By Sopani Ng’ambi
Mzuzu University has donated over five hundred assorted textbooks to Mzuzu girls secondary school where female prisoners study.
This follows the “Donate a Book Initiative for Mzuzu Prison” which was started by some students from Mzuzu University.
According to one of the founders of the initiative, Oscar Kameta, the decision to donate books came after hearing that the schoolwas lacking learning materials including textbooks.
“Our friends once visited the school and observed that lack of textbooks was one of the challenges there. So we agreed to embark on a book collection campaign to find some books for the school,” Kameta said.
Speaking during the donation on Saturday, registrar of Mzuzu University, Yonamu Ngwira said as a university, they commended the initiative done by their students hence supporting it.
“As a university, we feel it is important to help the underprivileged from the surrounding communities, so the donation is part of the help as well as part of reforming the inmates. We thank our students who upon noticing the challenge, decided to address it,” Ngwira said.
He therefore called on the learners to use the books properly.
“I urge you to take care of the books for the betterment of your own future,” he said.
One of the beneficiaries, a form 3 student, Blessings Gondwe, expressed gratitude, saying the assistance was timely.
“We were really in need of textbooks, now with this help which has come on time, we will be helped a lot as we strive to achieve our goals,” she said.
However, Mzuzu Prison Officer In-Charge, Assistant Commissioner Owen Levi, while applauding the university for the donation, sked for more support, saying that one of challenges the school faces is lack of qualified teachers.
“We usually use other inmates as teachers, of which most of them are underqualified, this is a big blow to the students. We ask the government as well as other stakeholders to help us,” Levi said.
Among the students who got selected to Mzuzu University last year, one was an inmate from Mzuzu Prison’s school.