President Peter Mutharika has abolished quota system of selecting students into tertiary education, saying the system which was introduced by the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) is discriminatory.
Mutharika, who is also the torchbearer for the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and United Democratic Front (UDF) Alliance during in the June 23 fresh presidential election, confirmed the abolition on Friday during his whistle stop rallies to the northern region.
He said MCP introduced quota system in 1987 with the goal of deterring some people from attaining higher education.
Quota system was a way of selecting students into tertiary education based on their districts of origin.
‘’The quota system was discriminatory especially for learners in the north. Some learners in the north who scored points as low as 6 or 8 points were not selected for higher education.
“It is therefore, the decision of my government to abolish the quota system so that learners should be selected on merit on merit irrespective of which region they come from,’’ Mutharika said.
MCP announced the introduction of the quota system in November 1987 through the then chairman of the University Council John Tembo in his opening Address at the congregation for presenting academic awards to successful university students at Chancellor College.
Tembo was quoted by The Daily Times newspaper of November 8, 1987 that with effect from the 1987/88 academic year, the government had directed that admission be on the basis of “ten guaranteed places for each district ” with the remaining places being distributed among the districts “in proportion to their population density.”
He said the University Council had welcomed the idea because all children in the country would be’ granted equal opportunities of access to higher education.
Tembo handed over the mantle of MCP leadership to Lazarus Chakwera, who is seeking his last chance bid for presidency on Tuesday.