By Duncan Mlanjira
A letter by an 18-year-old girl, Deborah Confidence Msukwa, from Rumphi Secondary School, is trending on social purportedly meant for the eyes of the State President, Professor Arthur Mutharika asking for consideration for selection into any of the public Universities she applied having scored a good 17 points at Malawi Schools Certificate of Education (MSCE).
Her argument is that the 17 points do suffice for her to be considered for university selection from her six choices of Public Administration at the University of Malawi (UNIMA) as first choice; Bachelor of Education (Computer Science) also as UNIMA as second choice; Bachelor of Education (ICT) Mzuzu University as third choice; Bachelor of Science in Business Information Technology at Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) as her 4th choice; Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource Management (Land & Water) at Lilongwe University of Natural Resources (LUANAR) as her 5th choice and Bachelor of Commerce (Entrepreneurship) at UNIMA as her 6th choice.
Your Excellency Sir, is it true that [I am not fit for] any of the 6 choices listed above? Is it true that a girl child like me should fail to attain tertiary education because of [quota] system?
“Why should the awards ‘Life Concern’ used to give me as BEST GIRL CHILD STUDENT in Rumphi District be in vain? The DPP Manifesto indicates you will promote education in all sectors – especially the girl child education.
“Is this what you mean you will do? I believe the answer is NO. Both you and the First Lady are learned people. As Professors, you cannot allow my future be doomed like this. I have full confidence you will dearly help me because my father and mother cannot afford to make me learn through private universities,” writes Deborah.
According to her, she scored 2 points in Bible Knowledge; 2 points in Social Studies; 3 points in English; 3 points in Mathematics; 3 points in Physical Science and 4 points in Agriculture, making a total of 17 points.
“I am writing this letter because I have seen that crying will not help but rather cause me to suffer from High Blood Pressure, something not worthy to an 18-aged young girl like me.
“It is because I have rejected to die young that is why I have resorted into writing you this letter with full confidence that you will hear and address my concern.
“I was not happy with the results because some of the subjects were not marked well. I, however, simply accepted them because I saw that they still give me access to go to the university.
“When time came for university applications to the 2018/19 PU Admissions National Council for Higher Education, I submitted my forms. Today, Your Excellency Sir, all University campuses has released their 2019 selected students taken to start their studies in various programs.
“My name appears nowhere, Sir. At first I thought maybe I have been left because my grades were too high others were too good but when I saw some of my friends who had points above me then I realised this is the work of the quota system your government continues to champion.
“A very good example is Mphatso Chirwa, who had 18 points and is taken to study Commerce. I will be dearly waiting your immediate reply,” writes Deborah.