President Peter Mutharika has today officially opened Naminjiwa Community Technical College (CTC) in Phalombe, with a call for Malawians to unite for a common purpose of lifting the county out of poverty.
The opening today also marked the launch of the CTC Programme in the Southern Region. The CTC programme aims at increasing access to Technical, Entrepreneurial and Vocational Education and Training (Tevet).
Speaking during the launch at Naminjiwa primary school ground, Mutharika expressed optimism that community colleges will lift Malawi out of poverty, observing that they will create new skills, decent jobs, new businesses, and new industries.
“The Community Colleges Program has a very high capacity to reduce poverty. Evidence all over the world has shown that the only sure way of ensuring sustainable poverty eradication is by creating jobs,” he said.
However, Mutharika said this will not happen unless the citizenry support and embrace the community college concept.
Mutharika also wondered why Malawi remains poor 51 years after independence, despite implementing different programs aimed at eradicating poverty.
“We know we don’t want basic leaders who lack imagination of a higher vision for this country. But when a visionary leader comes, we are happy to demonise him and undermine his leadership. What do we really want as a people?” wondered Mutharika.
The President added that the community colleges concept is receiving overwhelming local and international support, saying the European Union (EU) and the World Bank have pledged resources in support of it.
Mutharika also disclosed that the Government of the People’s Republic of China has agreed to construct five new Community Technical Colleges in the country.
But in a response to his critics, Mutharika said “Let them fuel hate in the hearts of the people, and I will say let us love one another.”
Naminjiwa, which opened in February this year, is one of the eleven CTCs that government has so far opened nationwide in the first phase of the CTC programme. Seventeen more colleges are set to open in phase two, bringing the total to 28.
The programme is expected to offer job skills to an estimated 50 000 youths who pass the Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) examinations each year but fail to go to university.