United States (US) Ambassador Virginia Palmer says her government recognises girls’ education as the best investment for Malawi to improve its economic and public health status.
Palmer was speaking during the handover of a girls’ hostel at Mpherembe Community Day Secondary School (CDSS) in Mzimba yesterday.
She said a 2016 report titled Evidence for the World’s Best Investment published by Brookings Institute in the US, listed positive outcomes associated with girls’ education.
Said Palmer: “The report says investing in girl-child education pays dividends in health because there is less malaria and HIV. It pays also dividends in economic development because women do better in the marketplace. So, with such hostels, we hope to lower HIV infection rates because there is evidence that every year the girl stays in school reduces her lifetime risk of HIV.”
In his remarks, Minister of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST) Bright Msaka said government is committed to the promotion of education as evidenced by the increased funding in the present budget.
The hostel was constructed under the $10.5 million (about K7.7 billion) Apatseni Mwayi Atsikana Aphunzire (Amaa) (Give Girls a Chance to Learn) project implemented by Save the Children with funding from the US Government.
Five secondary schools are being constructed in Machinga and six others in Balaka under the same project, through which support is also being provided to the US Department of Agriculture and World Food Programme to build a school each in Chiradzulu, Dedza, Mulanje, Nsanje and Thyolo.