It has taken Chigude Community Day Secondary School (CDSS) in Mzimba 15 years to register a first pass in the Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) examination The Daily Times has learnt.
Head teacher, Adams Chirwa, disclosed on Monday that since its inception in 2000, the school had a major breakthrough last year with five out of the 12 candidates who sat for the examinations obtaining certificates.
Chirwa cited poor infrastructure and shortage of teachers as some of the reasons behind the poor show.
As attested by this reporter, the CDSS had dilapidated classroom blocks which have overtime turned into a safety concern among students due to the cracks.
“For the last 15 years, we have had no proper classroom blocks, library and laboratory to enhance teaching and learning processes. Obviously, one doesn’t expect good performance from student though we always encourage them to work hard,” he said.
Chirwa said their best performer got 26 points but decried high dropout rate at the institution.
“Last year, 18 boys and 12 girls left school midway, due to a number of factors. And it is a problem that we have been grappling with for all these years,” said Chirwa, who heads four other teachers who are inadequate.
Situated in the area of Group Village Head Kampingo Sibande, the school does not have proper lighting for its 114 students who rely on lamps and candles during evening studies.
Meanwhile, Petroleum Importers Limited (PIL) has donated 50 desks worth K1.5 million to the school.
PIL Chief Executive Officer, Enwell Kadango, said they felt duty, bound to support the education sector because it is Malawi’s major route to economic development.
“It is only when we get our children educated that we will be able to redeem our country from poverty. Since we started the programme, we have realise that learning materials, especially desks remain a challenge and we aim at getting rid of that stumbling block to make quality education accessible,” Kadango explained.
And Chirwa hailed PIL for the donation, saying the school had just 17 desks.
The revelation comes amid concerns that government is paying little attention to CDSSs in rural areas.
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