There are reports that female teachers in Chikwawa District are shunning rural areas due to poor road networks as well as poor infrastructure thereby stifling education standards in the district.
Latest reports indicate that Therere Primary School under Senior Chief Ngabu has had no stable female teacher for over 10 years and that the school has only five teachers including the head teacher.
Chapananga Secondary School located about 50 kilometers from Chikwawa Boma has one female teacher while Mphande Primary School in Changoima area, Traditional Authority (T/A) Chapananga has three male teachers only.
National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) Trust interface meeting, Therere Primary School Head teacher, Patrick Mashonga said there was need for officials to do something about it to improve the situation.
“Five teachers can hardly deliver as expected and due to the pressure we have, there is poor performance especially from the pupils. We have had female teachers who came and moved out within a short period of time. They complained of poor road network and infrastructure,” said Mashonga
He added that lack of female teachers at the school has greatly affected performance of learners especially girls which he said for a period of 10 years has resulted to their poor performance in Standard 8 MANEB examinatons.
Commenting on the matter, Mercy Luka, Parents Teachers Association (PTA) Chairperson at the school, said girls’ education at the school has derailed as female learners do not have a role model close to them adding that shortage of school blocks and desks affects the learning environment among pupils.
“We have brought the challenges to the DEM’s office and they have assisted us with teachers only that they (teachers) left after a short while claiming that they are experiencing challenges with mobile networks as well as their access to markets,” she said.
According to the DEM’s Office, their ministry tries to boost the number of teachers annually but it is worrisome to note that most of them especially the female teachers do not stay for long in the remote areas where they are tasked to perform their duties.