DEDZA-(MaraviPost)-The glass-thatched Khoche Junior Primary school at Traditional Authority (T.A) Chauma, Linthipe in Dedza district is grappling with 20 years of desertion since its establishment.
Established in 1998 by communities which later in 2016 Ministry of Education adopted into a junior primary school (Standard one to four), the facilities do not have structures; blocks, toilets, teachers houses.
This is despite the Education Ministry’s certifying the school with registration number; EMIS 509064.
With four teachers walking from home of about 10 kilometres, the school has about 397 pupils learning in glass-thatched structure posing threat to them (learners).
Visiting the facility with the Civil Society Education Coalition (CSEC)on Saturday, school passionate pupils, parents wished to have a conducive learning structures than the latter.
The media tour aimed at assessing school structures focusing on a girl child project financed by Swedish development partners.
“We sit on bare floor, no chairs, no proper toilets at this school. We wish we could have proper structures which will help realize my dreams of becoming the nurse,” hopes Henry Mwayiwatha, Standard two pupil.
Zione Lowadi, one of the parents chipped in; “We initiated with school after noticed that our children were walking about 10 kilometres to reach another school. But there’s much support from authorities to have proper structures at this school. This is very worrisome as children’s future is being dashed,” worried Lowadi.
Since its inception, one teacher manned the school till 2016 when education ministry posted three additional teachers who keep teaching materials at their respective homes.
“We have been operating without structures as both classes and headteachers office is the glass-thatched shelter. We come as far as 10 km. We carry our teaching materials from homes. Despite challenges, we are still here to shape the future of this community’s children,” says Julius Symon, Khoche School headteacher, the sole pioneer.
Symon confessed of difficult and unpalatable working condition that even education ministry has never distributed any learning and teaching materials to the school.
“We use School grants which is less than MK500,000.00 to buy teaching and learning materials as the authority has never distributed any of them to this school.
“Therefore, with the new structure through Malawi Education Improved Plan (MESIP) funds, the school is wearing the new face where we are expected to have two school blocks, toilets among others. But no teachers houses,” worried Julius.
CSEC Executive Director Benedicto Kondowe observed that it was a mockery of highest degree for having certified school without structures in place.
Kondowe questioned Education Ministry’s legality of certifying a school without learning, teaching materials while funds are available for the service.
“Last week, the nation was celebrating 54 years of independence, but there is less progress on the ground. We wonder what were we celebrating about. This is happening when we have resources at our disposal.
“We seem not learning from various incidences how school walls and trees have killed pupils due to lack of proper structures. We therefore demand proper provision of resources to this school,” demands Kondowe.
Education Ministry’s Spokesperson Lindiwe Chide was not readily available as to why Khoche school was certified without structures for its operation.