Deputy Minister of Education Madalitso Wirima has announced plans to decongest Mbayani I Primary School in Blantyre which has an enrollment of 8 484 learners.
The minister, speaking in an interview after visiting Mbayani, Blantyre Secondary School and Zingwangwa Secondary School, said having more than 8 000 learners sharing 32 classrooms is not right.
Said Wirima: “A short-term solution that we will undertake to decongest the school immediately is to bring tents which can be used as classrooms.
“I am already aware that there is a development partner who wanted to offer the school tents.
“However, the partner did not consult the school’s management to provide space for the tents and they went away with the tents.”
At Blantyre Secondary School, the minister interacted with visually-impaired students who were studying using Braille. The students asked her to lobby for more support towards special needs education as resources are inadequate.
Blantyre Urban district education manager Anita Kaliu commended the minister for visiting the three schools, stating that the congestion at Mbayani reflects a similar situation in schools in the city.
Mbayani I Primary School head teacher Lami Mizere said to adhere to Covid-19 preventative measures, there is need for more space.
He said: “For instance, Standard One has nine streams, Standard Three has 13 streams and Standard Seven has 17 streams.
“So, we introduced shifts because there are few classrooms.”
Schools fully reopened on October 12 after they were closed in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic.