Malawi Congress Party (MCP) lawmakers Thursday took to task Minister of Education, Bright Msaka, over the shortage of desks in some primary and secondary schools across the country.
What sparked the debate was the picture of pupils at an unidentified school sitting Primary School Leaving Certificate of Education examinations on the floor.
Dowa Ngala legislator, Elias Chakwera, asked the minister to consider providing desks to some schools in his constituency using funds provided in the 2017/2018 budget.
In response, Msaka said the procurement process for desks has been completed and suppliers are in the process of delivering desks to various schools with expectations that the activity will be completed by June.
He said the ministry has procured 31,405 desks for primary schools at K1.2 billion and 27,450 single desks and chairs for secondary schools at K1.3 billion.
“Procurement of desks is going to be an ongoing programme. We have pitched our request with the Ministry of Finance and there might be an allocation for desks in the next budget. It is not something we can do in one financial year but, as long as we continue doing it, I am sure we shall ensure that we have sufficient furniture for our schools,” Msaka said.
Dowa North East lawmaker, Sam Kawale, asked Msaka to shed light on policies that the government uses to allocate desks to various schools.
“Specifically, I am keeping in mind that Primary School Leaving Certificate of Education examinations are underway and the social media is flooded with pictures of students [learners] sitting on the floor, sitting examinations, which is very disheartening,” Kawale said.
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