President Joyce Banda has offered scholarships to five girls who scooped seven points in the 2013 Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) examinations to do undergraduate studies at universities of their choice.
The students are to choose among universities from South Africa, Russia, United States of America (USA) and Malawi.
The President made the offer at Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) Best Girl Award Initiative Ceremony at Mary Mount Secondary School in Mzuzu on Monday.
Each year, ZBS gives scholarships to girls who score best MSCE grades to study in China.
This year, three girls scored six points each. Two are from Mary Mount and the other is from Dowa Secondary School.
Said the President: “In the absence of knowing what the five girls want to do, I have checked with my friends in USA, South Africa, Russia and Malawi. What is clear is that in America, it is only those who want to go into science subjects leading to engineering that would easily get scholarships. As far as South Africa is concerned, it is those who want to go into medical field, Russia as well.
“I give you that opportunity to think about those areas and I would like you to be my guests at State House next week. The assurance that I can give you is that all of you will go to a school of your choice.”
Speaking earlier, ZBS managing director Gospel Kazako highlighted the need to treat girls fairly.
“Not all men are sharp, but we tend to look at women with a lower eye. It is not a fair one. We are in a democracy and the majority of the people in this country are women. If we are living by those standards, it is only fair if we recognise women as much as possible,” he said.
This year, Mary Mount produced four award winners, Bynala Kawonga and Mary Chitani scored six points each whereas Glory Shawa and Mirriam Mazibuko got seven points each.
St Mary’s Girls Secondary School in Zomba produced Tamanda Sapulayi and Maria Meke who scored seven points each. Chitsanzo Kwawilira from Dowa Secondary School got six points while Coline Likiya from Blantyre Secondary School scored seven points.
The Best Girl Award Initiative was introduced in 2006 to encourage a girl child to excel in education.