Community mourn 4 learners crashed by classroom wall

The wind has been blowing hard and strong for two consecutive days in Sub T/A Ngwerero’s territory in Zomba Mayaka. For young learners at Natchengwa Primary School in the area, the chilly weather could have been a nice excuse to stay away from school.

A substandard school block that collapsed from not-so-heavy winds

The tragedy has plunged a quiet community in Steven Village, Sub-Traditional Authority (Sub-T/A)Ngwelero in Mayaka—53 kilometres east of Zomba City—into a dungeon of despair for the loss of four lives and uncertainty about those nursing injuries in hospitals and at home.

But driven by their thirst for knowledge, and the desire to achieve their dreams, most turned up for classes early in the morning on Wednesday, the 6th of June. But for four of the 104 learners in Standard 3B at Natchengwa, this was the last day of their lives.

When the class agreed to take up their lessons outside, in a bid to get some warmth from the sun, the wall of the temporary shelter nearby collapsed under the force of the battering wind, pinning down the young souls in a tragedy that claimed four lives and left 15 with various degrees of injuries. The tragic event left the school and the community in deep shock and in a complete state of mourning.

According to head teacher, Blazio Liviere, the incident has cast a dark shadow over the school, and many learners are still traumatized.

“We are in a state of shock,” said Liviere, who heads a school of about 900 learners.

Shock, disbelief and grief was evidently printed on the faces of fellow school pupils, members of the affected families, the clergy and the community that turned up at Natchengwa to pay their last respects to the deceased.

And speaking at a joint funeral service at the school on Thursday, Traditional Authority Ngwerero, who was part of the rescue operation that ferried the injured to Zomba General Hospital, blamed the accident on the weak structure that the communities built with financial assistance from the School Improvement Grants (SIG).

Ngwerero appealed to the government to ensure that the grants are managed in consultation with development committees at area and village level, which he said is not the case right now.

He said because of lack of proper supervision, local contractors were cutting corners, putting lives of learners at risk.

Speaking on behalf of the affected families, Lucious Namanya said the community is deeply saddened with the demise of the young learners, and prayed that the government will move in to help address the infrastructure challenges to avoid a repeat of the same.

“This structure was constructed by the community as a temporary measure because we were experiencing increases in enrolment,” Namanya said.

Delivering a message of condolences from His Excellency, the State President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika, the Minister of Education, Science and Technology Bright Msaka said the loss of the four precious lives was deeply regrettable, considering that the victims died while in pursuit of education and in an environment that was supposed to be safe.

“I would like to assure you that government will fully investigate this incident to ascertain what really happened here,” said Msaka, who earlier in the morning visited the injured learners at Zomba General Hospital.

And in a show of support, the president condoled the families with K700,000, while the Ministry provided the four coffins for the burial of the deceased.

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Chappe;
Guest

Actually the word in the heading of this article should be ‘crushed’ and not ‘crashed’. With or without an investigation the parents of those poor unfortunate pupils must be compensated fairly. In any case the schools in Malawi are a disgrace. In many the pupils do not even have a desk to sit at while they learn or take their exams. Shameful!!

Munthalika
Guest
Munthalika

Listen to that lunatic Minister. He says Government will investigate the matter? Mufuna mudyeponso ma allowance! The matter is clear. Your Ministry didn’t build enough school blocks. So, illiterate villagers decided to build a makeshift structure for the pupils. The structure collapsed and caused the death of 4 innocent children while injuring 15 more. What is there to investigate!? Next time instead of giving K4 billion to bribe MP, tell your dumb President to allocate such resources to development projects such as Schools. With K4 Billion, you can build at least 2 good quality school blocks in every constituency from… Read more »

Agenda Setting Theory
Guest
Agenda Setting Theory

Looking at the structure of the building what do you expect. if you go to others places you will find blocks which were built during Youth Week still standing strong. people of this community why did they have to come up with ntchito yamgwazo ngati iyi. unfortunately that is what is happening even with big government projects

Maunits
Guest
Maunits

Boma lolubwalubwa ili sindidalione. Surely four yrs now the ministry allowed a school block in this state sure. Do we have govt in Malawi. The bereaved deserve compensation. This is not on Malawi vote against this govt indeed.

HALARE
Guest
HALARE

just compensate parents

ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT
Guest
ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT

CHILDREN FOR PETER -GOODAL –CHAPONDA –NANKHUMWA –AND ALL POLITICIANS ARE IN OVERSEAS –WHILE OUR CHILDREN ARE SUFFERING FROM THESE HARSH CONDITIONS — JESUS IS LORD !!

Kadenge
Guest
Kadenge

The fruits of 50 years of independence

DR MANGA
Guest

THE WAY OUR COUNTRY IS GOING DOWN IS REALLY AMAZING. WE WILL SOON DISCOVER OIL.

Hetherwick
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Hetherwick

A MSAKA NZERU ALIBE. ANTHU ANENA KALE KUTI CHIPUPA CHINAGWA NDI MPHEPO. WHAT KIND OF INVESTIGATION IS HE GOING TO DO. KANDUNDU CHANI A DPP?????????

Mavuto
Guest
Mavuto

Yea

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