Association of Teaching of English in Malawi (Atem) finally bounced back after being out of the limelight for some time.
The association which was kick-started 2020 with divisional contests.
The first divisional contest was held at Zomba Catholic Hall for the South East Education Division (Seed) where seven schools were expected to battle it out but only five turned up, according to one of the coordinators Dave Mpaso.
At the end of the contest St Paul the Apostle Minor Seminary from Mangochi came first after accumulating 87 points followed by St Monica also from Mangochi with 80 points while on third position was St Mary’s Secondary School from Zomba which accumulated 74 points.
The three schools have since made it to the regional finals to be held next month.
The other schools that participated were Balaka which came fourth and St Peter’s also from Balaka which came last. The two have failed to make it to the regional finals.
St Paul the Apostle Minor Seminary triumphed with their play titled Fight for My Life while St Monica on second position staged a play titled Kaunda Dynasty while St Mary’s on third staged a play titled Eulogy of Tuntufye.
In individual categories, the Best English Speaker Award went to Viola Namondwe from St Mary’s whereas the Best Actor accolade went to Lloyd Kumbulani from St Paul the Apostle Minor Seminary whereas the Best Actress accolade went to Monalisa Mlenga from St Monica.
The others were Best Supporting Actor (Sylvester Nkhoma) from St Paul the Apostle Minor Seminary and Best Supporting Actress (Esther Wasimbwa) from Balaka Secondary School.
Mpaso said they have started on a good note after taking a break.
“We are satisfied and we hope things will continue getting better and better. As of now I can say that many schools have promised that they will take part during the next academic year’s festival,” he said.
In individual awards category, according to Mpaso, the winners went away with medals and Atem T-shirts whereas the winning team went away with a portrait recognising them as champions in the Seed 2020 Atem divisional festival.
“We are also satisfied with the performances from the schools and the judgment as well. The top three staged good plays and even those that did not make it, offered good plays. The problem is that we only wanted three schools to go to the next round,” Mpaso said.
He said ahead of the contest on Saturday, they would be having 15 schools participating in the divisions.
Atem was supposed to start last year but the organising team postponed it to this year.
The theme for the contest is ‘Youth activism, the role of the youths in driving change in society’.
Next up on the ladder is Shire Highlands Education Division to be held at Luchenza Secondary School in Mulanje District on February 1 2020.
The competition is also expected to be held at Zingwangwa Secondary School in Blantyre for the South West Education Division.
After the competition in the Southern Region, the contest is expected to go to the Central and Northern regions.