The Malawi Government on Monday signed a soft loan agreement with the Saudi Fund for Development worth $12 million (about K3 billion) towards construction of three teachers colleges in the country.
The loan will also be used to equip the training collegesâ€”to be constructed in Rumphi, Mchinji and Chikhwawaâ€”with all needed facilities, furniture, technical instruments and laboratories.
The project will be co-financed by Opec Fund for International Development (Ofid) and the Bank for Arab Economic Development (Badea), which will provide $11 million and $7 million, respectively.
Saudi Fund for Development director general (technical services) Hasan Alttas said the signing of the loan agreement demonstrated the Kingdom of Saudi Arabiaâ€™s continuous support to Malawiâ€™s efforts in implementing its needed development programmes.
He said the project is aimed at meeting the increasing demand for qualified teachers in primary schools where the pupil-teacher ratio remains high.
Malawi’s pupil- teacher ratio in primary schools is currently pegged at 1:90 against the required 1: 60.
Finance Minister Ken Lipenga, who signed the loan agreement on behalf of Malawi, said he was pleased that the Saudi Fund has agreed to help Malawi build three teacher training colleges.
â€œI have no doubt that the Saudi Fund will continue to provide the support, not only to the education sector but also to other sectors,â€ said Lipenga. He assured Saudi Arabi that proceeds of the loan will be used solely for intended purpose.
Lipenga, however, requested the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology to ensure that logistics that might delay project implementation are dealt with urgency to ensure timely implementation.