The organisers of the French School Drama competition have bemoaned the low patronage of secondary schools in the 29th edition which kicked off with regional contests on Saturday.
And to make matters worse, two secondary schools from the Eastern region namely Mulunguzi and Malindi withdrew at the eleventh hour because their schools could not provide them with funds.
“It’s worrying because we need more schools to participate in this competition which has played a crucial role in unearthing talent but also at the same time propel the teaching of the French language,” said chairperson of the organising team Poya Chapweteka after the Southern region contests.
He said that the aim of the competition is to improve teaching and learning of French as well as promote arts and that they have seen improvements in language and pronunciation.
“We therefore appeal to the government and heads of schools to fund their schools and if you look at the theme this year, a lot of issues were tackled and there were lots of lessons to take,” Chapweteka said.
As a result of the withdrawal of the two schools in the Eastern region, Zomba Catholic Secondary School which was the only one remaining was asked to travel to Jacaranda in Blantyre to compete in the Southern region.
With Zomba moving to the Southern region, five schools battled it out with Stella Maris, who are last year’s winners underlying their intent of defending the top position by coming first.
Jacaranda as hosts came second with Providence on third position.
The three schools will represent the Southern region during the grand final slated for the same venue on November 26.
The judges were Stanley Kadzuwa, Ralph Mhango and McDonald Bamusi.
The judges said the schools did a good job in their plays and that they followed this year’s theme which was Qui se’me le vent re’colte la tempet (You reap what you sow).
However, Kadzuwa said there was room for improvement pointing out that the schools were consuming a lot of time when change one scene to the other.
Zomba Cathol ic and St Patrick’s did not make it.
Stella Maris French teacher Williams Chindebvu said they worked very hard.
Steve Kango, who has been in drama for a long time said he loved the plays but observed that there, was more work to be done especially with the scripts which were full of flashback stories.
In the Central region, the competition was held in Lilongwe and saw Likuni Boys come out top with Lilongwe Girls on second position. The other schools were Dedza, who won the contest in 2014, Dzaleka, Darlo and Robert Blake.
Likuni Boys and Lilongwe Girls will represent the Central region in the finals.
In the Northen region held in Mzuzu, Marymount Girls Secondary School came first with Phwezi Girls on second position.
The two schools will represent the Northern region in the final. The other schools that participated were Mzuzu Government and Phwezi Boys while Ekwendeni failed to come.
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