Forum for Peace and Justice (FPJ), a religious grouping, has petitioned Malawi government to continue with controversial quota system which involves selecting students into public universities based on district of origin rather than merit.
FJP led by the executive director, Sheikh Ali Makalani, who is also Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM) Mangochi secretary, petitioned the government to continue with the system which involves students being selected into higher education on the basis of district or region rather than straight merit.
Some sections of the society feel quota system is discriminatory because in districts where students performed well, bright youngsters failed to secure a university place while in other districts where students did not do as well, the university still accepted 10 students.
Students in northern Malawi have been the most affected, failing to get university places even after coming up with good grades. The University of Malawi’s senate was said to be against the system, fearing that it might admit mediocre students into colleges, thereby dragging standards down.
FPJ has also asked government to construct more tertiary education institutions so that all deserving students should be accommodated.
Students in the northern Malawi are said to have been the most affected by quota system, failing to get university places even after coming up with good grades.
Government in a bid to increase enrolment into higher learning institution pushed for a bill which MPs athorised it to borrow $50.9 million (about K20 billion) from the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank.
Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe said the loan will support the design of high quality and relevant education programmes to be delivered through open and distance learning (ODL).
Targeted beneficiary institutions include the University of Malawi (Unima) constituent colleges—Chancellor and The Polytechnic, the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar). Mzuzu University (Mzuni) and Technical, Entrepreneurial and Vocational Education Training Authority (Teveta) will also benefit.