“Let’s Visit Phalombe Schools and Appreciate How They are Doing it”

Copied from the wall of Kondu________________________________

We heard it loud and clear. Quota system is aiding “dumb” students to secondary schools and universities. The argument was, under merit such whack would not proceed further with their education beyond primary school.

Some understood in a manner that the fact that each district was sending 10 students to secondary/university meant the region with more districts was sending more students than any other. In this case, the northern region was sending only 50 students whilst central and southern regions were sending in excess of 100.To turn this around, they advocated for merit.

However, one factor that was disregarded was a proper research if indeed the students from the other regions were as dumb as depicted.

On the other hand, if indeed it’s true that students of one region are very “intelligent” than any other.Merit comes, surprises, surprises.

The highest performing primary school comes from Phalombe. It has done excellent job than any other primary school in the whole Malawi.

If it were me, I would humbly visit the school and appreciate how they are doing it.

Mind you, Phalombe has produced a lot of rare gems in Malawi however in silence and I am not surprised with such news which others are learning it now.

Now, under merit, Nsanje can send all its scholars to secondary schools whilst Thyolo sends none. That’s merit actually. It sees no district nor region. Basically it concentrates of grades.

I have an interesting data below:

1. On the data, northern region scores 83% with 36984 students passing

2. Southern comes with 82% passing rate and with 101598 passing.

3. Central region comes with 80% with 86825.Out of the above, almost 3 times the northern region figure passed in the southern and 1.3 times the central region figure.

However, on the selection list, the central region tops the list. I would not be naive to question why students from the Central region tops the list of the selection yet a lot that passed came from the southern region.

In that lane, I would corner myself to the quota system ideology. My understanding then is that a lot passed in the southern region but their grades did not warrant them to get the selection. Isn’t that merit? Yes it is.

Passing rate doesn’t translate into the most desirable grades. Passing an exam is another thing, getting a selection is another.

With the limited spaces, some that passed may fail to make in into the list of the national selection. It’s normal.

However, I must accept that they are some genuine cases of consideration. It has always been that case. And the board must revisit and consider such genuine cases.

That being the case, if others feel merit is failing to meet their expectations of seeing their particular districts topping in the selection list then humbly go public, swallow your pride and renounce merit in favour of quota.

The only way out is at least to have your district send 10 students than none where being the case that other districts have upped their game beyond your expectation.

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