Kasungu Teachers Training College (TTC) staff and students were on Friday left happy after the Ministry of Education, Science and technology (MoEST) came to their rescue with 1 200 mattress’ donation worth K34 million (US$83 538).
The donation was government’s immediate response to the loss of 1 200 mattresses the college incurred on Monday last week through a fire.
The inferno, whose cause is yet to be established, gutted the college’s Craft, Arts and Technology room they were temporarily stored in during a wholesale fumigation exercise management instituted in the students’ hostels to combat a bedbug epidemic said to have sieged the campus since late last year.
Deputy Minister of Education Agness Mandebvu Chatipwa revealed that the donation was not primarily meant for the college.
She said it was diverted to the college to address the immediate challenges created by the fire accident.
“As we are speaking, government is in the process of distributing mattresses in various secondary schools across the country to help alleviate student boarding woes. Even the ones [mattresses] you are getting today weren’t meant for you. We have just diverted some because we felt your situation couldn’t wait, hence our immediate response,” she said.
TCC alternately house student teachers from both the Initial Primary School Education (IPTE), and Open and Distance Learning (ODL). The latter are on campus during school holidays, making the institutions operate round the year.
Kasungu TTC principal Staliko Chibwe thanked the ministry for the gesture, calling it timely. His smile grew even wider when the minister pledged to start rehabilitating the burnt classroom that also had learning and sports materials in it.
The minister, however, urged both the student teachers and the college staff to be vigilant in safeguarding the school’s property, arguing chances are slim for such immediate government response in future as the ministry “always has a lot on its table.”
Kasungu TTC has a bed capacity of 690, but increasing demand in its services over the years pushed it to around 830 boarders with some rooms accommodating three student teachers though they were initially designed for two.