Malawi government urged to allocate more funding to special needs education

Deputy Japanese Ambassador to Malawi Hirotsungu Ikeda has expressed concern over inadequate funding towards Special Needs Education and has asked the Malawi Government to allocate more to the vice.

The deputy Ambassador made the call in Karonga District on Wednesday during the handover ceremony of six classroom blocks and a water solar pump system which were financed by the Japanese Government under Japan’s Grant assistance for Grass root Humanitarian and Security Project to the tune of about K71 Million.

In an interview after the ceremony, Ikeda said as children are the leaders of tomorrow, it is vital that the Malawi Government lead the way by showing a strong political will by allocating adequate financial resources to special needs education and training more qualified special needs teachers to meet the growing demand in schools.

Adding, inadequate funding and support can lead to poor performances of learners especially those with Special Needs hence urged for more resources to be channeled to the sector.

“No one should be left behind in education as outlined by the United Nation’s Sustainable Development goal number four of inclusive education thus we all must make an effort including the government no matter the little resources that might be there because education must be a right to all and this has to be a reality," he said.

On her part Deputy Minister of Education Monica Chang’anamuno, conceded that the country has inadequate shortage of trained special needs teachers saying the creation of a directorate to look into the area of special needs specifically shows Governments commitment in promoting inclusive and equitable education among children with disabilities in the country.

Chang'anamuno (L) with Ikeda getting the plack to mark the official opening of the classroom blocks

“As Malawi we do not have enough teachers to deploy to these institutions but as Government we are committed in addressing these shortfalls as seen with the creation of a directorate in the Ministry of Education therefore we are thankful to the Japanese Government for the construction of the classrooms because this is one of the institution that did not have enough space,” explained Chang’anamuno.

Head teacher for Karonga School of the Deaf Grace Nyirenda, while expressing gratitude to the Japanese Government has called upon well-wishers to assist in the construction of a fence to provide security and protection for the learners.

Established in 2005 under the CCAP Livingstonia Synod, Karonga School of the Deaf currently has an enrollment of 90 pupils.