Saturday, April 13, 2024

Minister of Education Wirima says there is an increased number of bursary beneficiaries in the country

Kambauwa Wirima

Minister of Education, Madalitso Kambauwa Wirima, has revealed a significant growth in the number of students receiving bursaries, surging from 30,288 in 2019 to 42,433 in 2023, marking a notable increase of 39.5 percent. The Ministry of Education asserts that this surpasses the target set by the National Education Sector Investment Plan (NESIP)-2025, which aimed for 40,000 beneficiaries, indicating a positive trend in expanding educational support.

Addressing the audience on Wednesday during the Shaping our Future Foundation 2023 awards ceremony in Blantyre, Minister Wirima emphasized that, despite the commendable increase in the number of beneficiaries over the years, there remains a considerable population of students in need of financial assistance.

She underscored the pressing need for collaborative efforts to ensure that all children in the country have access to secondary education, deeming it foundational for national development.

“As the numbers of beneficiaries rise, the government, along with its partners, faces the challenge of maintaining and expanding this positive trajectory to secure a brighter future for the youth and the country as a whole.

“Together we can provide an opportunity to the youth of this country to access secondary education in the spirit of leaving no one behind as outlined in the Sustainable Development Goal number four,” she said.

Wirima added that governments vision seeks to eradicate barriers hindering students from pursuing their educational aspirations as government allocated a budget of over K900 million for the government bursaries programme in the 2023 to 2024 financial year.

“This allocation reflects a commendable 36.9 per cent increase compared to the funds allocated in the preceding 2022 to 2023 financial year. The focus on both boys and girls ensures a comprehensive approach to addressing financial challenges faced by students, promoting educational accessibility across genders.

“Looking ahead, there are prospects for further augmentation, with the budget anticipated to be adjusted to over K1 billion in the 2024/2025 financial year,” she said.

Blantyre Secondary School Headteacher, Hilda Gwauya expressed concern over increase in number of needy students requiring support and financial attention from partners.

She added by calling on donors to persist in offering mentorship programmes, highlighting their potential to significantly encourage and motivate students.

“We require additional donors to complement the government’s efforts in assisting needy students. It is within our capacity to support someone’s vision and help them realize their future aspirations. Let us embrace the willingness to aid others in achieving their goals.” she added.


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