The American and UK governments have announced they have together pulled in $64 million (about K35.8 billion at the current exchange rate) for Malawi Early Grade Reading Improvement Activity (Merit).
Merit was designed to support Malawi Government efforts to improve the reading skills of all learners in Standards one to four in all public primary schools.
According to a joint statement from the United States Agency for International Development (USaid) and the UK Department for International Development (DfID), RTI International would implement Merit in close collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.
Stakeholders at national, district and school levels in Malawi, according to the statement, would be involved in implementing the project which begins from September 29, 2015 to September 28, 2020.
More than half of Malawi’s population is below the age of 18, and the US and UK governments realised that education is key to the country’s growth and prosperity.
“Merit is designed to provide technical assistance to the [Ministry of Education] to improve the reading performance of Malawian learners through improved reading instruction, greater parental and community engagement in providing after-school reading support to students.
“[The programme is also meant to] provide a safer environment for students to practise reading, and ensuring that reading interventions are integrated with activities in the education sector and across sectors…”
In the partnership, according to the statement, USaid has contributed $57.2 million (about K32 billion), with DfID adding a further $6.8million (about K 3.8 billion) through delegated cooperation. n