By Duncan Mlanjira
After hearing a report that the majority of learners at Chichiri Primary School’s junior level, aspiring Member of Parliament (MP) for Blantyre City East Alex Chimwala has suggested to parents if each student could bring a chair to alleviate this problem.
Chimwala was speaking on Thursday after participating at the school’s Reading Fair together with aspiring aspiring councillor for Limbe Central Ward Gerald Lipekwe and parents of the learners.
The Reading Fair was organised by the school under the Ministry of Education’s National Reading Programme (NRP) that is encouraging a reading culture at a tender age right from Standard 1 to 4 and during the ceremony the learners showcased their reading and poetry reciting skills.
Each of the participating student during the activities received special gift donated by Lipikwe of exercise books, rulers, pencils, sharpeners, erasing rubbers as way of encouragement.
And in concluding the function, Chimwala appealed to the parents, who graced the occasion in impressive large numbers, that since the government’s Ministry of Education is in shortfall of providing chairs and desks for schools nationwide, maybe it could be prudent that each student brings their own chair.
“This is just a suggestion that you parents and the school committee can think of doing in order to move forward. Let’s think outside the box.
“I know how you parents have made sacrifices through personal contributions in order for this school to have adequate resources and other services. This can be one of them in order for our students not to be sitting on the floor. It’s worth thinking about together with the school committee,” Chimwala said.
He also said that he has observed there are food vendors on the perimeter area of the school but they are alienated away from the school.
“I want also to suggest that these food vendors should be incorporated as being part of the school so that you can have control over them in terms of monitoring the hygienic way they prepare and store the food.
“You can’t run away from them. There is no way you can stop the children from patronizing their food stalls but the best way is to incorporate them as part of the parents and teachers committee so that you have control of them.
“Right now they just operate the way they feel they can because they do not have a watchdog but once you can have control of them, they shall begin to be very hygienic in the way they prepare and store their food.”
On the Reading Fair, Chimwala applauded the teachers for a job well done, saying he was impressed with the learners’ pronunciation of the words they read.
“This is an excellent initiative. You parents should embrace this fully by asking the children to be reading out aloud to you when they come back home so that wherever they are failing you can assist,” he said.
Lipikwe also encouraged the parents to take active part in making sure the learners are provided with various books so that they develop a leading culture at a tender age.
“What we have witnessed here was something I never expected and I would like to agree with previous speakers that once a pupil learns how to read and understand what they are reading, all subjects become easy for them to grasp.
“I give my thumbs up to the school, headed by Catherine Sukasuka Ngalauka, for organizing this Reading Fair and it should be a continuous process to encourage the learners to take their education very seriously. I also applaud National Reading Programme for coming up with this initiative,” Lipikwe said.
He said Chichiri Primary stands out as one of the best administered school’s in the city of Blantyre and encouraged the parents and teachers committee to continue giving it the best educational services.
“This Reading Fair has encourage parents to appreciate job being done very well by the teachers here and let’s embrace it fully so that it can be a continuous process that shall gather parents, teachers, the learners and invited guests to socially interact,” Lipikwe said.