Councillors in Mzimba fear that shortage of teachers in primary schools will affect the successful implementation of the National Reading Programme (NRP).
The councillors expressed their concern on Wednesday at Mzimba Community Hall during a council meeting.
The council’s education committee presented a report on the NRP which, among others, would see learners in Standards One to Four allotted an extra hour each to English and Chichewa.
Manyamula Ward councillor Kefase Chisi wondered how that would be achieved in schools where there is shortage of teachers.
“Many primary schools, especially in rural areas, are understaffed such that teachers combine classes. It will be difficult for them to devote one hour each to teaching Chichewa and English,” she said.
Khosolo North Ward councillor Brian Manda said he fears many learners will drop out due to lack of food as teaching and learning periods have been extended.
Mzimba South district education desk officer Mighty Kayoyo said government is aware of the many teachers’ vacancies in most primary schools. He said government is working towards teacher recruitment.
NRP is a Government of Malawi initiative which is being implemented with financial support from United States Agency for International Development (USaid) and Department For International Development (DfID). It will run up to 2020. n