Senior Group Village Head Chisenga, under Traditional Authority (TA) Dambe in Mchinji District, has asked the government to live up to its responsibility by providing additional infrastructure at Kasuza Junior Primary School in his area so that the school can be upgraded to a full primary school.
Chisenga commends his subjects, saying they did their own part when they solely established almost everything about the junior primary school over the last ten years, including the building of the first four classes and three teachers houses.
He says upgrading the school will reduce challenges of access to education which children in his area are facing.
The local leader has been backed in his call by Action Aid Malawi and Kapiri Community Development Organization (KACODO) who, on Wednesday, handed over a newly built two classroom block at Kasuza, making the school now have standard five and six.
“Almost everything here is a result of the community’s own initiative. People mobilized themselves, moulded bricks and brought sand to put up these structures. We commend Action Aid Malawi and KACODO for helping us.
“Now we are saying, let the government bring the other infrastructure so the school can be upgraded to a full primary school. We require more classroom blocks, teachers houses and toilets. Government’s responsibility should go beyond merely providing teachers at the school,” said Group Village Head Chisenga.
According to KACODO Executive Director Linda Kabanda, most pupils at Kasuza Junior Primary are dropping out of school upon completion of their standard five because they cannot manage to walk to continue with their standard six, seven and eight at the nearest full primary school which is eight kilometers away.
She said if government does not intervene, more children are likely to drop out of school which will lead to high illeteracy levels in Group Village Head Chisenga.
Action Aid Malawi Executive Director, Assan Golowa, concurred with Kabanda, adding that education is a human right and that government should not abdicate its responsibility over rural schools such as Kasuza.
“We supported the construction of this classroom block upon realising the self-help initiative people of this community have demonstrated. The pupils at this school have also shown that they are intelligent and have the potential,” said Golowa.
However, responding to demands for additional infrastructure at Kasuza Junior Primary School, District Education Manager for Mchinji, Nellie Kantedza, said school infrastructure development is the responsibility of communities themselves.
“This is what the free primary school education policy, stipulates. I encourage the people here to continue mobilising resources in order to ugrade their school.
“Government, annually, only provides a minimum fee of MK600,000 to every school in the country which is used for maintenance of school infrastructure, not building,” Kantedza explained.
The new classroom block at Kasuza Junior Primary School has been constructed to the tune of MK22 million which Action Aid made available through KACODO.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :