LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The Civil Society Coalition for Education (CSEC) on Wednesday, June 7, 2023 told President Lazarus Chakwera’s Tonse government to stop depending donors on education financing.
CSEC, The Forum for African Women Educationalists in Malawi (FAWEMA), ECD Coalition, Fount for Nations, Rays of Hope, Girls Activist Youth Organisation and Oxfam Malawi are demanding decolonisation in education financing.
The call comes as part of this year’s Global Action Weak for education.
Addressing the news conference in the capital Lilongwe the grouping joins the Global Campaign for Education (GCE) and all chapters around the world to highlight that there is an urgent need to demand a massive scaling up of financing, ensuring that it is accountable and reaches the most marginalised, including learners with diverse needs and that these resources are used to strengthen the effective delivery of quality and equitable inclusive education for all.
The education grouping proposes serious austerity measures, increasing in tax collection bases and among others.
CSEC Executive Director Benedicto Kondowe observes that as long as education financing is left in the hands of donors, challenges in the sector will not end.
Kondowe cited IMF gives a conditionality of government wage bill not go beyond, seven percent if it is to access some credit facilities.
“With more illicit tax evasion and capital fright, CSEC and its partners also reinforce that tax justice must be a priority for ensuring sufficient and adequate resources for education.
“The recent acknowledgement by the Minister of Finance that Malawi loses around US$700 million annually in agriculture exports validates our call for swift and robust tax measures to address the challenge,” observes Kandowe.
CSEC Chairperson Limbani Nsapato chips in, “Government cannot increase salaries of civil servants of which teachers are part or pay allowances beyond a certain amount because doing so would inflate the wage bill there by contravening the conditionality for the loan”.
He said this undermines teachers’ motivation, and also restricts investment in the education sector.
Nsapato argued that while government is doing away with donor financing in the education sector, it must consider alternative financing such as introducing levies and promoting organised corporate social responsibility by stakeholders.
He added that currently, there is no coordination or documentation of CSR activities in the country.
“Just imagine how much impact it would have to introduce, let’s say if any corporate entity has a CSR activity, fifty per cent of it must be implemented by the entity while fifty per cent must be directed to an area of government’s interest.”
Nsapato therefore urged government to leverage on the CSR activities to deal with some challenges in some sectors such as education.