LILONGWE, MaraviPost: In a statement DPP led Government is accusing its embattled Vice President Saulos Chilima of lying to his UTM supporters about the background that led to the abolition of Quota System that was opposed by many in the Northern region since its introduction during the Autocratic rule of Kamuzu Banda.
On Thursday, 27th February 2020, Government announced the following policy changes:
(a) Reintroduction of Junior Certificate Examinations
(b) Abolition of quota system at tertiary level of education
Government clarified that these two policy changes are a result of wide consultative processes that the Government of Malawi, through the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, took with key stakeholders. In addition, the abolition of quota system follows several developments that will ensure more student space in tertiary institutions than before.
Government has taken the following measures to necessitate abolition of quota system:
a) Creation of new universities out of the University of Malawi. The new universities will increase the number of Public Universities from four (4) to six (6) and greatly increase the intake and, therefore, accord the youth access to higher education.
b) Government of Malawi, with funding from the US Government, is constructing 250 secondary schools. In addition, Government is running a project to expand 100 Community Day Secondary Schools. These projects will ensure better secondary education and a level field at MSCE level.
c) Government of Malawi has, through the National Council for Higher Education, accredited dozens of academic programmes in private universities. These have become an alternative to those not selected to public universities.
d) Government of Malawi, through Higher Education Loans Board, is providing support to students from both public and private universities. The aim is to ensure that more students access higher education than before.
e) Government of Malawi has, through the construction of Community Technical Colleges and Skills Development Centres, provided an alternative for those students who will not be selected to universities.
With this background and following speeches at a UTM rally in Mzuzu on Sunday, 1st March 2020, Government would like to advise Dr. Saulos Chilima that the policy shifts are a product of a long process of consultation and research taken by the Government. Dr. Chilima was aware of the consultative process.
Further, Government would like to remind Dr. Chilima and the UTM that quota system was a national policy and not a regional policy.
Finally, Government would like to remind all Malawians that in public service, the policy changes are not campaign tools as suggested by Dr. Chilima and UTM party.
If the policy changes were that easy to make and indeed political, then they would have been pronounced at a political rally prior to May 2019 elections.
It is also important to understand that the possibility of a fresh presidential election does not mean that Government business has come to a halt.
Malawi has a functional Government with a President and Cabinet. Government will continue to function and serve Malawians in their best interest.
Mark Michael Botomani, M.P.
MINISTER OF INFORMATION, CIVIC EDUCATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY