By McCarthy Mwalwimba
Plan International Malawi has asked government to put in place monitoring systems to ensure that money allocated to the education sector in the National Budget goes to fulfill its intended purpose on the ground.
Plan International Malawi country director Daniel Muchena made the appeal Thursday at Mkoma Primary School in Lilongwe during handover ceremony of school blocks, teachers’ houses and other infrastructure the organisation has built at the school.
Muchena said the education sector annually gets a larger share of the National Budget with part of the money meant for construction and improvement of school infrastructure but the situation on the ground does not reflect the same.
“The Ministry of Education receives the lions share. But that share is not seen on the ground.
“If the money goes to councils for implementation of projects, is it diverted to other projects? We need to see that large share on the ground.
“Government should put in place monitoring systems to ensure the money really goes on the ground,” Muchena said.
He said Plan Malawi is concerned that the country’s education sector has resource challenges hence its intervention in the sector.
“Our main focus is on education sector because we know that education is the foundation for development hence our area of intervention is infrastructure development; no child should learn under a tree,” he said.
The organisation has built three blocks with two classrooms each, five teachers’ houses and three modern toilets. It has also donated over 300 desks and established potable piped water system at the school.
Similar facilities and donations were also handed over to Malikha Primary School in the district the same day.
The two schools, located in the area of Traditional Authority Chimutu, have high enrolment, huge teacher-pupil ratio and few teachers’ houses; a situation that prompted the organisation to implement the project and alleviate the challenge.
Plan International Malawi implemented the project to the tune of €1 million (over K818 million) that Rudolf Stilcken of Plan International Germany left before he died.
Speaking when he received the facilities, Minister of Education, Science and Technology Bright Msaka thanked Plan International Malawi for complementing government’s efforts in improving education standards in the country.
“Government wants every learner to learn in a safe and secure environment. We, therefore, thank Plan Malawi for the infrastructure support,” Msaka said.
He said government will construct 800 classrooms in primary schools across the country and procure 50, 000 desks this year and that the two schools will also benefit.
“It is the agenda of President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika that in the shortest possible time no child should learn outside,” Msaka said.-MANA