The UK Government through the Department for International Development (DFID) in Malawi has announced support to the Government of Malawi to implement a new national education reform programme that will put many more girls into secondary school; reduce repetition and dropout rates; and support all 5,500 primary schools with new School Improvement Grants. These measures will reduce the average number of children per teacher in primary schools from 81:1 in 2009 to 60:1 by 2013.
The programme, to run between 2010 and 2013, will support the Government to construct over 3,000 new permanent classrooms; build new Teacher Training Colleges; recruit and train more than 20,000 primary school teachers.
DFID is the first Development Partner to disburse funds into the pooled fund established under the new Education Sector-Wide Approach (SWAp). The SWAp was launched in January 2010 with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between ten partners, and a Joint Financing Arrangement involving DFID, Germany, World Bank and UNICEF.
DFID support for education in Malawi equates to 8.5% of the education sector budget in 2010/11; UKaid will fund the education of 375,000 children in primary schools in Malawi, when the new school year starts on 6 September 2010.
Announcing this support, the Head of DFID Malawi, Ms Gwen Hines said;
‘DFID is delighted to be able to make this timely contribution to help build on the progress the Government of Malawi has made in reforming the education sector. We are particularly pleased with the increased funding from Government in this year’s budget, and the focus on delivering real results. A strong education system is critical to Malawi’s socio-economic future. DFID will continue to work with the Government and other donors to ensure that increased resources to education deliver benefits and impact to all Malawians.’