Malawi's Tongole Foundation hands over K9 million school block

Tongole Foundation on Monday handed over a school block worth K9million to Mwalawatongole Primary School and the surrounding community in Makhenjera village in area of Traditional Authority (TA) Mphonde in Nkhotakota.

The block has been constructed with assistance from well-wishers Ray and Diana Eyre from London.

Speaking at the hand-over ceremony, Tongole Foundation Managing Director Bentry Kalanga said when Ray Eyre visited Tongole Wilderness Lodge in September 2011, he was eager to know about the living conditions of people surrounding Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve and he was taken to Mwalawatongole Primary School.

“There, he found pupils learning under a shade and was touched. Later on, Ray and Diana Eyre decided to assist. Let me therefore commend Ray and Diana Eyre because it is not easy for a family to finance construction of a magnificent block like this one to the tune of K9 million,” Kalanga said.

Ray said he decided to assist because he noted that the learners and teachers were hard-working and dedicated despite learning in a difficult environment and with limited teaching and learning materials.

The school’s head teacher Hendrix Mtonga said the block will ease pressure at the school which was established in 1986 because the number of classrooms will now be at six from four.

“With facilities like this block, learners from rural areas will be at par with those in urban areas thereby improving the dwindling education standards in rural areas and ensuring the right to education,” Mtonga said.

Nkhotakota District Education Manager (DEM) Ken Mphande and TA Mphonde called upon the surrounding community and learners to own the block and take care of it.

On his part, Member of Parliament for Nkhotakota Central Edwin Banda said he was excited and grateful to Ray and Diana Eyre as well as Tongole Foundation for the superb block because it will raise the standards of the school and the constituency.

Nkhotakota District Commissioner Charles Thombozi said the block is an accomplishment of the district’s development plan.

He then called upon traditional leaders to be developmental conscious because construction of a teacher’s house under Local Development Fund (LDF) has stalled at the school due to poor leadership and mismanagement of funds.

The newly constructed block has two classrooms, a head teacher’s office and staff room. Apart from the construction, the well-wishers have also furnished the two classrooms with 23 desks in each classroom.

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