Ministry of Education Science and Technology through the Blantyre District Education Manager’s office (DEM) on Friday deployed two qualified teachers to Chiguma primary school which, for the past two years, was being handled by a single but volunteer teacher – Mark Kamphira.
The story of Kamphira and Chiguma School was first carried by Malawi News Agency (MANA) when the school was being handed over to government by Majete wildlife and parks in November last year.
The ministry also on this day handed over teaching and learning materials thereby reliving parents of this area from the burden of using their own resources to support the operations of the institution since the school solely depended on the community and also the volunteer teacher who had to dig deep into his pocket to run it.
Speaking during the double ceremony, Paul Chiphanda, District Education Manager (DEM) for Blantyre responsible for primary education said the deployment of teachers and handover of teaching and learning materials was one way of fulfilling government’s responsibility considering the fact that the school was now a public institution.
Chiphanda said, once a school has been handed over to government, it is supposed to be provided with all the necessities to ensure that it runs smoothly and that children attain better and competitive education.
“Two months ago Majete Wildlife and the communities from the area handed over the school to government and what it meant therefore was that government has to take over the operations of this institution.
“Today, we came to first, declare Chiguma as a public primary school and that from now on, it will be treated just as any other public school and be entitled to all sorts of benefits like the Primary School Improvement Programe (PSIP),” explained Chiphanda.
He added, “Not only that, we have also come with us two qualified teachers who will work hand in hand with Kamphira, the volunteer so that children from this school have the same opportunity just as those from other schools.
What it means therefore is that because it is now a government school, one of the newly deployed teacher will now be the headmaster for this school taking over from Kamphira and assisted by the two others.”
Chiphanda revealed that his office was also considering of sending more teachers and learning as well as teaching materials as the institution was being earmarked for upgrade to be a full primary school.
“ There is a lot that is coming to this school, this is just a start and very soon I will be engaging various stakeholders to support us in our shortfalls as you might be aware, there is need for more classrooms to add up to the current two, toilets, desks and also borehole for clean and safe water.
“The school also has very young children so, I will be talking to Mary’s meals to also support us with their porridge programme,” the DEM said.
He therefore urged communities surrounding the school to continue supporting the institution as it graduates into a full primary school.
“Just as you have done before, continue to be vigilant and support your children so that their dreams are achieved,” Chiphanda appealed.
Apart from books, chalks, pens and pencils, the DEM’s office also donated netball and football for the sporting exercise.
In a special way, the DEM hailed kamphira, the former headmaster for his dedication and also for changing the story of the school.
He said without the volunteer teacher’s dedication, no one would have known about the existence of institution and that the community particularly children from the area would have remained illiterate.
Councillor for Chikowa Ward in which the school falls into, Damiano Valaliyano commended government through the DEM’s office for rescuing the institution from the many challenges it was facing.
Valaliyano said the coming in of new teachers and the teaching and learning materials was a plus to the school and it only symbolized that government was concerned with the status in which the school was operating.
“Honestly there haven’t been any exciting moment than today, the prayer that we have been praying for so many years has been answered. Our children will attain better and quality education since we have qualified teachers,” he said.
Valaliyano however urged government to continue sending more teachers to the school as the pupil teacher ratio was still far from what is recommended.
“There is a lot that we need at the school and we are sure that the ministry of education will do the needful,” Valaliyano briefly explained.
The councilor also appealed to parents to start sending children to the school saying government had already shown interest to uplift them by sending new teachers.
Group Village Headman (GVH) Dzikupe said he was excited to see more new and qualified teachers coming to the school something that was a dream to the whole community.
“We never imagined that a day like today we would receive new teachers as well as teaching and learning materials for our children. This is awesome news and we would like to assure you that we will do all we can and support the teachers immensely,” the chief said.
He added that soon he will mobilize his subjects to start molding bricks so that teacher’s houses are constructed as well as extra classrooms to accommodate the growing number of students.
On his part, Kamphira said the coming in of new more teachers was a relief for him and that students will have ample time to cover all the subjects in good time than was the case where they had to wait for him.
“This is what I had always wanted not only for me but for the pupils from this school, they really required more teachers and am eager to work even extra harder,” he said.
The coming in of new teachers makes the total of teachers at the school to three, thus two qualified ones as well as the former headmaster, Kamphira.-(Story by Solister Mogha, Malawi News Agency)