Viphya Private Schools in Mzuzu have closed down effective 31st July, 2016 after operating at a loss in the past few years.
According to a circular letter dated 27th July, 2016 addressed to members of staff for both primary and secondary school, the schools suffered poor enrolment for the past four years and fees adjustments have not helped matters for the schools.
“I write to inform all members of staff, the teaching staff and all support staff of the secondary and primary schools that Viphya Schools will be closed effective 31st July, 2016.
“During the past years including last academic year, 2015/16, the schools have been operating at a loss and unable to meet costs,” reads part of the circular letter made available to Mana which is signed by the schools’ board chairperson, Barney Kamvazina.
Through the letter, members of staff have also been asked to surrender all property in their custody to the schools’ administrator.
An inside source revealed that teachers have not been paid for at least three months. The development has caused uncertainty amongst teachers about their future at the school, as there are strong but unconfirmed rumours that the education facility might be sold.
“We are very uncertain of what is going to happen next. They [school authorities] are just giving hope that teachers will get their pay,” a concerned insider who opted for anonymity told Mana in an interview.
According to the source, there had been no efforts by authorities to improve the status of the school.
He explained that the school’s standards had drastically gone down, to the extent that it no longer attracted a lot of students, hence low revenue and subsequent difficult for the institution to pay its staff.
“When I joined the school in 2008, the school had three form four classes with 60 pupils in each, but now, form four class was reduced to enroll only 70 pupils,” he stated, disclosing that the secondary school’s total enrolment as of last academic year was only about 180 pupils.
When contacted by phone on the issue, the school’s board chairperson who is based in Blantyre, Barney Kamvazina neither confirmed nor denied reports that the education facility is going to be sold.
Despite this reporter introducing himself, Kamvazina insisted he could not talk on the phone to a person he did not know and had never seen.
“The story is I don’t know you, I haven’t seen you,” he said it repeatedly.
“If we want to sell the school then we will come to you to advertise,” he added.
When asked to confirm whether the school is going to open for the 2016/17 academic calendar, the board chairperson of the once- popular private schools kept on saying: “The story is, I don’t know you” without answering the question.
While insisting that this reporter should go to his office in Blantyre to discuss the issue, he wondered why talk to him now when the school has been there for years.
Viphya Private Schools started around 1989 by Lady Roosevelt, a white European National (now late). The institution soon transcended into one of the most popular private education institutions in Northern Region and probably the country.
However, only five students were selected for the country’s public universities in 2016 and not more than 10 in 2015.
Viphya Private Schools include a secondary school, primary school and nursery school.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :