The Global Partnership on Education (GPE) approves a grant of $45 million to improve education sector in Malawi.
Negotiations on funds utilization start tomorrow Wednesday at World Bank offices.
Malawi joined the Global Partnership for Education in 2009 based on its 2008-2017 National Education Sector Plan (NESP).
The country’s education system faces many challenges, including: inadequate school facilities, high dropout rates and pupil-teacher ratios, low completion rate and learning achievement for children in poor rural areas where HIV/AIDS prevalence is high.
Malawi received a GPE grant of $90 million (2010-2014) to implement its sector plan, supervised by the World Bank. The GPE funds were part of a pooled arrangement totaling $256 million with co-financing from Germany, IDA, UNICEF and DfID.
Over the last five years, Malawi government has shown continued commitment to the education sector with the allocation of over 20% of the national budget towards education. As per the recent Malawi Public Expenditure review (World Bank, 2015), public expenditure on education over the last five years has averaged 7% of GDP.
The country has made great progress in the education sector, including enrollments at primary level have increased from 3,671,481 in 2009-10 to 4,188,677 in 2011-12; the gender gap has been reduced significantly by 0.3 point between 2008 and 2012; the number of primary school teachers has increased from 46,380 in 2010 to 55,265 in 2012 in public schools, resulting in an improvement in student-teacher ratio: from 80:1 in 2010 to 74:1 in 2012.
There were 1,164 classrooms built; 13,692 secondary school students from disadvantaged backgrounds are provided with bursaries and of them, a total of 2,249 were provided with additional cash transfer worth US$6 or US$12 per month, including stationeries, and so far 24 districts are benefiting from Primary School Improvement Plan (PSIP) grants and a total of 4,560 schools out of 4,611 have benefited.
The project supported by GPE and the 4 other partners has directly contributed to increasing access and equity, and to enhancing the quality of the teaching and learning environment in Malawi.
The project has improved education infrastructure by constructing 2,380 classrooms and 44 boarding facilities; provided bursary packages to 26,017 students and cash transfers to 4,343 students; 99% of these students are still in school; trained 16,100 teachers through the Open and Distance Learning (ODL) program to enhance the quality of the teaching and learning environment.
Distributed 9 million textbooks; an additional 17.9 million textbooks have been ordered far exceeding the target of 9.8 million textbooks; set up a human resource management information system; trained school personnel and school management/parent teacher associations, and provided grants to all schools to prepare strategic and annual work plans.