By Duncan Mlanjira
In order to encourage hard work and attainment of excellent grades that can enable students to compete for national college places, Machinga Development Association (MADAS) has awarded eight outstanding students who scored good points from the 2018 Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE).
MADAS conceived the merit awards for the district’s secondary school students with the main goal of developing Machinga by encouraging attainment of tertiary education among young people.
The eight best performing candidates were all boys; Peter Chisale from Liwonde Community Day Secondary School (CDSS) who got 10 points, Daniel Milanzie (11 points), Musterpha Mmadi (11), Mussa Idrissa (11), Tsumba Andrew (11) — all from Liwonde Secondary School, Ishmael Master (12) and Hassan Muhamad (12) — both from Puteya SS and Cassim Idrissa (12) from Masanje CDSS).
There were also some awards given to outstanding learners in Forms 1-3 at four secondary schools; Liwonde, Puteya, Mpiri and Mbenjere.
Representing manager for the South East Education Division was Lucy Chinyano, who was also guest of honour, and she pointed out the absence of girls amongst the awardees.
She said that it important to have equal representation on both girls and boys and she asked MADAS to develop a criterion to ensure that both girls and boys stand equal chances of winning the awards.
She said that the EDM is very delighted with the initiative, who is the first in the Division and his office has welcomed it with both hands.
District Education Manager (DEM), Makina Gama applauded MADAS for the good initiatives aimed at promoting education in the district.
He said the awards is a tool that will help drive and promote the standard of secondary school education in the district and he thanked MADAS for liaising with his office even though secondary school education in Malawi is centralized.
He also thanked MADAS for supporting needy students. He added that his office is implementing a similar initiative to be awarding primary school best performing pupils.
He asked MADAS not to pull back with this good initiative for the betterment of the district which is characterized by low level performance in education.
Representative of the University Students Association of Machinga (USAM) at Chancellor College, Patson Asikimu, in his motivational speech, encouraged both awardees and the other students who attended the function to work hard in their studies.
He told them his education background that although he was born in a poor family he managed to work hard and achieve his dreams and he is at Chancellor College, pursuing Bachelor of Science Degree in Education.
He encouraged the students to not let poverty stand in their way to getting educated and he asked MADAS to extend its support to university students from Machinga, who are struggling in various colleges in Malawi.
Representing MADAS chairperson Bridon Mbaya, David Nangoma assured the people of Machinga that MADAS will do all it can to ensure that the district should be receiving quality education.
“MADAS Academic Merit Award is an ongoing initiative which intends to improve the performance of candidates at MSCE. On education, MADAS is on the mission to see many young boys and girls from Machinga enrolled in various tertiary education institutions.
“It is the belief of MADAS that if many people from Machinga are educated, the district will develop as they will be contributing to the development of the district and the nation at large.
“This year’s event is just the beginning. There is more to come. The resources that MADAS used were not enough but we will increasing the budget in future events and also the number of awardees,” he said.