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Education and Access – Opening spaces for the marginalised

The Malawi Education Conference ‘Education and Access – Opening spaces for the marginalised’ takes place from the 20th to 22nd August 2014 in Lilongwe, Malawi. It is organised by the Faculty of Education, Chancellor College, University of Malawi. And supported by the Canon Collins Education and Legal Assistance Trust (CCELAT) and the UK Department for International Development (DfID).

The development of a nation is closely related to access to, and opportunity for, meaningful education. In spite of an argued improvement in access to education for the general population in Malawi - and other SADC countries - marginalised groups are still unable to access education and their needs remain unmet. These inequities have led to a widening socio-economic gap between main stream learners and those on the periphery.

With marginalised groups excluded from education, it is difficult for Governments to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. For example, it is unlikely that MDG 2 (universal primary education), MDG 3 (gender equality and empowerment of women) or MDG 6 (combat of HIV, Malaria and other diseases) will be met by the targeted 2015. The Government of Malawi, through the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST) recognises these problems and has responded by including ‘access and equity’ as priority areas in its Policy investment Framework and the National Education Sector Plan (NESP).

In view of the above, there is an urgent need for continued dialogue and debate among stakeholders. We need to draw on recent research and learning to (i) sustain momentum already in place, and (ii) develop more effective strategies to address inequity in education so as to intensify our efforts to accomplish the MDGs and NESP goals.

The Faculty of Education at Chancellor College, University of Malawi is hosting an International Conference that will bring together critical stakeholders from the education and NGO sectors, government, and the business community. Academics, researchers, teachers, activists, policy makers, community leaders, youth, and other concerned stakeholders are invited to join the debate and deliberate ways of opening access for marginalised groups.

For further information please contact: Dr. Elizabeth T. Kamchedzera etkamchedzera@gmail.com

created on 08-05-2014