Plight of a rural school laid bare

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…as Mulozi head teacher appeals for help

SIMON MUNTEMBA writes

STARTED years back as a community school, a recently upgraded Mulozi primary in Lundazi district, Chief Kapichi has 514 learners with only two classrooms.

Although the school runs from grade one through to the seventh grade, it has only three teachers and has no decent toilets for both pupils and teachers.

School head teacher, Chalemba Mhlanga told the Sun in an exclusive interview that the school which was upgraded last year faced a number of challenges ranging from lack of adequate teachers, housing and class room blocks.

Mr Mhlanga, flacked by his deputy John Mtonga said because of the struggles that the school was faced with such as lack of accommodation, it has failed to attract and keep good teachers.

He appealed to the government to quickly consider build more houses and classroom blocks at the school for effective teaching and learning to help improve educational outcomes in the community.

“We are undergoing a lot of challenges. As you can see, we have only one by two classroom block cratering for 214 pupils. We are only three teachers against 214 pupils, imagine! We are running from grade 1-7. This school used to be a community school and government upgraded it to a primary school last year.

“We have only 3 teachers’ houses instead of 7. And if government can build us more houses and classroom blocks, we can be grateful because that will help the school to attract more teachers,” Mr Mhlanga said.

Mr Mhlanga said children in the community would not be able to experience quality education without proper infrastructure and quality teaching and learning materials.

He however disclosed that working with the community, the school has started building a one by three classroom block which was at the foundation level but stalled due to lack of funds.

“As you can see, this one we have started is at slab level. To complete this structure  (1 by 3 classroom block) we need about K250, 000 and we appeal to government and other well-wishers to come to our aid,” Mr Mhlanga.

Meanwhile, Molozi primary School pupils have also appealed to government to come to the aid of the school.

School head boy, Damiyani Banda aged 14 who is in grade 7 said it was difficult to learn because they shared a classroom with those in grade 5 and six.

Damiyani who walks about 3 kilometres from Vyalavandu village said he starts off from home as early as 05:00 hours to ensure he was not late for school.

“Timachelela kubwela but sitiphunzila maningi chifukwa timachinjana ma class na bamuzuwa. (We report for school early but we don’t learn much because of lack of classroom as we are made to leave to pave way for other pupils).

And school head girl, Grace Kumwenda, 14 also in grade 7 complained of lack of decent toilets.

Grace said, as girls, it was embarrassing for them to use dilapidated pit latrine at school in this era.

She appealed to government to help the school finally to build decent toilets, more classrooms and teachers’ houses.

Efforts to get Lundazi District Education Board Secretary (DEBS) Chiza Mtonga proved futile as his phone went unanswered by press time.

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