Deputy Minister of Education, Science and Technology Vincent Ng’ambi has said provision of access and equitable quality education in community day secondary schools (CDSSs) is facing a lot of challenges including lack of proper sanitation.
He was speaking at Dwasulu CDSS in Nkhotakota during handover ceremony of borehole and toilet units constructed by United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) and Department for International Development (DfID).
The deputy minister said research done by Unicef indicate that many factors like learner: toilet ratio in CDSSs are not according to standards and this is affecting performance especially that of girls.
“It is sad to note that some CDSSs have insufficient latrines to the extent that some rely on latrines of primary schools. I would like to appeal to the corporate world to assist in improving provision of water and sanitation like what Unicef and DfID has done,” he said.
Ng’ambi conveyed his gratitude to Unicef and DfID for the construction of latrines and water points in 200 CDSSs out of 620 CDSSs present in the country.
Unicef representative Mahimbo Mdoe said Unicef funded by DfID has committed to building 300 latrine units in 200 schools and 80 boreholes but to date, 109 toilet units have been constructed and 69 boreholes drilled.
“Water, sanitation and hygiene are crucial to getting and keeping girls in school as they bear the brunt of unhygienic or non-existent latrines.
“The lack of clean and separate sanitation facilities in schools discourages many girls from attending school full time, increasing absenteeism and forces some of them to drop out altogether, particularly as they approach adolescence,” Mdoe said.
Mdoe further said by getting girls into schools and making sure they stay in school results in educated girls.
“Educated girls are likely to make educated decisions, have better maternal health, higher life expectancy and impart their knowledge to their children. Educated girls are more likely to be active participants in the socio-economic aspect of society,” he said.
Nkhotakota North legislator Frank Mphande and Nkhotakota District Council Chairperson Manfred Kwanjiwa called upon learners and the community surrounding Dwasulu CDSS to show their appreciation by looking after the borehole and toilet units and avoid vandalism.
Eleven districts of Karonga, Chitipa, Nkhata Bay, Nkhotakota, Dedza, Salima, Machinga, Mangochi, Thyolo, Chikwawa and Nsanje have benefited from the first phase of the project.–ManaFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :