By Mc Donald Chapalapata, Contributor
Limbe Leaf Tobacco Company Limited (Limbe Leaf) last week handed over a library stocked with various books worthK27.6 million to Mwankhundi Primary School in the outskirts of Lilongwe rural.
Limbe Leaf Corporate Affairs Director Febbie Chikungwa said the donation to the school follows one of its social responsibility policies of improving education standards in the communities where the company operates.
Speaking at the function where Limbe Leaf handed over the library to Ministry of Education, Chikungwa said the books donated included teaching guides for the teachers, text books for all the subjects from standard one to eight, non-syllabus fiction and non-fiction books that should interest the pupils to improve their reading culture and also various board and lego games for early learners.
“Our intention is to create a conducive learning environment that attracts learners and keeps them in school. We do not want to see children in fields. Our expectation with this donation is that with the help of the teachers, not only will we continue to see improved enrollment at the school, but also an improvement in the pass rate of students. We expect to see high numbers of students selected to secondary schools especially to national secondary schools,” said Chikungwa.
She said since Limbe Leaf started helping the school in 2013, it has built six classrooms, rehabilitated a two classroom block, built toilets for both pupils and teachers and provided a borehole for safe water for pupils and members of the community.
“Books are delicate and we ask all the pupils and teachers to take care of them so that other generations should also use these books,” said Chikungwa.
Director of Basic Education in the Ministry of Education Science and Technology Gossam Mafuta thanked Limbe Leaf for the donation of the library and books and hailed the company for uplifting the standards of the school since it started helping the school in 2013.
“We want to tell you that you can come with your plaque and put your logo which says that Limbe Leaf supports this school. You have done a lot for this school to be where it is now. Before you started helping this school, the enrolment was less than 900 pupils but now we have well, over 1, 100 pupils. Do not hide what you are doing for this school, put a plaque somewhere here for all people to see and appreciate your efforts. As a government we see this as one of the best Private Public Partnerships we have at a primary school level,” said Mafuta.
He said Mwankhundi Primary school is probably one of the very few primary schools especially in the rural areas out of the 6,000 primary schools countrywide that has a library, well stocked with various books.
Mwankhundi Primary school Head Teacher Harry Chikafumbwa also thanked Limbe Leaf for transforming the school from a one dilapidated structure when it opened its doors in 1982 to a now beautiful school in rural Lilongwe.
Group Village Headman Kawalika, who was representing Traditional Authority Khongoni in whose jurisdiction the school rests, also thanked Limbe Leaf for transforming the school and encouraged parents to send their kids to school.