Conglomerate Press Trust Malawi says it has set aside K30 million ($51,054.7) per year for the Put a child on a desk programme which aims at promoting secondary education in the country.
Press Trust Trustee Ben Chidyaonga disclosed this today during the official launch of the programme at Soche Secondary School in Blantyre. He said through the programme, schools will be supplied with high quality durable desks and have their broken furniture maintained.
According to Chidyaonga, the programme focuses on 20 district boarding secondary schools drawn from all the six education divisions across the country.
“When the initial phase is completed, the programme will have benefitted close to 12 000 students per year. Trustees are well aware of the many challenges facing the education sector in this country.Some may be asking why focus on desks?
“Those that have visited secondary schools lately will agree with Press Trust that indeed the needs in those schools are many ranging from lack of classrooms to poor diet,” he said.
In his remarks, Chief Education Officer for Secondary and Distance Education in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Victor Chibwe said government alone cannot manage all the 872 public secondary schools in the country.
He thus called for concerted efforts from different partners to join government in providing resources in schools.
“I would like to urge all schools which are going to benefit from this programme to take care of the facilities which will be provided in whatever package. The vision of Press Trust is to see every secondary school student sit on a desk and we can only encourage the Trust to continue with this noble task if they see that we are exercising care over the facilities that they have given,” he said.
Press Trust has spent K13.4 million ($22,804.4) on maintenance and purchase of 180 desks for Soche Secondary School as part of the programme.
For the past 18 years, Press Trust has spent close to K1 billion ($1,701,820) on various educational projects throughout the country. Such projects include construction of classrooms, hostels, libraries,
laboratories, purchase of books, teaching and learning materials for primary, secondary and tertiary education institutions.