Dedza Secondary School, popularly known as Box 48, in central Malawi was on Wednesday shut down following protests by students over poor diet and living conditions.
Dedza district education officer Billy Banda confirmed the development in an interview. He said the students started demonstrating on Saturday last week over poor diet.
“They presented their petition to the district education office on Monday, this week and continued with their protests and in the process broke windows for the headmaster’s office,” he said.
Banda said after their petition, the education office and school management assured them of diet improvement.
“We addressed the problem and told them that more maize flour would be available. However, the students brought another petition against their school prefects,” said Banda, adding: “They were assisted and told to elect new leaders whom they felt were appropriate. However, they came again to complain against woodwork facilities and mattresses.”
Banda said the students continued to protest when they were told that other issues they presented will take time to be addressed.
“We reported the matter to the Ministry of Education which ordered closure of the school as it seemed the students were just tired of studies and needed some rest at their homes,” he said.
Banda did not disclose the day the school would re-open.
He confirmed that the school was closed on Wednesday, while the students were still protesting to prevent loss of school property due to the protests.
The protests follow other recent demonstrations by secondary schools students, including those from St. John’s in Lilongwe and Salima Secondary in central Malawi, who protested over water supply this week.