Mzimba North Constituency legislator Agnes Nyalonje has asked government to stop “making empty promises” and revamp the education sector.
The vice-chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Education blamed government for failing to employ newly trained teachers while primary schools in many districts lack qualified teachers.
She said this at a meeting M’mbelwa District Council organised to find ways of improving education in Mzimba where one teacher serves an average of 94 pupils. Government requires a teacher to serve less than 60 learners.
Nyalonje said unless government provides enough teachers, school blocks and teacher’s houses, education standards will continue deteriorating.
She asked: “How do you expect education standards to improve when we have a very high pupil-teacher ratio? This means a lot of kids go to school, but do not get to learn because they do not have teachers’ attention,” said Nyalonje.
She said it is shocking that pupils cram classrooms without desks and learning materials.
Statistics provided by the district education manager Funwell Chiwowa show half of teachers in Mzimba have no house, four percent of learners drop out, 27 percent repeat while 30 percent failed Primary School Leaving Certificate of Education (PLSCE) last year.
In an interview, Chiwowa said his office plans to redeploy teachers from schools with more staff to understaffed institutions.
“Government is aware of the persistent problems, including lack of teachers. Unfortunately, it is government’s duty to recruit. We only receive those government deploys to this district,” he said.