Additional secondary schools to be constructed in Malawi

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Additional secondary schools are set be constructed in Malawi. This is after it emerged that more than 100,000 eligible students are set to miss out on Form 1 placements due to shortage of space in the available schools. According to the Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Agnes Nyalonje, out of the 225 387 students who passed the 2019/20 examinations, only 84 947 candidates have been selected to start Form One in various secondary schools, leaving out 140,440 eligible students.

“It is for this reason that my ministry has made construction of additional secondary schools a top priority because to double the transition rate from 37.73% to 76% we need 949 secondary schools which translates into 11,388 classrooms and 5,694 classroom blocks,” said Nyalonje.

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Cost of construction

She further added that the government will need nearly US $3.7bn to carry out the project across the country. “Costed at US $3.9m per school, this comes to nearly US $3.7bn. If we were to stagger the construction of these schools across a five-year period we would require US $737.4m per year,” she said.

The minister explained that the 250 secondary schools being supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will create 1,000 classrooms by 2023. She said that currently 44 of these schools have been completed and by the end of 2021, an additional 40 schools will be completed.

“The low overall selection rate reflects the low number of secondary school places available across the country and a collective national failure to meet the needs of our young people. As a ministry, and as Tonse Alliance, we commit to working with all relevant stakeholders to try and address the need for secondary school places. That is why my ministry is doing everything possible to speed up the construction the rest of the 206 schools,” said Nyalonje.