November 2018 – Statement with regard to secondary school tuition fees in Malawi
The government of Malawi has announced the abolition of tuition fees for all secondary school children, with immediate effect. On the face of it this may appear to be a great move towards making education for all more accessible. However, when this happened with primary schools in the 1990’s it caused major problems – some of which are still being felt more than two decades later.
The main issue is that already significantly under resourced schools are going to face a sharp drop in their income, and this will not be compensated for by the government.
The speed of the implementation of this abolition of fees and its, as yet unclear, impact on schools, leads us to a dilemma. Individual bursaries were developed by Bwengu Projects Malawi to enable access to secondary education for some of the most disadvantaged students.
With your continued support it is proposed we use money previously allocated for bursary fees to support the other areas of our work. We anticipate the rise of student enrollment at secondary schools will significantly increase the demand for resources.