A group of civil society organisations (CSOs) in Malawi has called on government and development partners to urgently increase funding for education.
The CSOs, including Civil Society Education Coalition (CSEC), Save the Children, Action Aid Malawi and NGO Coalition on Child Rights, made the call as they launched the 2021 Global Action Week for Education (GAWE).
This year’s GAWE will be celebrated under the theme ‘Education Financing, inline with the Policy Framing of the One Billion Voices Campaign’.
According to the CSOs, without adequate funding, the promise of accessible, equitable, quality, inclusive and relevant education cannot be realised in Malawi.
In Malawi, the total education budget has consistently trended upwards in nominal and real terms since 2015/2016.
In 2019/20, the education sector (inclusive of appropriation in aid for higher education institutions) was allocated a total of MK440 billion compared to MK367 billion in the previous year.
However, the Covid-19 pandemic has adversely impacted global economy.
‘This has upended the education sector and greatly threatened the progress of the entire sustainable development agenda and specifically Sustainable Development Goal Four’, the CSOs said in a statement.
ActionAid Malawi representative, Aisha Kabungwe, said that the CSOs will be engaging ministers of education and finance, development partners and other key players in what he described as ‘high level policy discussions’.
‘The whole idea is to have a proper policy conversation in terms of how best we can mobilise resources to education amidst Covid-19’, she said.
‘We need alternative sources of financing education beyond traditional means such as the national budget. This is critical in terms of leveraging resources for we know that the national budget is competitive and, therefore, unlikely that the education sector would be given all the resources it requires’.
Kondowe further said that there must be innovative financing models that would help Malawi generate additional resources outside the education budget.
According to the CSOs, the GAWE theme ‘perfectly’ aligns with their stance that the government and the international community should ensure more and better financing of education.
Source: Nyasa Times
Photo source: NGO Board of Malawi