Education prioritized; gets lion’s share

Malawian school girsl. Picture by UNICEF

The country’s education sector has received a huge boost as it has been allocated the largest portion amounting to K327.3 billion in the 2021-2022 budget which is 3.2 percent of GDP representing 16.5 percent of the total budget.

In his Friday budget presentation, Finance Minister Felix Mlusu justified the move arguing that as an enabler for economic growth and development, the sector has a critical role in the attainment of Malawi’s aspirations.

“For the 9 months of the 2021/2022 fiscal year, and in line with Enabler number 5 in the Malawi 2063, Human Capital Development, this Sector has been allocated the largest portion of the budget at K327.3 billion which is 3.2 percent of GDP and representing 16.5 percent of the total budget.

“These resources will cater for wages and salaries; operations of both primary and secondary schools; for subverted organizations including public universities and to finance projects in the sector,” he announced.

Mlusu said government will continue with initiatives to improve human capital development through infrastructure projects which he outlined will be carried out in the current financial year.

“Completion of the construction of the three Teacher Training Colleges for Primary School Teachers in Mchinji, Chikwawa and Rumphi.

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Mlusu: Inkosi M’mbelwa University to commence during the 2021/2022 fiscal year

“Construction of 383 low-cost classrooms and 52 classroom blocks for primary school education and completion of the construction of 92 new Secondary Schools during the 2021/2022, thereby creating 18,400 spaces in rural schools,” he disclosed.

Government also assured its commitment to mobilize resources for the construction of the Inkosi M’mbelwa University whose works are expected to commence during the 2021/2022 fiscal year.

In an effort to promote quality childhood development, government will start giving honoraria of K15, 000 per month to certified Caregiver Workers during the 2021/2022 fiscal year.

This is expected to motivate the caregiver workers, thereby enhancing their dedication to the job.

Although the education sector has gotten the lion's share, the amount is a 2 percent reduction compared to last year's allocation.

In the 2020/2021budget, the sector was allocated K387.9 billion which was 5.4 percent of the GDP, representing 19.2 percent of the total budget. 

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Agriculture sector given K284.4 billion to help in achieving permanent food security

It is seconded by Agriculture which has been given K284.4 billion which is 2.8 percent of GDP, and representing 14.3 percent of the total budget.

This provision is intended to enhance agricultural productivity as prescribed under Pillar One of the Malawi 2063 and to achieve permanent food security for all Malawians.

The health sector which is recovering from the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic, has been given K187.2 billion which is 1.8 percent of GDP, representing 9.4 percent of the total budget.

These resources will cater for wages and salaries for heath personnel; operational expenses for central and district hospitals, procurement of medical drugs and vaccines; maintenance costs for hospitals and medical equipment as well as development projects.

An allocation of K208.4 billion or 2 percent of GDP, representing 10.5 percent of the total budget has gone to the transport sector.

Out of this, K94.5 billion will go to the Roads Fund Administration for rehabilitation and maintenance of the road network as well as continuation and completion of various road projects across the country.