Independent Schools Association of Malawi (Isama) has asked President Lazarus Chakwera to intervene in the continued closure of schools which is doing harm to learners, teachers and school owners.
Isama president Joseph Patel yesterday confirmed meeting Chakwera at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe on Monday, saying they want schools to open and the President to help them on the matter.
He said: “We explained to the President that the closure of the schools in March this year has seen learners engaging in immoral behaviour and also girls being exposed to early pregnancies, thereby putting their future at risk.”
Patel said teachers are also facing financial problems, with some of them being evicted from rented houses while some female teachers have been forced into prostitution in the absence of salaries.
“Our wish is for schools to open by September 7 this year. Government should allow Form 4 learners to be in school earlier, to be followed later by other classes.
“Isama is having problems with government as it does not update the nation on when schools are likely to reopen. We have observed that since the closure of the schools in March, no clear plan of action has been developed and shared,” he lamented.
Patel said Chakwera assured the Isama officials that he would soon engage the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 on their concerns and thereafter provide feedback.
Efforts to talk to State House director of communication and executive assistant to the President Sean Kampondeni proved futile as he did not pick calls.
However, during the announcement of the gazetted public health guidelines, Minister of Health Khumbize Chiponda said schools will remain closed to protect lives. She said the government is assessing the situation and will be considering the reopening of the institutions on case-by-case basis.