Minister of Information, Gospel Kazako says the fact of the matter is that the President is attending the Global Education Summit financed by the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) slated for July 28-29, 2021 upon the invitation by the Co-chairs, President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.
The Minister said other leaders attending the summit include Presidents of Ghana, Sierra
Leon, Nigeria and Kenya.
GPE is the largest global multilateral fund dedicated to education in developing countries which aims at strengthening education systems in developing countries to dramatically increase the number of children who are in school and learning.
"The Global Education Summit will benefit Malawi in leveraging International Education Grants that will support basic education.With the economic impact of the Covid 19 pandemic Malawi's physical presence at the summit is crucial as the country will be among distinguished players in the global education sector which offers education financing.
"As a matter of background, Malawi has been a recipient of GPE funding since 2010:
- US$90 million Fast Track Initiative Catalytic Fund in 2010-2014; US$ 44.
- US$5 million 2016-2020.
-Malawi Education Sector Improvement Project; and US$10 million grant, accelerated funding on COVID-19 Response May 2020 to November 2021.
-Malawi is in the process of applying for new funding (US$57 million from GPE of which US$48.7 million has already been approved by the GPE Board) for the Malawi Education Reform Programme (2021-2025).
"As such, Malawians should be proud that President Chakwera was invited to attend such important summit as it is an opportunity to negotiate for funding aimed at improving the education standards in the country," said Kazako.
The Minister further highlights that the Chakwera administration places matters of education as a priority in its development agenda and such meetings are therefore important in achieving the country's goal in the education sector.
The newspaper also claimed that the President has travelled with his family namely the First Lady, Mr Sean Kampondeni and Ms Violet Chakwera.
Kazako said: "The named individuals have travelled with the President because they have important roles to play at the summit. For instance, Mr Kampondeni is the President's Executive Assistant and Director of Communications, Ms Violet Chakwera is the Personal Assistant to the First Lady while it is traditional worldwide that the First Lady accompanies the President on his travells. The Government of Malawi implores all media houses local and internationally to crosscheck facts with the relevant authorities rather than rushing to publishing inaccurate information that has the potential to damage the reputation of the President and the country as well."
As a way forward the Government has sought an apology and retraction of the malignant story and reportage by The Times of the UK, and that the article is withdrawn from all its platforms.