Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology John Bisika has said Malawi Government is ready to implement compulsory primary education whose provision has been included in the yet-to-be enacted Education Bill.
Speaking during the Civil Society Education Coalition (Csec) meeting with members of the Legal Affairs and Education committees of Parliament on the Bill on Friday, Bisika said it would be better to implement compulsory education now than to wait for the time when the education sector has all needed resources.
â€œMalawi agreed to several international instruments that by 2015, we will have compulsory education. You cannot have compulsory education if you do not have the law. There will be no time when we shall have all the required textbooks, classroom blocks and other resources available even if the whole national budget was allocated to the Ministry of Education.Â
â€œLet us have the law first and then deal with the challenges,â€ said Bisika, adding that government is training more teachers to handle increasing numbers of pupils in primary schools.
On fears that the law on compulsory education would see some parents being jailed for failing to send their children to school, Bisika saidÂ no parent has ever been arrested for not sending their children to school in African countries where the law exists.
Csec executive director Benedicto Kondowe said enacting a law on compulsory education will help the civil society to put pressure on duty bearers to provide resources to enable children to access education.
â€œIt is better to start from somewhere than to wait for the time when we have everything. We will not reach that time,â€ said Kondowe.
Said leader of DPP in the House Dr. George Chaponda: â€œDo we just want to put something in the laws that will not be implemented? Let us be realistic when doing things. Let us do things that we can do. We should not just do things to please the outside world.â€Â