MPs Demand for More Infrastructure for SEED Schools
Parliamentarians from the Public Accounts and Education, Science and Technology Committees have commended, but with caution, the progress of the construction of secondary schools in rural areas under the Secondary Education Expansion for Development (SEED) project being funded by the US government.
During an inspection tour, the parliamentarians raised a number of concerns which, among others, were limited boreholes, toilets, and teacher houses and a lack of electricity wiring in the houses.
Chairperson for the parliamentary committee on education Brainax Kaise said there is a need to construct more teacher houses to make the new schools effective.
“They have only done tubing and we want them to include wiring and electricity because these schools have been constructed in very rural areas and it will be very hard for these people to get electricity as laboratories need electricity too,” he said.
“We are also concerned with the number of houses, being in rural areas, it will be hard for teachers to get a house for rent,” he added.
USAID Malawi Education Office Director Christine Veverka said they will look into the concerns in the next phase of the project in collaboration with the ministry of education.
“It was a wonderful conversation and we will take them under consideration and do justice to all of the questions and concerns,” she said.
She added, “We are living in a different world now than we were in 2018 when we signed the memorandum of understanding which was before Covid 19. All of these are factors are to be considered as we embark on this partnership as there will be budget implications.”
On 5 May 2022, USAID, the Ministry of Education, and UNICEF signed a memorandum of understanding where UNICEF will be providing the schools with furniture.
The SEED project is a 92-billion-kwacha partnership between the Malawi Government and the US Government to improve education and health for Malawian youth, targeting adolescent girls and young women.
Through the current phase of SEED rural, 38 schools across nine districts will be constructed with the majority expected to be completed in October this year.