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Boost for education in Malawi

Malawi is the first pilot country to receive support through the Government’s global education effort. ‘Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world. Norway will provide around NOK 100 million annually to strengthen the country’s education sector. In cooperation with the authorities and other partners in education, Norway will help a new generation of children in Malawi to have a better future,’ said Prime Minister Erna Solberg.

In connection with Norway’s intensified effort to promote education in developing countries, Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Foreign Minister Børge Brende are today visiting Nthulu primary school.

‘14 % of the children in Malawi do not attend school. Every fourth pupil has to repeat a year. Only 35 % of the girls and 41 % of the boys get as far as year 8. There are not enough teaching materials and not enough qualified teachers. Child marriages are widespread; nor is it uncommon for children to become parents. By helping girls complete their schooling, we are also helping create positive ripple effects in the areas of maternal and child health and women’s rights. That is why we are giving priority to education for girls,’ said Mr Brende.

Today Norway has signed an agreement with the UN and the authorities in Malawi to support a new UN programme designed to promote access to and quality of education for girls in Malawi. This programme includes school meals, health services, measures combating gender-based violence, sexuality and human rights education, and further professional training for teachers. Norway is providing NOK 112 million for this programme over the course of three years. The NOK 45 million allocated for this programme in 2015 is part of the NOK 100 million Norway has set aside annually.

Norway and Malawi have been partners in development cooperation for 15 years. This provides a good basis for expanding the cooperation and trying out new methods and partnerships in education. Norway expects the Malawian authorities to make a concerted national effort within the field of education. The new President of Malawi, Peter Mutharika, has made education a priority. At a meeting with Ms Solberg and Mr Brende, President Mutharika expressed his interest in further cooperation.

‘In our efforts to promote global education, we will build on and exploit positive ripple effects in areas where we are already engaged in Malawi: health, nurses training, climate services, agriculture and food security, women and gender equality, democratic development and human rights. We also have a strong focus on financial governance and control,’ said Foreign Minister Brende.

The population of Malawi is approximately 15.4 million. The size of its fiscal budget is about one per cent of the Norwegian fiscal budget. About half of the people in Malawi have an income of less than seven kroner a day. Half of the children are growth stunted due to malnutrition.

 

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