Deputy Minister of Education Madalitso Kambauwa-Wirima has pledged government’s commitment to increasing learners’ enrollment in schools regardless of their socio-economic status.
The deputy minister said this in Lilongwe yesterday when she presided over a Secondary Education Learning Conference aimed at creating a platform for sharing lessons and practices for systems change for different players in community day secondary schools (CDSSs).
Said Kambauwa-Wirima: “It is pleasing to note that the number of secondary school students has increased from 63 000 in 1998 to 415 013 in 2019, but we must be ambitious and increase the numbers even more. We have to innovatively increase education access and outcomes, especially for the poor and female students.”
She added that the work of reviving the education sector was huge; hence, the need for collaborative efforts from the private sector, research institutions, development partners and civil society organisations to ensure success.
The learning conference was held as part of the Star School Model for CDSSs project which facilitates transition and retention of students and help improve educational outcomes in selected CDSSs.
The project is coordinated by Education Expertise Development Foundation while Teachers Union of Malawi trains teachers as education non-governmental organisation Edukans provides specialised training, conducts research and adapts modules to secondary level.
In an interview, Edukans country director Limbani Nsapato concurred with the minister’s call for various stakeholders, including communities, to support the initiative as the project has come to an end.
He said: “The project has provided data and evidence on what can work well when groups work together for a common good of improving education quality in CDSSs and mobilising support and coordination in the secondary education sub-sector to create synergies and strong partnerships.”
Funded by the MasterCard Foundation, The Star Project started in 2017 with the aim of facilitating transition and retention of students to improve educational outcomes by improving quality of teaching and learning environment in 16 CDSSs in Mzimba, Mangochi, Chikwawa and rural Lilongwe.