The Parley Committee hails boNGO for its work to address inequalities in the education sector
Parliamentary Social and Community Affairs Committee Chairman Savel Kafwafwa has hailed a grassroots education-focused organization – based on Need-driven Grassroots Ownership (boNGO Worldwide) – for launching programs to tackle inequalities in the education sector.
Kafwafwa observed that since its inception in 2007, boNGO Worldwide has undertaken various initiatives designed to complement government efforts to improve the quality of teaching and learning in all public schools in Malawi.
The Dedza North legislator made the remarks at Mtsiliza LEA School in Lilongwe on Tuesday when boNGO Worldwide handed over “happy classrooms” to Ministry of Education, Science and Technology officials.
Through its Happy Schools program, the organization has helped the ministry improve the teaching and learning environment by, among other things, painting classrooms with rich printed materials related to the curriculum.
The organization spends between K550,000 and K850,000 per ‘Happy Classroom’.
Kafwafwa described the Happy Classrooms program as an excellent initiative to reduce inequalities between public and private schools in Malawi.
“It is indeed a magnificent project. And as you can see in Malawi, this is a whole new concept. But what is more surprising is that we only see this kind of initiative in private schools. So it seems that our public schools lacked such initiatives. In every private school in Malawi, you will see some kind of painting and beautiful drawings,” he said.
“And curiously, these people who have money, sometimes even the policy makers themselves, take their children to private schools because they know that they cannot access these kinds of drawings in these public schools. . So for us, as a committee, looking after the social welfare of our children, this is a very good initiative because it tries to address the inequalities that exist because, as a nation, we know what the right standards are, but we don’t follow them,” he added.
Kafwafwa revealed that his committee will discuss with other Members of Parliament (MPs) to see if they can consider adopting the initiative to become a government programme.
In her remarks, boNGO Worldwide Chief Executive Officer, Tereza Mirovicova, assured that her organization’s vision is always to see children and young people in Malawi given the opportunity to develop their full potential in support of the nation’s healthy development.
“boNGO exists to help the government of Malawi raise the standards of education in the areas of early childhood education, primary education and youth education where young people produce films and use them as a platform to facilitate discussion on important topics such as peer pressure and gender,” says Mirovicova.
She said that through this initiative, boNGO intends to paint 44,000 classrooms.
The Deputy Director of Basic Education at the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Ellena Gertrude Chonde-Simango, said the government appreciates the support the organization has provided to the government of Malawi.
Chonde-Simango said government alone cannot achieve its goals of improving the quality of education; therefore, collaboration remains essential to promote quality education in Malawi.
MP for Lilongwe City West, George Zulu, has pledged that he will use part of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) resources to paint classrooms in schools that fall under his constituency.
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