The Royal Norwegian Embassy has supported Malawi with K2.3 billion through Save the Children Norway to implement an inclusive education project to keep learners in school.
The project is being implemented by the Federation of Disability Organisations in Malawi (Fedoma) and the CCAP synods of Blantyre and Livingstonia in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST).
Briefing stakeholders in Mzuzu yesterday, project manager Kens Mwambila said the project targets 245 primary schools in Mangochi, Lilongwe and Mzimba South where they also expect to reach out to 3 137 primary school teachers and 915 community structures.
He said the proposed impact area, according to Education Management Information Systems (Emis) of 2014, has an estimated total enrolment of 448 539 children.
He said the targeted zones within the three districts have an estimated 59 540 children out of school. Therefore, he said the four-year project will reach out to all children enrolled in the targeted schools to ensure that nobody drops out.
Said Mwambila: “Inclusive education goes beyond disabled children. We also look at other vulnerable groups like children from ultra-poor households, marginalised girls; those who have been married off or impregnated to make sure that all have an opportunity for education despite various disadvantages.”
He said the Livingstonia Synod is responsible for Mzimba, Fedoma is responsible for Lilongwe while the Blantyre Synod is responsible for Mangochi. However, he said Fedoma will also provide technical input on disability issues across the project.
Northern education division manager Temwa Msiska said poverty poses as a challenge for some parents in Mzimba to keep both girls and boys in school.
She said usually they would prefer to marry off the girl child and concentrate all resources on the boy child.n