By Kondwani Magombo, MANA
Government on Friday said it will embark on the construction of 40 secondary schools across the country, courtesy of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Immediate past Minister of Education, William Susuwere Banda disclosed this at Masasa Village in Group Village Headman Msumbi, in the area of Senior Chief Nankumba in Mangochi where he broke the ground for the construction of a junior primary school within the village.
He said government has identified 40 sites across the country where secondary schools would be constructed in the first phase under the USAID funding of 250 secondary schools countrywide.
“We have put the construction of the 250 secondary schools in four blocks and we will start with 40 secondary schools in a month time,” he said.
“We will later move on to another 60 until we finish the construction of all the 250 secondary schools in a period of three years.”
He hailed President Peter Mutharika for prioritizing education in the country and he described the securing of the funding of the 250 secondary schools as a phenomenal achievement that the country has ever achieved in the history of its leadership.
On the ground breaking for a junior primary school at Masasa Village, Banda said it was in response to the Mangochi Monkey Bay Parliamentarian, Ralph Jooma, who had complained that children in the area walk long distances to access primary education.
Banda described the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) leadership as ‘listening and development-conscious’ hence the response to the Monkey Bay legislator’s appeal.
“We are going to construct a junior primary school with classes from standard 1 up to 4 and teachers’ houses.
“A contractor will be deployed to the site in the next three weeks to begin the construction of the school and, in the near future, we will upgrade the school to a full primary with classes up to standard 8.”
Banda said the area would benefit from the 250 secondary schools project and that a secondary school would be constructed in the area in the near future.
The legislator for the area, Ralph Jooma hailed government for considering his plea, saying he had always been concerned with the plight of the children of the area who walk for more than 2km to access primary education.
He said with the construction of the new junior primary school for children from the fishing village of Masasa would have no reasons to turn to the lake at the expense of their education.
“The construction of the junior primary school will be a great relief to the children because it has always been my big concern,” explained Jooma, who was until Friday afternoon Minister of Transport and Public Works.