Minister Nyalonje ‘impressed and reassured’ by Covid-19 measures as Malawi schools return

Minister of Education, Agness NyaLonje has expressed satisfaction with coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic preventive measures being enforced by learning institutions in Mchinji.

Pupils putting on masks
Zimba pleads for more classrooms
Pupils putting on masks

NyaLonje made the remarks on Monday after touring five schools in Mchinji.

She however encouraged learners and teachers to desist from tendencies that would increase the likelihood of contracting and spreading the coronavirus.

The Education Minister said despite current statistics showing a drop in the daily infection rate and a general decrease in the number of recorded cases, there was need to adhere to the set preventive measures to combat the virus once and for all.

“The current trend in the number of recorded cases in terms of new infections and recoveries is good news to the nation. However, that should not make us too relaxed to follow the preventive measures because Covid-19 is still an issue,” she said.

She added: “Teachers must take a leading role to ensure that both staff members and learners adhere to the preventive measures. I am so happy that such is the case with most learning institutions in Mchinji and that must continue.”

NjaLonje further said she would take into account most of the issues being faced by the learning institutions in the district after reopening of schools. She said she would present the details to cabinet for consideration.

One of the issues raised at Bua Community Day Secondary school was the issue of shortage of learning space.

Head teacher for the school, Ireen Zimba said the teaching environment was proving harder due to the preventive measures that require a larger space to cater for physical distancing. Zimba has since pleaded for assistance to normalize the situation.

“Our school has a student population of over 580 learners, but we have 180 desks. This means that most learners attend lessons while seated on the floor. Secondly, we have 10 rooms, but with the coming of COVID-19 restrictions, we need six extra rooms to accommodate the entire student population,” she said.

In terms of child marriages recorded at Bua, Zimba said she was happy that her school has improved its child marriage and teen age pregnancy record. She said so far only five form four girls have gotten pregnant with one marriage case.

According to Zimba, this year, the record is a great improvement since 2016 when over 38 pregnancies were recorded in just one academic year.

The minister also toured Kamuzu Primary schools, Mchinji Secondary school and Waliranji Community day secondary schools in the district.

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Mwini muzi
16 days ago

So sad to hear that out of 580 learners, only 180 are accommodated on desks, no adequate space to cater for COVID and some learners are seating outside on the open to be easily susceptible to rain and heat. There is nothing to be excited about given these challenging circumstances on the ground. The Minister should clear the rubble and provide all the necessary needs from employing many teachers to building more class blocks.

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