The collapse of a roof of the makeshift classroom at M’buka Primary School in Lilongwe’s Area 36 Township where 11 learners were rushed to hospital had dominated the Malawi press on Thursday with two daily newspaper giving extended coverage in editorial comments with similar stand for the nation to put priorities right.
“We must revisit our priorities” was the headline of the editorial comment in The Daily Times, which detailed the other similar “state-made” accidents like that of M’buka Primary School that ended in tragedy.
In June last year, four pupils died and 16 others were injured when a classroom wall fell on them at Nantchengwa Primary School in Zomba.
In 2003, Mkomachi Primary School in Lilongwe also had its share of horror when a tree under which learners were learning, collapsed and killed some in the process.
The Daily Times said the recent incident at M’buka is “another sad reminder of how we are, as a nation, not serious on putting our priorities right.”
The editorial further reads: “It is now obvious that our priorities are upside down and that is why those in power are concerned with peddling lies that would catapult them to power after the May tripartite elections.”
The paper pointed out that it is “a shame” that, 55 years after independence, Malawi should still have young ones learning under trees, in makeshift structures that are near comparison to tobacco barns.
It said education forms solid bedrock of national development and that failing to prioritise education is “a grace mistake for any nation that is serious on moving forward.”
The Nation also commented on the story which was covered on its front page.
“Where are our priorities?” was the headline of the editorial comment in The Nation, which also like their rival Times, noted that the sad incident invoked painful memories of Nantchengwa tragedy.
“The two cases are but examples of the sad reality in the country’s education sector where poor infrastructure or lack of learning and teaching materials defeats the essence of quality educations,” said the paper.
It noted with concerns that while resources to improve infrastructure for public facilities such as schools and hospitals seem to be elusive, there is lavish expenditure and commitments elsewhere, including on Cabinet ministers of whom some recently took delivery of luxury vehicles valued at over K100 million each.
The paper also pointed that out that President Peter Mutharika- in his re-election bid in the May 21 polls, pledged ti construct two stadiums for Nyasa Big Bullets and Mighty Be Forward Wanderers football clubs.
“If truth be told, the two football teams have no bearing on the well-being of a majority of Malawians. They are businesses,” the paper said.
It stated that the country’s priorities seem to be upside looking at some of the projects and pledges that are made.
“Malawi children deserve better infrastructure, learning and teaching materials to achieve their dreams and contribute to the development of this country,” concluded the country’s leading daily.
According to Civil Society Education Coalition, the country has a deficit of 27 000 classrooms.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :