha.
The Finance Minister said the project aims at “enhancing student learning in selected 13 districts, including enhancing quality and delivery of ongoing teacher support programme for sciences and mathematics, developing digitised student learning materials and improving student assessment and examinations.”
Malawi Congress Party (MCP) spokesperson on finance Cornelius Mwalwanda said as much as money bills are not rejected in the House, government should ensure that the resources allocated are used for their intended purpose.
“Quality of education has deteriorated in the country. It is not surprising that many of the institutions produce illiterate graduates. Learning materials are in short supply and most schools don’t have electricity. This is a good idea and well-intended,” said Mwalwanda.
Mwalwanda said the whole education system needs an overhaul.
“This is a drop in the ocean because we need an overhaul of the whole education system where we need to modernise the whole system,” he said.
Mwalwanda said MCP has developed a “comprehensive reforms” in its manifesto which include abolishing the quota system of selecting students into public universities.
He said government needs to tread carefully on the loan as there has been about 28 loan bills which have been approved by the House in the last cohorts of Parliament and that the country is borrowing too much and there is no progress.
The project, which will be implemented by Ministry of Education, Science e and Technology will run for six years and at least 1000 CDSSs are expected to benefit from 13 districts.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :