Nkhotakota Community Development Committee (CDC) says it is not pleased with the process Campaign for Female Education (Camfed) follows when identifying beneficiaries in its bursary programme.
This transpired during a two-day CDC refresher training in Salima District where members said Camfed does not respond to several concerns the committee raises.
The members said Camfed was supposed to identify beneficiaries from a pool of those selected to secondary schools rather than identifying them right from primary school as is the case.
CDC vice-chairperson the Reverend Father Baird Mponda said the process leaves out those who pass their examinations, but fail to continue with their studies because of lack of fees.
He said: “The problem is that once beneficiaries are identified, they cannot be replaced. There is always a number of students who still fail to proceed with their education while some recipients fail to access the benefits because they failed examinations.”
Responding to the concerns, one of the facilitators, Steve Mpita, said the selection process is done to accommodate the most vulnerable and not everyone.
On supporting only those in day schools, he said Camfed policies strive to accommodate both day and boarding schools, but they are usually restrained by the donor’s strategy.
“Nkhotakota is currently being supported with funding from DfID [Department for International Development of United Kingdom]. If funds permit, we will accommodate those in boarding schools too.
“For instance, there are several students who are being supported at Nkhotakota Secondary School because they were incorporated into the system the time our donor offered boarding entitlements,” he said.
Camfed started working in Nkhotakota in 2012 and is currently supporting over 700 students. n