Local leaders in the area of Sub Traditional Authority (STA) Mkutumula in Ntcheu have expressed concern over inadequate learning materials and poor infrastructures in Chigumukire and Mapondera primary schools in Bwanje South constituency.
Speaking Monday when Bwanje South legislator, Alexander Chilikumtima, toured the two schools to appreciate challenges learners are facing in his area, a representative of STA Mkutumula said at Chigumukile Junior Primary School, two classes learn under grass thatched classroom while the other three use a community improvised structure or under the shade of a tree.
“It is our wish for primary schools to produce educated people for development in this area but infrastructure remains a challenge to the provision of quality education,” he said.
The representative added that three teachers are resident at Mapondera School while the rest are living in rented houses in surrounding villages.
Mkutumula Area Development Committee (ADC) Chairperson, Gregory Chafanji, said the community contributed sand and bricks for the construction of one classroom block which was initially destroyed by cyclone Freddy.
He said Chigumukile Junior Primary School, which was opened in 1994, had classes from standard one to seven but instead of upgrading, the school has been downgrading to standard five.
Grace Mtambo, the only female teacher out of five at Chigumukire School, said she travels about 15 kilometres since the school has only two teachers houses which are occupied by the head teacher and his deputy.
“The challenges are many and the school is still a junior primary. There is shortage of classrooms and inadequate teacher houses and when it rains, classes are disrupted and teachers who live far away fail to report for duties,” said Mtambo.
Deputy Headteacher for Chigumulire School, Christopher Kabango, said with inadequate teacher houses, teachers fail to plan for their work accordingly due to long distances.
Bwanje South Legislator, Alexander Chilikumtima, said he has tirelessly raised the issue in the August House but to no avail.
“The problems at both schools are beyond the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) which is not enough. What we need is intervention from the central government and other well-wishers,” said Chilikumtima.