Young legislators meeting under the Youth Parliament banner in Malawiâ€™s capital, Lilongwe, on Thursday cited lack of access to quality education as the main challenge the youth are facing in Malawi.
The Youth Parliament, which consists of 193 members from all constituencies, was opened on Wednesday by Speaker of Parliament Henry Chimunthu Banda.
Several youth legislators who spoke during the morning deliberations in the House bemoaned the poor education facilities in the country.
â€œI would like to request government, through the Ministry of Education, to construct school blocks, especially for secondary schools which are very few in this country.
â€œThe issue of inadequate and poor school infrastructure needs to be taken seriously,â€ Boniface Phiri, member for Zomba Changalume Constituency said.
Ntcheu South Constituency representative Chimwemwe Chimbamba also highlighted the same. He said government-run secondary schools are not enough and that most of the schools do not have libraries.
Member for Dedza South Constituency Guston Kamkosi Banda said the number of school dropouts is on the increase nationwide.
â€œThe rate of school dropouts is increasing day by day. Imagine, only 20 percent of the pupils who start primary school reaches Standard 8. The village heads should take an initiative to force their people to go to school and put punitive measures for those who drop out of school,â€ Kamkosi said.
Other key issues the young parliamentarians tackled included the school-feeding programme, school re-entry process, the low pupil-teacher ratio in rural areas, the need for role models in rural schools, vandalism and general studentsâ€™ misconduct.
Youth Parliament is the initiative of the Commonwealth Parliament Association (CPA) and is aimed at giving the youth a platform to air out issues that affect them.
The House continues meeting Friday.