The floods that have claimed lives and destroyed property of many Malawians have not spared the country’s education sector as hundreds of schools and thousands of learners are reportedly affected by the havoc.
While the government, various partners and organizations are moving in with assorted relief items to affected people the education calendar is feared compromised as many schools have turned into relief camps while others have either collapsed or are submerged in water making it impossible for learning to take place.
Department of Disaster Management Affairs Principal Secretary, Paul Chiunguzeni confirmed in a report that more than 350 schools have been affected and some used as displacement sites in various districts.
The report also mentions that approximately 300,000 learners have been affected.
“Some schools in affected areas continue to be occupied by displaced people, as reported by District Education Managers,” in part reads the report by Commissioner for Disaster Management Affairs.
The report adds that efforts are being made to make sure those using schools as displacement sites are moved out of the school premises during learning time and re-occupy the premises later in the evening after classes, while waiting for the designated Internal Displaced Persons Centres.
In response to the situation, UNICEF has distributed 50 tents, procured and distributed 565 school-in-a-box kits to schools in the districts of Nsanje, Phalombe, Chikwawa, Machinga, Mulanje, Thyolo and Mangochi, while the Development Aid from People has pledged to provide psychosocial support to affected pupils and teachers.
Malawi has in the past month received heavy rains that have resulted into floods in some districts in the country leaving many Malawians homeless and made them seek shelter in school blocks.