The European Union (EU) has granted the Malawi people 36.5 million Euros (about K22.6 billion) to rehabilitate and expand 21 Community Day Secondary Schools (CDSSs).
This will help to increase access and provision of teacher training to improve the quality of education in secondary schools.
The four-year Improving Secondary Education in Malawi (ISEM) programme is part of the EU’s new focal sector for support in Malawi in the area of secondary education and technical vocational education and training to run from 2015 to 2020.
Speaking at the grant signing ceremony in Lilongwe today, EU head of delegation to Malawi Marchel Gerrmann said the support has come in after noting challenges facing the secondary and tertiary education sector, which he noted, is at risk of deteriorating due to the funding constraints government is currently facing.
He said it was worrying that only 32 percent of those who complete primary education transition to secondary education, and those who do, face challenges such as overcrowding of classes, absence of latrines and learning books, but also teachers with limited training.
“The programme [ISEM] will complement government’s efforts in the secondary sub-sector. 21 selected CDSSs will be rehabilitated and expanded with more classrooms, libraries and science laboratories, administration blocks, teachers’ houses and in some cases students’ hostels,” Gerrmann said.
He added that girls and vulnerable students will be supported to ensure their access to secondary education, retention and completion at secondary school levels.
The K26 billion will also be used to rehabilitate technical workshops in 11 government secondary schools and provide equipment to strengthen skills development among youths.
In response to the support, Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe commended the EU for continuing to provide government with grants for sectors such as education at a time when budgetary support has ground to a halt.
Gondwe bemoaned the state of secondary schools in the country, saying they are not in the state they were in when he was undergoing his studies.