………….Government not changing national academic school calendar- Wirima
LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-Education Minister, Madalitso Kambauwa Wirima says schools which were temporarily closed in the southern region following Cyclone Freddy impact will re-open on March 27, 2023.
But the minister hinted that schedule will not change academic school calendar.
Wirima told the news conference on Thursday, March 23, 2023 that the ministry has observed that some education districts including Zomba rural, Nsanje, and Chiradzulu, cyclone impact is not exceeding 50% hence the need for reopening.
“As of March 23, 2023 having determined the accessibility to schools, structural stability of the infrastructure and safety of our learners and teachers, my Ministry has resolved that all schools in the affected districts should open on March 27, 2023 except for those where the schools are being used as camps for IDPs or are submerged in water and require certification by engineers, and that such schools will remain open until the July 21, 2023.
“Those who have been in boarding school in the affected districts should close for one week and return to school on April 10, 2023,” says Wirima.
According to Wirima, some schools under Shire Highlands Education division will open on 27th March but will not close on March 31, 2023 including Phalombe, Chiradzulu, Luchenza, Thyolo, Mulanje, and Chikhwaza, while others are not ready for opening in the division including Gawani CDSS, Chinolampeni CDSS, Likanani CDSS, Mthundu CDSS, Sambanjati CDSS, Minyenje CDSS, as well as Nkhulambe CDSS and Nkhulambe Primary.
“Gawani Secondary School and Kamshika CDSS in Phalombe District are inaccessible from all directions and are also holding centre for IDPs hence will not open on March 27, 2023.
“Similarly, Makhanga CDSS and Makhanga Primary School in South West Education Division (Nsanje) will not open as scheduled because they are completely submerged in water and are located between flooded Shire and Ruo rivers making them inaccessible.”
Due to rising water in Lake Chilwa, Wirima said schools on Chisi Island in Zomba, including Chisoni, Chinguma, and Ngotangota will not open as scheduled, “Standard 8 learners will be transferred to the mainland and accommodated at St. Michaels’ Teacher Development Centre where they will be provided with basic necessities and food for seven weeks until they sit for their examinations”
Kambauwa assured the nation that the ministry is committed and working on bringing the schools back to full functionality within the shortest possible period with emphasis on remediation, while it continues to monitor the situation and adjust its response accordingly.
Cyclone Freddy killed 45 learners and one teacher while affecting about 273,388 learners of which 130,980 are boys and 142,408 are girls with 586 teachers.