By Thula Chisamba
Mediocrity in Malawi education sector has taken another worrisome twirl, as The Malawi Star has established that there is no secondary school in Vizala area in Nkhatabay, to absorb successful pupils from about eleven schools, who have sat for 2016 primary school living with a certificate of education (PSLCE).
Information gathered during our recent visit, shows that the situation has resulted into many pupils dropping out of school before reaching standard eight.
Historically, the percentage of pupils selected into secondary schools has been very discouraging according to the concerned pupils.
“Our future becomes dim each time we think about the situation at hand. In fact, we are not the first victims to suffer such uncertainties. This is so discouraging thus many pupils just dropout and become fishermen,” said William Banda, one of the pupils.
The district education manager, Mzondi Moyo conceded having such problems citing that most pupils who dropout are girls, who find refuge in early marriages.
He, however was quick to claim that his office had already communicated with education authorities who promised to respond to the dilemma urgently.
“We are still waiting for response from them but for now, we indeed sail through numerous problems,” he said.
Responding to the raised observation, councillor for the area, Nelson Simukonda, blamed Government for lack of commitment in developing his ward.
“Even legislators who have been representing the constituency were not committed to develop this area, thus you see such problems. After I took over power in 2014, I have observed numerous problems in my area and hopefully I may try to change things,” he said.
When we went to press, Minister of Education, Emmanuel Fabiano, said his office will investigate the matter and find remedies to the problem thereafter.
On the other hand, our reporter established that access to professional health services is another problem owing to lack of health facilities in the area.
People have to travel a distance of about 10 kilometres to access health services at the main district hospital. The situation is said to be resulting in preventable deaths and numerous health complications among people in the area.
“The only hospital close to us belongs to Vizala Rubber Plantation Company, but they don’t allow us to access health services there on grounds that the facility only caters to their employees,” said Love Nyirenda, a resident of Vizala.
The area Councillor who confirmed the issue, described the same as worrisome citing People are really suffering yet Government is not even concerned.
“The thing is, we are not loved as people in Nkhatabay. I still believe that had it been it was somewhere, the situation wouldn’t have been like this,” he fumed.
Speaking in an interview, Nkhatabay District Health Publicist, Christopher Singini, declined to comment further on the issue, citing it required views from the Ministry of Health.
However, despite several attempts, Minister of Health, Peter Kumpalume, couldn’t be reached for comment, as his phone went unanswered.