CSOs urge gvt to pump more funds into education sector
Civil society organisations in the education sector have criticised the government for failing to devote at least 6% of GDP and 20% of the national budget to education.
Malawi: Civil society organisations in the education sector have criticised the government for failing to devote at least 6% of GDP and 20% of the national budget to education.
Concerns were expressed on Wednesday, November 23, 2022, in Lilongwe, when they shared their assessment of the education sector's performance, which this year is aligned with the 2022 JSR theme: Transforming Education for Accelerated Human Capital Development Towards Achieving Malawi 2063.
Kisa Kumwenda, Program Manager at the Civil Society Education Coalition (CSEC), stated that while education has received the lion's share for the past 8-9 fiscal years, more innovative financing models should be explored to mobilise more resources for the sector, supported by tracking of utilisation, which would increase demand for accountability.
"We considered sharing this assessment Report, which recommends, among other things, that Malawi focus on promoting learning rather than simply access, noting that access without meaningful learning works against national aspirations," he said.
"This report also recommends that the government, development partners, NGOs, and the private sector work together more closely."
Sharing President Chakwera’s commitments during the Transforming Education Summit at this year’s UNGA, Director of Open Distance and E-Learning at the Ministry of Education Dr Joshua Valeta said that government is among other things committed to ensuring mandatory schooling up to secondary and ensuring 100% completion rate in primary and 100% transition to secondary, strengthening foundational skills, resourcing and making the curriculum more relevant, and constructing more schools and teachers houses and expanding school feeding coverage from 35% to 100%.
"As can be seen, the government's provision of better infrastructure for children's conducive learning environments in schools demonstrates its commitment to promoting education standards in the country. Yes, we are not there yet, but keep in mind that Rome was not built in a single day,” he elaborated.
Civil Society Education Coalition (CSEC), Early Childhood Development Coalition (ECDC), Girls Activist Youth Organization (GAYO), Save the Children, FAWEMA, and OXFAM have expressed their belief that technology can transform education to make it more inclusive, equitable, effective, relevant, and sustainable.
According to the CSOs, technology cannot achieve education goals on its own, but it can be a catalytic component of education reforms that will prepare children, young people, and adults to lead needed transformations.