- A new teacher training college was inaugurated in Malawi today to enhance the foundation of primary education in the country.
An estimated 5,000 people are reported to have attended the official inauguration of Amalika Teacher Training College, established and operated by Development Aid from People to People (DAPP) in Malawi, under the Planet Aid / USDA funded "Food for Progress Program" and with co-funding from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland and UFF Finland.
The chairperson of DAPP Malawi, Bolette Strandbygaard, said the inauguration was a sign of commitment by all to the better life and future of all children.
"We are gathered here - from many corners of Malawi, as well as other corners of the world - because we share a common goal; the goal of a country where all children complete their basic education, where teachers are able to reach each and every child, and where every child in this way has got a foundation to create a better life for him or herself. We are here because we have taken it upon ourselves to play our part in this important task - in so many different ways," she said.
President Bingu wa Mutharika, who was the guest of honour at the ceremony, recognised the critical role that DAPP plays in complementing governmental efforts in teacher education and other sectors in Malawi and expressed gratitude towards the government and people of the United States of America for the assistance rendered to Malawi through funding the construction of Amalika College and the college to be constructed in Dowa District.
"I note with great satisfaction that DAPP plans to build and operate 6 teacher training colleges across the country by the year 2014. Eventually producing a total of 1,000 primary school teachers every year. DAPP has already identified resources to build a third college in Dowa. I would like to congratulate DAPP for achieving so much in a short period," president Mutharika said.
Also present was Peter Bodde, the US ambassador to Malawi who highlighted the importance of USG Food Aid assistance to Malawi. "What began in 2006 as a United States Department of Agriculture Food for Progress agreement has flourished into these structures before us. This is what one can do when one has a food surplus," he said.
Maria Darsbo, the chairperson for Humana People to People, also thanked the US government and the US Department of Agriculture for their generous support to the people of Malawi on behalf of Planet Aid.
"The Food for Progress Program complements the Malawian Government's poverty reduction efforts being implemented and expressed through the Malawi Growth & Development Strategy," Ms Darsbo said. "The construction of the DAPP Amalika Teacher Training College is one element in a complete development package funded by the United States Government."
More than 500,000 Malawians benefit from the Planet Aid-USDA Food for Progress partnership on a yearly basis. The programme includes the components of teacher training, nutrition education provided by American Soybean Association's WISHH programme, HIV and AIDS prevention, and establishment and operation of Farmers Clubs to increase income and improve livelihoods of small-scale farmers in the country.
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