Interview with H.E Mr. Fabiano Emmanuel, Minister of Education, Science & Technology, Malawi
- May 16, 2017
“Malawi on the verge of education amelioration”
Q. How do you think the trade relations between India and Malawi could be improved?
A. I think the trade relations between India and Malawi could be improved through more active participation of Malawians and Indians. At present, not much of the Malawians are involved in trade. People in Malawi are the permanent residents and some of them come to Malawi just for business. They buy most of the produce in the country and sell it outside the country. This kind of trade doesn’t benefit the country. We want more and more potential participants in trade through cooperatives so that it could benefit the country as well.
Q. What is the current status of the education sector in Malawi and what steps and policies are being framed by the government to improve the condition of education sector?
A. Well the current situation is that we have many learners in the primary school sector, but we don’t have the proportionate learners in secondary and high school. Currently we are working very hard to make sure that we expand the secondary and high school sector and therefore increase the transition of learners from primary to secondary and from secondary to higher education. The purpose of my visit to India is to find out the ways and means of identifying the partners who can assist Malawi from the technical point of view so that we can expand higher education and focus on providing the online programs through new institutions.
Q. Malawi has a high dropout rate especially in secondary and primary schooling. What steps are being initiated by the government to improve this situation?
A. This high dropout rate is due to a number of factors, in the primary education there are so many learners who start their schooling at an early age. Most of them are under-aged. They face so many challenges and one of the primary challenge is walking to school and walking back home again. There are more dropouts from the underaged learners as compare to the right aged one. We are working to expand the preschool education sector so that learners start their primary education at the right age. The transition rate from primary education to secondary education is not very high. Many of the learners lose their hope. Another factor is that most of the parents forcefully involve their children in various domestic activities. We need contribution from the parents so that they could encourage their children to stay and complete their schooling. We’ve also observed that the number of girls among the total dropouts is high as compared to boys. If we are able to address all these factors then we’ll surely be able to decrease the dropout rate.
Q. If investors decide to come and invest in Malawi’s education sector, what incentives and benefits should they expect from the government in terms of taxation and subsidies?
A. Investors are welcome to invest in the education sector. Investors could enter through a public-private partnership. Every investor pays tax, but the taxation differs as per the nature of the business. To a large extent most of the investors in the education sector invests to expand. When you expand you do a re-investment. Re investment quite often doesn’t requires tax. So tax management is all about how the investor is managing the investment and how are they operating, privately or with the government. There is indeed a room for negotiation.
Q. What are your views and opinions on India’s education sector?
A. Indian education system is very interesting. India has done very well in science and technology. Definitely the engineering education and ICT India has achieved a lot. In the heath sector India has done improved exceptionally well. I’ve been to the Indian institutions which provide the aforesaid education and I witnessed the world class facilities. Malawi is already getting benefits from the Indian government. I am here in India to identify institutions with which we want to work. We also need the assistance from the Indian government to improve the education sector in Malawi.
Q. What are your expectations from the Indian government in terms of assistance/contribution to the welfare of Malawi’s education sector?
A. comes in two forms. First is from the academic side from the experts who could help us in developing the modules for our online programs. The second form is the assistance in technological or the ICT. We are using satellite to provide online programs and we would like to expand it more. We also want to use the fiber optics to offer the online programs. We want to make all the facilities available and India could surely help us with this.
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