By Lifu Litete – Malawi Exclusive
The Ministry of Education has expressed satisfaction with the progress registered in the ongoing construction of 38 Community Day secondary schools across the country.
Currently the government of Malawi with funding of US$90 million from the United States Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief is running a project of constructing 200 Community day secondary schools across the country to improve education and health outcomes for Malawian youths, targeting adolescent girls and young women.
The first phase of the project has already seen construction of 96 classroom blocks in 30 urban community day secondary schools in Lilongwe, Blantyre, Mzuzu and Zomba creating an additional 5760 spaces for learners.
Speaking in an interview, Ministry of Education Spokesperson Chikondi Chimala said the second phase is now an advanced level.
“As we speak some schools are at roofing level while others are nearing roofing level. We could have been nearing completion now but the project delayed due to land ownership wrangles as some communities were not willing to donate land where the schools would be constructed unlike in the first phase where classroom blocks were just being constructed at existing school structures,” said Chimala.
Meanwhile Chimala has disclosed that once completed the new 38 secondary schools will be able to create an additional 9,000 spaces for leaners across rural areas in the country.
During the handover ceremony of the 90 new classroom blocks last year at Mchengautuba Community Day Secondary School in Mzuzu, President Dr Lazarus Chakwera described the Secondary Education Expansion for Development (SEED) project as a game changer in making education accessible for all.
“Each young person in Malawi has worth; worthy of the opportunity to pursue secondary education. Each young person in Malawi has potential, the potential to learn and become the future contributors and leaders of Malawi and the world,” said the Malawi leader.
The GOM-USG SEED program is designed to both expand education access and improve health outcomes, such as lower HIV infection rates. By bringing schools closer to where girls and boys live, the program is breaking down barriers that hinder students, especially adolescent girls and young women, from completing secondary school. Evidence shows that keeping girls in school can reduce HIV infection by delaying sexual debut, preventing child marriage and early pregnancy, and increasing economic self-sufficiency.
Under SEED Rural, the United States Government will construct up to 200 new Community Day Secondary Schools in rural areas across every district in Malawi creating up to 40,000 new seats across the country.