OVERCROWDING IN LILONGWE PRIMARY SCHOOLS REACHES BAR POINT

Date:

Division for Lilongwe Urban Primary Education has expressed concern over the congestion of pupils in the Lilongwe urban area which is as a result of inadequate primary schools found in the urban area as compared to the current population size of pupils who goes to school.

Ngwenya Primary Schools is one of the urban primary school which is facing this challenge although efforts have been made to manage the situation; it still shows that the situation is bad.
The school has 24 classrooms and 91 teachers to accumulate and manage 8,967 pupils.

In an interview with the Head Teacher for Ngwenya Primary School, Mrs. Rosie Chalowa expressed concern of overcrowding and she said the teachers are trying very hard to manage the situation, but it is not easy because they are experiencing a challenge of inadequate teachers since a single class has about 150 to 200 pupils.

“We are receiving funds under the local development fund to build blocks to add to the already existing ones but even if we do that the problem will not be eliminated permanently and what the area needs is another school altogether so that we can relieve some of the pupils,” explains Chalowa.

The District Education Manager for Lilongwe Urban, Dr. Martha Sinetre admitted that her Department is aware of the challenge and has advised the schools to adopt an overlapping system of which some classes are put in the afternoon to avoid pupils from learning outside classrooms.

“We have also asked the people in such communities to identify plots where a completely new school can be built, as it is a long term solution, I should commend St John’s Primary School management because they have been able to manage the situation,” she said

However on the issue of inadequate teachers she explained that Lilongwe urban is not receiving new teachers because previously the government came to notice that there were excess teachers in the urban areas and less of them in the rural areas which made them to implement a policy of deploying new trained teachers to rural areas so that they should serve there for five years before returning to the urban areas.

“As a division we now have inadequate teachers because some of them have resigned and retired, death is also contributing to the problem, so the only solution is that the government should review the policy which was implemented so that we may start receiving new teachers,” she added.

Some of the schools which are facing the same challenge are Kaliyeka, M’buka, and Chipala and St Johns primary schools.

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Robert Ngwira
Attended Our Future Private Secondary School in Rumphi from 2006-2009 Holder of Diploma in Journalism from Malawi Institute of Journalism (MIJ) Hobbies, reading newspapers, going out with friends, listening to radio and watching football. Email: info@faceofmalawi.com

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