Children belong to school – Govt

Government has reiterated the need for concerted efforts in coming up with innovative solutions to keep the country’s children in school rather than in labour.

Minister responsible for Education Madalitso Kambawuwa Wirima made the plea on Friday in Lilongwe during a forum on private sector engagement in supporting children’s rights to quality education through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) components.

She said: “I would like to appeal to you to also integrate the aspect of education support in your corporate social responsibility components that will shape better and responsible citizens of this country.

“Together, we can build a Malawi that we all aspire for by 2063, an inclusively wealthy and self-reliant nation.”

Kambawuwa Wirima added child labour can only be eliminated through the provision of mandatory and quality education, and such efforts need collaboration with the private sector.

“My plea to all school authorities is that you should ensure maximum safety of the available school resources. The Ministry depends on you.

“Failure or success of the interventions in education depends on you. The future of this nation rests on your shoulders,” she observed.

On its part, the Teachers Union of Malaŵi (TUM), through its Secretary General Charles Kumchenga, said teachers too have a critical role to play in ensuing that children are in school all time.

“As TUM, we are playing a number of roles. The first role is to ensure that those children who are still at home should go back to school. The second thing is to sensitise the parents and the community so that they should know that school is very important as compared to child labour.

“Thirdly, our role is to make sure that schools are very well positioned for learners to learn and to get proper education,” stressed Kumchenga.

However, the education minister said despite all efforts towards making schools better places for children, the ministry is still facing a number of challenges such as lack of potable clean water and WASH facilities in some schools.

She lamented that such challenges have forced some students out of school.

The engagement forum was organised by TUM alongside the Employers Consultative Association of Malawi (ECAM).

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