JOHANNESBURG-(MaraviPost)-The education’ rights body, Civil Society Education Coalition (CSEC) alongside with its partners petitioned Southern African Development Community’ (SADC) heads of state on the need to increase national budget towards education.
CSEC engagement SADC heads of state is part of the global campaign in which the organization alongside Africa Network Campaign for All (ANCEFA) and Action Aid International are advancing to African leaders’ commitment towards quality education enhancement.
The Global Campaign for Education (GCE) with its partners has launched a “Call to Action” for increased and sustainable financing to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Four.
The campaign intends to remind world leaders and governments to keep the promise to allocate 20% of the national budget allocation sector in developing countries including Malawi.
The initiative also is advancing on tax justice that its earnings must properly be used in crucial sectors of local people’s wellbeing including education, health, water and sanitation.
In the petition delivered through Malawi embassy in South Africa, the educational CSOs identified a number of factors affecting sectors growth including lack of political will and sovereignty on innovative approach to domestic resource mobilization to bridge gap to financing free quality public inclusive and gender responsive education system;
Not only has that but also lack of and weak implementation mechanisms that guarantee access, retention and performance for all children especially girls in schooled that respect their rights.
Addressing the news conference on Saturday at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) in the capital Lilongwe upon arrival from this year’s 37th Ordinary SADC Summit that was held August 15-17 in Johannesburg, South Africa, Julie Juma, CSEC chairperson and Malawi’s leader of delegation said the region’ presidents must commit to the Education Protocol on Education and Training (2006) Article 4 (e), .
Juma reminded SADC governments to increase spending on education to at least 20% of their national budgets so that core costs such as qualified teachers and adequate, gender and disability responsive infrastructures that are lacking in most countries can be covered.
She disclosed that 34 million children aged 6-11 years are out of school primary school is not wholly free in that parents have to contribute in the wake of the universal primary education.
“There has been poor and dwindling education financing that should promote access to quality and equitable education in the region. We, as SADC Education Civil Society Actors, commit ourselves to be part of the ‘SADC We Want’ campaign led by the SADC Alliance, to promote access to quality education for SADC Citizens
“National budgets and the budget legal and policy frame works should be inclusive and responsive to ensure sufficient allocation for marginalized groups (children with disabilities, girls, rural/remote areas, etc.) and policies to protect them from exclusion or abuse are costed and implemented,” urges Juma.
Echoing on the same, Charles Kumchenga, Teachers Union of Malawi’s (TUM) Secretary General who was part of the delegation urged that child and youth participation in decision making processes at national and SADC levels should be prioritized, taking into consideration gender dynamics.
SADC Secretariat and Member States should also come up with a clear re-entry policy for girls who get pregnant whilst in school in line with SADC Education and Training Protocol Article 4 (b) to ensure access, retention for all children, especially the girls.
Kumchenga added that curriculum should be reviewed to be relevant to the trends, cultures and inclusive of the culture of peace.