By Alfred Mthandizi
Driving South of Capital City Lilongwe, there is a district, called Dedza. The district is famous with Irish potato farming, cassava, tomato, cabbage and other types of vegetables. However, despite such overwhelming economic activities which this district is experiencing, one can’t believe to see a primary school that has only three teachers for their 397 students.
The development baffled the civil rights education group, Civil Society Education Coalition (CSEC). Saturday, CSEC led a team of journalists from various media outlets to visit Khoche Junior Primary School located in the area of Traditional Authority Chauma. The trip was organized to appreciate challenges which the school is facing.
The School boarders with Chilanga, Kaphuka and Kazombwe Full Primary Schools which are located almost 10 Kilometers apart. Apart from lacking classrooms and Headteachers, the school has no teacher houses and has no adequate sanitary facilities.
Juliyo Simon, is Head teacher of the school who confirmed about the Development. “Yes, it’s true that indeed we are facing a lot of problems. Our children are learning under the trees since there is only one classroom block and cannot hold the 397 students,” Said Simon. Simon said the school has shortage of teachers saying they are just 3 in total. “It’s difficult for only three teachers to manage such big number of learners,” said Simon.
On top of that, the media and CSEC learnt that a Headteacher walks 10 Kilometers daily from his rented house to the school. Benedicto Kondowe is the CSEC Executive Director. “As CSEC we are saddened with what we have just witnessed here in Dedza. This is a very sad development considering the fact that the children of this area are human beings and should have good access to learning environment” said Kondowe.
He said his organization will sit down with donors so that learners are given equal opportunity to learn in good environment. He then commended World Bank who are supporting the community by erecting new structures which compromise of classroom blocks. The school combines learners from Mkanda, Kasulo, and Chilimata villages.
Swedish Development Partners (SDP) who focuses on girl child supported the visits