Chichiri, one of the oldest primary schools in Blantyre City, is calling for the support from well-wishers because it is facing many challenges which the parents’ contributions from parents, in form of school fund, does not suffice.
At a Parents and Teachers Association (PTA) general meeting held at the school on Saturday, September 15, the PTA Board explained to the parents that they have approached many companies and organisations for support for various projects and maintenance that need to be done but to no avail.
Treasurer Connex Kalinde said the school has a huge bill of over MK1 million with Blantyre Water Board (BWB), which they failed to pay last school year because the amount of the money in the school fund account was not enough since not all parents managed to honour their contributions.
He also said they incur over MK400,000 a month mostly through the use of the toilets by the large enrolment number of pupils that reaches up to 1,500 children per school year.
On top of that, the water bill goes up because of constant underground leakages which they fail to discover in time because, since the school is very old, some of the structures collapse easily.
Kalinde said the subvention they receive from government is very small and that last school session’s was just K730,000.
“But this money from government is not meant to cater for what we budget to do [as PTA], it comes with instructions [from the Ministry of Education] on what it is specifically intended to be used for by the school administrators,” Kalinde said.
The PTA said National Bank of Malawi, in conjunction with Blantyre Round Table, donated a borehole to the school but that did not minimise the high water usage in the toilets and they plan to build pit latrines instead.
Chairman Kennedy Mbewe said they approached several companies to assist with funds for the construction of decent pit latrines and one company (name withheld) asked the PTA to come up with a comprehensive plan and cost of the project.
“We did that and presented it but up to now we haven’t had any feedback,” Mbewe said.
When asked by the parents, the PTA diclosed that they have just managed to collect MK2.2 million from the expected MK3.6 million from 1,200 current enrolment because some of the pupils’ parents have again not yet honoured their contribution.
This what one of the challenges the PTA faces, the chairman and treasurer said, because when it is unanimously agreed as school fund at these general meetings is not honoured by a lot of parents.
As a short term solution, the meeting demanded that out of the MK2.2 million, MK1 million should be used to immediately pay for the water bill by Monday September 17 and that, since the K3,000 school fund is for the whole year, the parents should add up MK1,000 each for second and third term respectively to go towards water bills.
Some of the expenses from the school fund include paying for security and maintenance of the buildings, including repairing desks, which are in short supply. Many of the junior pupils sit on the classrooms’ floors.
The PTA, in support of the parents delegates, appealed to the school’s former students to come forward to assist with some of the challenges they face aand they can start with helping to acquire desks.
“There are so many alumnis out there who are company executives. They can come together and work out how they can assist their former school that made them what they are today,” one parent observed.
On a huge positive note, Headteacher Catherine Sukasuka Ngalande, reported that Chichiri was number one on the 2018 Primary School Leaving Certificate (PSLC) with a pass rate of 98 percent. The two who failed were physically challenged.
She said they had 207 Standard 8 pupils in which 202 passed with 74 selected to secondary schools. She said 24 (12 girls and 12 boys) went to Chichiri Secondary School) while 42 (21 girls and 21 boys) were selected to Limbe Community Day Secondary School.
Eight (6 girls and 2 boys) went to national boarding schools. This pass rate news was received with huge round of applause from the parents targeted at the hard working teachers.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :