Aspiring Members of Parliament (MPs) for Dedza Central on Monday deliberated on how each one of them will contribute to the development of education standards in the area once voted into power.
The three, who are Malawi Congress Party (MCP) candidate Willard Alfred Gwengwe, an independent candidate Jacob Joseph Kaumphawi and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate Andrew Mtunga Kowedza, outlined their development plans during a debate organised by Zodiak Broadcasting Station at Dedza Community Hall.
Responding on how he will ensure education standards are improved once voted into power, Gwengwe said issues of education are in his blood, citing his family established Malawi College of Finance, as well as Alice Gwengwe Private Schools.
“The constituency has fewer secondary schools and once voted into power, I will ensure there are additional not less than two secondary schools in each of the two wards of the constituency. This will also include construction of primary schools as well as teachers houses.
“But we cannot be talking of the infrastructures alone. There is more to improved education standards and I will make sure that teaching and learning materials are provided, teachers’ welfare is improved and that there is good relationship between teachers and the communities they serve,” explained Gwengwe.
On his part, Kaumphawi, who described himself a true product of Dedza Central, said he will use his status once voted MP to coax fellow youths to proceed with education.
“It is quite impressive that already there is total community participation when we talk of development projects in Dedza Central, hence it will be easy for both sides to work together in developing the area. I will ensure, once voted MP, learners will be covering short distance to access education. This will be through construction of both secondary and primary schools,” he said.
On the other hand, Kowedza said when voted to the August House, he will facilitate that all girls and other poverty stricken learners who dropped out of school are retained and that they are provided with the necessary support.
“It is very sad to note that many of our learners, especially girls are dropping out of school, thereby being exploited in other people’s farms. Once I am voted MP for Dedza Central, that will be the thing of the past. I will work with the department of social welfare, education and other officials to make sure that both boys and girls who dropped out of school are back in school,” he said.
Apart from education, the three also responded on how they will do in areas of development in general, agriculture, health and how they will use community structures like the Village Development Committees (VDCs), the Area Development Committees (ADCs) and the famous Community Development Fund (CDF).
Dedza Central Constituency has two wards, namely Dyamphwi and Thiwi and is found under Senior Chief Kaphuka.
On Monday, the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) announced that campaign for the constituency ends at 6am on Tuesday, November 14.
About 47,713 voters are expected to cast their votes for the by-elections on November 16, following the death of Daniel Chiwere, who was legislator for the area until July this year.