The country’s educational civil society organisations (CSOs) are commemorating Global Action Week for Education (GAWE) with a number of activities under the theme ‘Accountability for Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 and active citizen participation’ from April 22 to 28, 2018.

This is an annual event; every year a theme is ignited based on the issue within institution sector. The key activities are youth adult education workshop, solidarity march and high level lobby meeting with stakeholders in education.

GAWE is an international annual campaign which is commemorated worldwide under the hospices of global campaign for education with support from United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) to raise awareness of the importance of education for achieving sustainability to reach the global educational goal by 2030.

The NGOs made the remarks on Monday during a media briefing on overview of the global action week on education and the objective and relevance of the campaign to Malawi education system (challenges and expected outcome) at Action Aid Malawi Board room in Lilongwe.

Civil Society Education Coalition (CSEC), DVV International, Action Aid, Save the Children, NORAD are working together to fulfill the Global Campaign for education (GCE).

In an interview, Executive Director for Civil Society Education Coalition (CSEC), Benedict Kondowe said this year’s theme is important to consider due to investment challenges of education that Malawi government is passing through.

“Malawi is committed to SDG 4 which is important to making strategic investment in order to achieve the campaign of the goal in education,” said Kondowe.

He further said government with GCE partners all over the world and international community should be held accountable with their citizens and civil society organisations in promoting accessible quality inclusive and relevant education.

Kondowe added that Malawi is registering nose itching education statistics with 14000 caregivers trained out of 35000 providing early childhood development (ECD) education in their centres across the country and a permanent classroom learner ratio of 1:121.

“In 2016 out of a total of 15000 University student’s applicants, only 3,247 were allocated a place in the public universities translating to environment rate of 22 percent,” he pointed out.

Among other participants, a Malawian activist from the Natural Resources College, Brenda Mwale said according to 2016 UNESCO statistics, 65.75 percent of adult education population aged 15 years and above are able to read and write.

He said GAWE 2018 will provide GCE golden opportunity for increased Malawian citizens to participate in holding government and the international community accountable to commitment made for SDG 4 and education 30 agenda.

“We are especially aware of the fact that GCE partners and all the people in Malawi are at a critical point which calls for collective action,” said Mwale.