Shortage of school materials continues to haunt some primary schools across the country as 1,600 learners at Nankhonde Primary School in Lilongwe have 19 desks only.
This was established during an Edukans stakeholder’s workshop at Golden Peacock Hotel in Lilongwe organized to check the progress of the School-Based Blended Education Mentorship Program (SBEMPro).
Highlighting some notable achievements and challenges, a teacher at Nankhonde Primary School, Edith Nyirenda, said despite positive impact of the mentorship programme, the school has also shortage of teachers and books, in addition to the desks.
“The situation is very difficult. However, we thank the mentorship programme by Edukans because it has assisted us improve our performance through teaching methodologies as well as leadership skills,” Nyirenda said, adding the school also has 16 teachers only.
He said despite these challenges, Nankhonde has managed to register 78 percent pass rate out of 77 learners who sat for standard eight exams, adding this is great improvement.
Director of Teacher Education and Development, Dr Zizwa Msukuma, said the programme implemented by Edukans has helped a lot in the improvement of learning outcomes, as it has proven in the recent national examinations results.
“We have noted improved performance of schools under the programme of Edukans. However, there are also challenges, especially shortage of teachers and learning materials and, as a ministry, we have taken note of that.
We have also set aside budget to recruit teachers in both primary and secondary schools to reduce the student-teacher ratio,” said Msukuma.
Country Director for Edukans, Dr Limbani Nsapato, said the mentorship programme has assisted to achieve results as seen in the improvement of the learning outcomes in both primary and secondary schools.
He said Edukans is implementing SBEMPro, with financial support from UNICEF, to improve learning outcomes in targeted districts like Dowa, Salima, Dedza, Mangochi, Machinga, Chiradzulu, Thyolo, Lilongwe and Nsanje.