By Jordan Simeon-Phiri, MEC Stringer
Executive director for Foundation for Community Support Services (FOCUS), Kossam Munthali has hailed the partnership that exists between Plan Malawi and his organization in Karonga, saying the area is now safe from natural disasters after it had introduced disaster risky reduction clubs in nine schools through the vigorous tree replanting exercises along river banks and schools ground to counter soil erosion.
“We have taught the community how to mitigate effects of climate change by growing trees along river banks that are prone to disaster,” Munthali said after a successful project monitoring in the area of Paramount Chief Kyungu in the district,
“Pupils and the community have showed strong leadership awareness through various interventions since 2016 as we have managed to address issues to do with inclusive education as previously physically challenged pupils had challenges in interacting with their fellow pupils.”
Meanwhile, Plan International Malawi senior management team says some of the problems that the country is going through are caused to due to lack of political will, saying if development conscious leaders were to be elected, pupils in primary schools could not have been sitting on the floor due to shortage of desks.
Plan Malawi country director Daniel Mchena made the remarks on Wednesday during the project monitoring event held at Lupaso Primary School aimed at enhancing schools to adapt inclusive education, mitigation against effects of climate change and advocate for dangers of early marriages that impede a girl childs education.
Mchena said this after he had watched splendid activities such as English poem recitals, mock press conferences and dialogues pupils displayed at the event yet the school does not have enough learning and teaching material to make a conducive environment for learning process.
“Children are agents of change. What they have displayed here is loud and clear that if we invest in their education then we have a bright future. It pains a lot to hear that the school here does not have enough desks, that there are only three to toilets to cater for over 1,000 pupils and that there are few school blocks and teachers houses.
“Let us, therefore, use the May 21 tripartite elections to elect leaders who will take this country out of poverty to prosperity by electing development conscious leaders who will value the importance of educating children.
“That will ease the roles of development partners who only compliment governments efforts,” Mchena said.
He commended teachers at the school who, despite harsh working conditions, are keep to shaping kids who performed their activities to satisfaction.
Mchena also advised parents to refrain from cultural practices that lead girls to drop out for school opting for early marriages, saying his organization will not be amused to see small girls going into early and forced marriages.