Communities from Gomani Village in the area of Traditional Authority (T/A) Chikowi in Zomba have asked government and well-wishers to rescue Mwathuwa Primary School where Standard Four pupils are learning under a tree that borders a graveyard.
Head teacher Montfort Chisao made the call on Thursday when he briefed chiefs and their subjects on why the school fails to send children to national and conventional secondary schools.
During the 2014/15 academic year only two out of the 24 pupils who sat for the Primary School Leaving Certificate of Education (PSLCE) made it to a community day secondary school (CDSS).
He said: “The school has an enrolment of 1 100 pupils with only four classrooms. Standard One, Two, and Eight pupils learn in a church; Standard Five pupils learn under a tree at the village chief’s court while Standard Six and Seven learn in a makeshift mud shelter.”
He further added that, shortage of teachers is another problem that is paralysing performance of pupils at the school, as the current teacher to pupils ratio in infant classes is at 1:185. The internationally recommended ratio is 1:40.
School committee treasurer Cedric Buleya said the school’s situation is leading to cases of drug and substance abuse among the youths.
Desk officer at the district education manager’s (DEM) office Oster Chagamba acknowledged that the school is in a mess and appealed to development partners to bail it out.