People with disabilities have been facing a lot of challenges and they find it hard to cope with life due to their difficulties.
They do not likely get a chance to complete their education, and do not usually get job opportunities.
For the first time Malawi Government has established a free scholarship for people with disabilities to train them in various vocational skills.
People with disability holding the Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) are qualified candidates and must apply not later than 20th August 2015.
Minister Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Patricia Kaliati said in Lilongwe that her ministry will offer the training in conjunction with Technical Entrepreneurial and Vocation Education and Training Authority (TEVETA).
Kalitati said the scholarship is free and asked everyone to inform and encourage those that are qualified to apply and submit their application directly to the Ministry of Gender offices or to TEVETA.
“My Ministry and Technical Entrepreneur and Vocational Education Training Authority (TEVETA) have come up with an affirmative action to promote access to vocation skills training for persons with disability using existing public technical colleges.
“I am pleased to report that TEVETA has reservation of 20 places for persons with disabilities in its scholarship programme in all the public technical colleges,” said Kaliati
“For the offer to be effectively utilized persons with required qualifications needs to be informed” said Kaliati while indicating that applications be submitted to her ministry offices or to TEVETA.
The available opportunities includes; Administrative Studies, Automobile Mechanics, Brick Layering, Food Production, Carpentry and Joinery, Electrical Installation, IT, Tailoring and Designing.
Kaliati said this initiative is Government vision of creating equal opportunities for persons with disabilities and further responds to UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability.
She noted with concern that people with disabilities continue to fail to access to training opportunities in some vocation training centres due to financial challenges, negative attitude by the society and lack of knowledge among persons with disability on available training opportunities.
“Some schools would not accept person with disability because they think that such persons will slow down the learning process of other participants,” said Kaliati
Then she underlined that such initiatives and mainstreaming disability services into all programmes enable people with disability to take their place as citizens on equal basis with others and make their contributions to society.
She further guarantees Malawi Government commitment to continue implementing various initiatives that promote rights of people with disabilities and that her ministry with TEVETA will keep on introducing number of informal training programmes for those that do not have school qualifications.
Kaliati also appealed to people with disabilities who do not have qualifications to utilize and take advantage of Community Technical Colleges that are being established in their districts.