Ntchisi district social welfare officer Dennis Sikwese has bemoaned the tendency by some non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to bypass his office when identifying needy students to receive bursaries.
He told the Malawi News Agency (Mana) in an interview the tendency leads to duplication of beneficiaries; hence, denying others an opportunity.
“Some NGOs go to rural areas to conduct their own identification exercises. We want them to follow district council procedures where a bursary committee sits down and scrutinises the applications and then physically visit the applicants to verify the extent of their vulnerability,” said Sikwese.
He said due to lack of consultation, the NGOs help students who end up dropping out of school.
“We have had students who are on NGOs bursary lists, but have parents who are able to pay school fees for them. So, we wonder how they got the bursaries,” he said.
Action Aid coordinator for Ntchisi, Harry Chikandira, said grass-roots development structures such as area executive and area development committees can also help in the identification exercise.
Currently, Ntchisi has 171 new applications for bursaries against the K6 million (about $18 000) the National Aids Commission (NAC) has disbursed for bursary purposes for the 2012/ 13 school calendar.—Mana