MALAWI: World Bank approves grant to support education sector

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Thu May 12 15:15:01 UTC 2005

Alerting Humanitarians to Emergencies

MALAWI: World Bank approves grant to support education sector
05 May 2005 17:46:20 GMT

Source: IRIN

JOHANNESBURG, 5 May (IRIN) - The World Bank has announced a US $32.2
million programme to boost Malawi's education sector. Dr Michael Mambo,
the World Bank education specialist for Malawi and Zambia, told IRIN that
the programme should start "sometime in July", and run for five years. The
Education Sector Support programme "aims to enhance education quality by
improving the conditions and processes of teaching and learning at the
school level. It will also help increase the number of qualified teachers,
improve the capacity and the quality of education service delivery by
fostering community participation, and strengthen the management of human
and financial resources at district and primary school levels," the Bank
said in a statement.

"The grant is basically for constructing a teachers' college, and
refurbishing or rehabilitating four secondary schools in the [country's]
three provinces. It will also provide school health nutrition packages for
all primary schools in Malawi," Mambo noted. The grant focused on
improving the quality of education in Malawi, because "there's not much
point expanding something that's not worth anything, so whilst addressing
access [to education] issues, we also need to address the quality issues",
he explained.

A further aim of the programme was "to provide money directly to the
schools, to spend on items such as chalk; the basics that they don't get,
normally", Mambo added. The World Bank also wants Malawi to review its
current education policies. "The other component is to do with policy
reforms, which we want the government to look at - the higher education
policies, language policies, teacher deployment policy. They don't have a
language policy to start with; teacher deployment is skewed toward the
urban areas, to the detriment of rural areas; and in higher education too
much money is spent on non-core activities - like feeding and housing of
students," Mambo commented.

The Bank noted that "by improving learning outcomes at all levels, the
project will enhance conditions for school effectiveness that will
contribute to changes in the behaviours of teachers and students".

According to the Bank, the bulk of its grant, $15.5 million, will be spent
on "teacher capacity development [that] will complement government and
donors' efforts to improve quality, and expand the capacity of teacher
development and training at all levels".

Improving the condition of selected secondary schools, staffed with
trained teachers or newly trained teachers, will take up $3.7 million.

A third component of the programme, "Direct Support to Primary Schools",
will also receive $3.7 million for basic learning materials, "while
strengthening the participation of communities in school management".

Nutritional support and health packages to primary schools will cost $3
million, including the distribution of vitamin A and iron-folic acids to
schoolchildren under 10 years of age, and de-worming, malaria and fever

An allocation of $1.4 million will go towards the development of a
"medium- to long-term prioritised and costed education sector strategic
plan", the Bank said. "This will form the base for a future sector-wide
approach programme ... and capacity building plan for training Ministry of
Education staff at central and decentralised levels".

IRIN news

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