Press Release

MAJOR INITIATIVE ON GIRLS’ EDUCATION LAUNCH IN MALAWI

The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology is delighted to announce that a major initiative aimed at getting hundreds more girls to complete secondary school will be formally launched in Malawi. A partnership between the Malawi Government, Ministry of Education Science and Technology, Campaign for Female Education (Camfed) and The MasterCard Foundation will provide comprehensive scholarships to 1,275 girls in rural districts of Malawi, and is built on the joint commitment to the education and advancement of young people. In addition to the secondary school scholarships, 4 500 school children and community members will also receive financial literacy training to assist young people develop skills for economic independence. The MasterCard Foundation collaborates with non-governmental organisations and academic institutions to enable young people to secure new opportunities that will drive their own prosperity and that of their community and nation. Camfed, a nongovernmental organisation, has shown through its successful work in 5 African countries since 1993 that education of girls and economic empowerment of young women are key drivers in the eradicaton of poverty. The poverty cycle in Malawi is perpetuated by low educational attainment among women in particular. For instance, only 64% of women between the ages of 15 and 49 in rural areas of Malawi are literate. There is a direct correlation between lower levels of education among Malawian women, high birth rates, early marriage and high maternal mortality. Offering bursary support to girls in schools is one major strategy towards ensuring girls are able to stay in school, avoid being married

early, and can build a foundation for a better life for themselves and their families and participate in the development of the nation.

The main event for the launch will be a public function where learners will conduct various activities aimed at raising awareness to policy makers and the general public on the need to join hands addressing challenges faced by young people in education. It is also a celebration of the efforts by so many girls to stay in school regardless of the challenges prevalent. The function will be held at Dzumila Secondary School in Chikhwawa District, and will be presided over by The Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Hon. Eunice Kazembe, MP. The Ministry is therefore calling upon all Malawians to join in celebrating this significant support towards the girl child and participate in the activities on this day.

Dr. Macphail Magwira
SECRETARY FOR EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

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