By Lisa Kadango Malango in New York
New York, Mana: First Lady, Madame, Monica Chakwera has stressed the need to strengthen basic education and Early Childhood Development (ECD) in Malawi.
She was speaking on Sunday during the meeting with the Global Partnership for Education delegation in the United States of America in New York.
Madame Chakwera said basic education in Malawi faces numerous challenges such as the destruction of school infrastructure due to the effects of climate change, which forced school closure.
“When climate change catastrophes hit, the ones most hard hit are girls who fail to go to school and are asked to feed the families, fetching water and firewood from long distances a situation which is worrisome,” the First Lady said.
She added that these entrench inequalities among learners between boys and girls from both urban and rural areas hence the need to promote basic education for all.
Chakwera said there was a need to build climate change resilient infrastructure for both primary, secondary and community day secondary schools in Malawi to ensure the continuation of teaching and learning.
“We need our schools to be energised with electricity and connected with the internet at all times to enable our system to continue with learning during climate change related crisis,” she said.
“I urge you to support us in areas of ICT for online and offline learning to ensure that learners are not missing out whenever they are at home,” Madame Chakwera adding that the provision of gadgets, as well as teachers’ training, could play a critical role in making learning possible at all times.
She said the Ministry of Education through the Shaping Our Future Foundation has developed strategies to improve technical and vocational skills in the country.
Vice President for Global Partnership Education, Susan Liautaud hailed the First Lady through the Shaping Our Future Foundation for taking a leading role in championing girl-child education in Malawi.
She said there was a need to do more to encourage girls to go further with education despite the challenges that are facing.
Liautaud said issues to do with girl child education, gender based violence as well as early child marriages need to be addressed and the government “must prioritise the issues to ensure that girls remain in school.”
“I am so inspired by what the First Lady is doing to improve the education of girls in Malawi hence the need to support her programmes,” she said.
The Vice President said ECD was very important as it helps to give the right direction to learners at an early stage,
She assured the First Lady that Global Partners for Education would engage other partners to fully support the Shaping Our Future Foundation initiatives to improve basic education in Malawi.