Thursday, October 14, 2010

Concern launches education programme in Nsanje

Concern Worldwide recently launched
a new education programme in
Nsanje district, which has been hailed
by stakeholders as a timely intervention
in promoting the education of the girl
child in the district.
Speaking during the official launch at
Phokera, Deputy Director of Basic
Education, Chikondi Mussa said
Government was pleased with
programme and pledged support to make
the programme a success.
“The programme goal for Concern is
impressive. It shows that things are not
okay in Nsanje hence the need for this
kind of intervention. Although Concern’s
approach is not all that new it’s,
however, unique in that it recognizes
that it’s everyone’s job to solve the
problems being faced, especially by the
girl child in Nsanje,” explained Mussa.
Mussa, who was the guest of honour
during the launch, said her Ministry has
introduced a number of initiatives in the
district, which will complement the
programme and assure its success.
“As government, we know there are
problems in our education system such
as shortage of teachers. But we are
putting up strategies to fill in the gaps
like the Open Distance Learning
Programme (ODL), which has already
kick started in Nsanje. Also, government
is constructing better facilities to
entice pupils, especially, the girl child
to go to school. We know that many
structures are not friendly to girls,
hence our efforts to upgrade the
water and sanitation facilities in
Nsanje and other schools across the
country,” she said.
In his remarks, Country Director
of Concern Worldwide, Johnson
Byamukama said his organisation is
privileged to support Malawi realize
its education goals in line with the
Millennium Development Goals 2 and
“We look forward to work ing with
the Ministry of Education and the
Nsanje District Education department
to implement this programme so that
we help realize the dreams of many
children in the district ,” he said.
“We believe by empowering
communities, there will be a sea of
change in attitude and practices that
will eventually lead to the freeing of
more children to access and be retained
in the school system. We will also use
our presence and experience in the
education sector to contribute to
relevant policy debates and on issues
that inhibit the full participation of girls
and vulnerable children in Nsanje,” he
Mussa’s concerns were also shared
by the traditional leadership, which was
represented by Senior Chief Tengani,
“I know there are chiefs in Nsanje who
still condone the harmful practices of
early marriages. This is a bad practice,
which I will not condone.
“Instead of marrying off our
daughters, let’s catch them young and
make them understand the importance
of education. It’s now up to us to
encourage our girls to seize this
opportunity and as parents and
guardians we should be behind them for
support. It’s high time Nsanje features
in the news for good things. That’s why
this project is good for Nsanje,” said
Chief Tengani. n
ment of girl’s education by actively
engaging the communities and the
education department during
Byamukama added that the
programme will seek to change the
negative behaviours that have
traditionally hindered progress.

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