School owners fault government on school suspension

Benedicto Kondowe

By Isaac Salima:

Private Schools Association of Malawi (Prisam) has faulted the government for not consulting them before suspending physical classes for the rest of the second term.

On Saturday, the Ministry of Education announced that schools in 10 Southern Region districts that have been hit by Tropical Cyclone Freddy will resume studies for the third term on April 17 2023.


But Prisam President Amon Mtafya said the decision has hurriedly been made.

“Cyclone Freddy survivors are basically seeking shelter in government schools. And, again, it is not all public schools that are being used as evacuation camps.

“We also feel that there could have been an inspection [exercise] so that institutions that can continue offering education services can do so,” Mtafya said.


He said the decision will work to the disadvantage of learners, who were supposed to start revision lessons in preparation for end-of-term examinations.

“It will be difficult for these students to catch up with their colleagues in other regions because they are still learning. And I also hear that those in national examination classes are supposed to return to school on March 27. Where will they be learning and where will they start from?” Mtafya wondered.

Minister of Education Madalitso Kambauwa Wirima Monday maintained that all public and private schools in 10 districts will remain closed.

The ministry said rapid school assessments conducted in the affected districts showed that most structures, notably classrooms and toilets, are unsafe, hence the need for certification before learners can be brought back to school.

The ministry has indicated that, during the period, it will put in place learner-targeted radio and online lessons.

Meanwhile, quality education advocate Benedicto Kondowe has urged the government to device ways of ensuring that the right to education is not infringed upon during the period.

Recently, schools in Blantyre and Lilongwe were also temporarily suspended at the peak of the cholera pandemic.

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