Blantyre — Ministry of Education, Science and Technology has challenged the private sector to invest in girl's education by taking part in the Funo Langa Fundraising campaign for secondary education.
The call was made on Wednesday in Blantyre by the Ministry's Deputy Director of Secondary Education, Ruth Kumbali during the launch of the Funo Langa Girls' Education Trust Fundraising Campaign being championed by UNICEF, New Finance Bank and the ministry.
"Fundraising for girl's education is significant as you are aware that the needs of girls are enormous and the ministry alone cannot do it.
We are glad that NFB and UNICEF have come in to work with the ministry in order to mobilise resources to support education of the girl child.
"Currently, the Ministry of Education together with other partners, are supporting 18,990 secondary school girls but the needs are greater out there," said Kumbali.
Kumbali also urged other companies and the corporate world to come forward with their support as the ministry's strategic plan emphasises on Public Private Partnership to ensure the delivery of equitable access to quality education to the Malawian child.
"We would want to reach out to as many or even all girls that are vulnerable, those coming from poor families as well as low socio economic status.
"Every year when we are doing our screening we leave out a lot of girls who have the right to education," she added.
Chief Executive Officer for New Finance Bank, a key partner in the Trust Fund, Zandile Shaba said investing in girls' education is key to promoting the country's GDP as well as development.
"We know that educating girls is important in Malawi. It has been proven that when you are educating women, you actually develop the nation such that nations that fail educating women seem to fall behind in terms of development.
"The cost of education girls is nothing compared to the growth in GDP and when you leave 52 percent of your population behind you fall behind in terms of GDP and development goals," said Shaba.
Shaba also called upon all Malawians to take a leading role in supporting the growth and development of the country's human capital by contributing to the trust fund.
"We cannot leave this issue to government alone as it is too big and important. We can achieve much by partnering together as we believe the PPP like the one by MoEST, NFB and UNICEF, is the best solution to supporting the development agenda of Malawi as well as contributing to the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),"
UNICEF Malawi Representative, Johannes Wedenig said the organisation thought of partnering with the private sector as education is an issue that cannot be addressed individually but by the society together.
"This campaign gives Malawian companies, expatriates and ordinary citizens opportunity to donate. A donation of K125, 000 can fund a child through one year of secondary school.
"Even though tuition fees have been removed, there are other fees and levies that schools have and these costs have to be borne by parents. These costs can prevent children from attending secondary school such that we need to make education affordable for all and ensure that all fees are covered," said Wedenig.
Wedenig said that funds raised will be channelled through the Girls Secondary Education Trust which brings together existing bursaries provided by UNICEF, CAMFED, AGE Africa, government and other stakeholders.
"These bursaries cover full school fees as well as school uniforms, school bags, sanitary pads and stationery," he added.
During the launch, NFB donated K2 million into the Funo Langa Fundraising campaign for secondary education. Members of the Golfer Union of Malawi have also contributed K1 million towards the Trust Fund.