Independent Schools Association of Malawi (Isama) has asked government for financial bailout following their losses last year incurred due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Schools—both public and private—were shut for five months from March to September 2020 to prevent the spread of the novel virus among learners.
Isama Central West division chairperson Henry Mdyetseni said this on Thursday at Parliament Building in Lilongwe when the association met Parliamentary Committee on Education.
He said: “The costs that [schools] incurred were not considered when government directed that we should not ask for school fees from parents when the students are not in schools . We have suffered; and we will write the Ministry of Education and ask if there can be a bailout for us.”
He said the meeting was aimed at getting information on the role of private schools in the leakage of examinations; the impact of the cancellation of the 2020 Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) examinations on private schools and the compliance of private schools with Ministry of Education’s regulations on re-writing of MSCE.
Mdyetseni explained that although they were not getting any income when the schools closed, they still had to meet operational costs such as teachers, support staff salaries and utility bills.
The committee’s chairperson Brainex Kaisi said they have taken up the concern.
On the other issues that they were called to discuss, Isama officials said they briefed the committee that private schools had no hand in the examination leakage because the system followed by the Malawi National Examinations Board (Maneb) is very strict.