Can CDF be a relief for needy secondary students’ bursary?

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Fears have griped many needy families with needy secondary school bursary following Malawi National Examinations Board (MANEB) announcement that as the schools are opening on 4th January, 2021, parents and guardians must make sure that students take with them examination fees according to the subjects one will sit for.

MANEB released the mode of payments for Form 2 and 4 students Examinations, Junior Certificate of Educations (JCE) and Malawi School Certificate of Educations (MSCE), which will be administered in September, 2021.

The announcements has made panic among many needy families who most of them are poor and are living below poverty line in the typical rural areas and have dependants in the urban centres, who things for them is not working as their companies and factories have rendered them jobless due to the impact of Corona virus pandemic.

Covid -19 restrictions of social distancing, have made companies and factories to trim their staff and shifts to compliment government’s effort of preventing the further spread of the virus with no option but to render some of their employees jobless as them also are not making profits.

Many needy families have now switched on their focus from District Social Welfare Offices to their Members of Parliament (MPs), who, government allocates Constituency Development Fund (CDF) of K40 Million for each and every constituency in Malawi and out of this money K8 Million is earmarked to assist secondary school students’ bursary with school fees.

There is an appeal going round in social media outlets urging MPs to come in and support these needy students’ bursary scheme looking at the K8 Million which is specially allocated to support the needy students.

Minister of Homeland and Security, Hon. Richard Chimwendo Banda MP had time to respond on his official face book page.

“MPs are not given any cash for development, it is not true that CDF is for small development activities, it is a misrepresentation of facts, there’s no single cash at any level in the country, is paid to MPs,”reads part of his writings on the wall.

Chimwendo Banda says with the impact of COVID -19, constituencies were allowed to K3 Million for needy secondary students saying this money is paid by the District Commissioner (DC) directly to the schools and the assessment is done by District Education Managers (DEMs).

He says MPs roles are simply to approve activities that have been arranged by councilors and Area Development Committees (ADCs), saying they approve paper work and monetary transaction.