Over 2 700 learners at Chingoli Primary School in Mulanje are living in danger as they keep learning in classrooms which were condemned as death traps by the Ministry of Education in 2015.
This is one of over 20 schools that were wrecked by floods that destroyed 15 districts in 2015.
The ministry, through Mulanje District Education Office, declared the disaster-prone school uninhabitable following the tragedy that left pupils learning in tents donated by Unicef and World Vision International.
The district education manager ordered the school to relocate from the disaster zone.
Three years on, the wear-and-tear of the tents has compelled the school management to order the pupils back into the condemned structures which teachers described as not conducive for teaching and learning.
With the ongoing rains, the teachers ask the pupils to rush home when it is cloudy and likely to rain.
But chiefs and SMC have expressed dissatisfaction with how government has neglected the situation.
In an interview yesterday, head teacher Charles Chiromo said the delay to relocate the school puts pupils and teachers at risk of being crashed by the ruined classroom block.
He explained that World Bank offered to construct eight modern school blocks and teachers’ houses, administration block, teachers’ development centre (TDC) and school hall at a new site in 2015, but nothing has been done on the new school project.
He said “World Bank told us to find land for the new school which they offered to fund. We found the site, they conducted assessments and they were satisfied with the site. We heard that they have released funding, but up to now nothing has been done on the ground.”
Mulanje Pasani member of the Parliament Angie Kaliati sympathised with the pupils, saying structures at the current school are neither safe nor favourable for learning.
“I tried to follow up the matter with the ministry, but they told me that the project will start soon but it will be in phases. We understand that World Bank released $50 million [about K36.7 billion] meant for our school and one in Nsanje,” he said.
Ministry of Education, Science and Technology principal secretary Justin Saidi asked for more time to find out.
The school has no toilets and pupils relieve themselves in a nearby graveyard and fallen classroom blocks.
The structures in use have widening cracks and some are falling apart.
Every academic year, it enrols almost 3 000 learners. n