Lack of a government boarding secondary school in Machinga District is negatively affecting attainment of high quality education in the district.
Machinga Development Association Chairperson, Bridon M’baya, said the construction of a K750 million boarding secondary school project in Chideya Village, Liwonde in the district by the government has also stalled.
M’baya said young boys and girls from the district who deserve to learn at a government boarding secondary school walk as far as 20 kilometres to community day secondary schools.
National Statistical Office (NSO) statistics of 2015 indicate that annual attainment of tertiary education in Machinga is currently at 0.3 percent against a national average of 1.6 percent and M’baya attributed this to lack of a boarding secondary school.
“Realistically, how can girls, as young as 13 years, be expected to walk in the rain or sun for 20 kilometres to and from school daily?” M’baya queried.
Civil Society Education Coalition Executive Director, Benedicto Kondowe, said lack of a boarding secondary school in the district discriminates the district from attaining meaningful development which other districts have.
He said government owes Malawians an explanation why the project has stalled despite claims that it had secured enough funds for the project.
“The people of Machinga have valid reasons for asking for a government boarding secondary school. In fact, when the government allocated another secondary school to Chiradzulu District last year, we raised an alarm that government had to first construct a boarding secondary school in Machinga and Neno districts which do not have the schools,” he said
Ministry of Education Spokesperson Lindiwe Chide said the project stalled due to funding problems but the contract is now back and the construction project of the school resumed end October.
Machinga found itself without a boarding secondary school when it split with Balaka which went away with Balaka Secondary School in 1998.
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