Hunger affects new school timetable: learners knocking off at midday to look for food

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As the new primary school hours continue to face criticism, education authorities in Nkhatabay have disclosed that some learners are knocking off before time due to hunger.

Speaking during a spot check this publication conducted recently, authorities said most learners complain of being hungry soon after lunch hour.

A visit by our team established that in some schools like Kang’oma and Chitheka primary learners were deserting at midday, leaving their respective classrooms almost empty.

Malawi Primary school

Pupils hit hard by hunger. (File)

In an interview, the headteachers of the two schools conceded that they fail to control learners from deserting because even if they force them, the learners lose concentration in class after lunch hour.

“So we just let them go and eat. In fact, some of them, complain that they come to school without eating thus they can’t persevere to knock off at the recommended time of 2:30 PM,” said James Zimba- headteacher at Kang’oma primary school.

As if this was not enough, Zimba revealed that the new timetable has lowered the attendance rate at his school since some learners opt truancy in order to escape knocking off very late.

 

His counterpart at Chitheka primary school shared the same sentiments, stressing that the trend may affect the performance of learners in Nkhatabay.

“There is nothing we can do, because even if we force them to be in class, they don’t concentrate. We have tried to reason with their parents about the time but they seem to be as well against the timetable,” he said.

Earlier this year, government through the ministry of education, science and technology, introduced a new primary school timetable, which stretched knocking off time, from 12:30 to 2:30 pm.

According to the ministry, the move aims at improving education standards in the country.

District Education manager for Nkhatabay Mzondi Moyo, refused to comment on the issue.

Meanwhile, psychologist Gibson Chirwa has described the timetable as boring to learners, especially primary school scholars.

“Psychologically, children lose concentration after midday. At this time, they only think about eating lunch. You can’t keep a child from morning up to later in the afternoon without giving them something to eat,” said Chirwa.

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45 Comments

  1. But who is responsible for this mess? Peter muntharika.

    Poor governance of Malawi will still punish the innocents people in our Nation.Government must try to implement the systems how to save the students and old people….. So sad.

  2. time table imeneyi ikufunika thawi yadowe osati yachilimwe ngt ino bcz ana akungo yasamula ndinjala kufuna chakudya komaso amayenda mitunda itali itali kpita ku nyumba.

  3. Education is being killed by govt ,poor decision making by the govt,for example in Nkhatabay north west there is a certain primary xool(mkoloka FP school) there’s only two teachers from 1-8,does this make sense? And do you expect kuti ana aziweruka 2:30pm with two teachers only? Am concerned

    • Why do u want 2 say that we don’t have educated people around that area? If so why can’t u take this is to district education officers or what z ur mp doing do u mean during campain he/she didn’t visit the area? I declare that xool dead

  4. Time table imeneyi ndiyokomela ana amabwana osati kumidzi ayi vuto ndiloto ku education ko amaona ngati iwo ndi anthu akumizi ndi ofanana kapezedwe

  5. Asiyeni adziweluka nthawi isanakwane kukafufuza kena kake koti adye coz tikamadandaula ndinu nomwe amene mmanena kuti we have to work hard kuti tichepetse njala tisamadalire boma,, we have mps n our areas amene amaona mavuto athu bt they failing to take mavuto athu & report to the Government ati coz we ar lazzy ok it fine tizaonetsana mbwaza 2019 is jst around de corner adyera onse fired together wit your APM vuuuuu ndangodutsa

  6. Ndiye Mumuona Learner Ali Fwinyiriri Under Leafless Tree Ndinyengo Yakeyi, Dzuwa Liri Phwe! Sir, Learner Onse R Sweating Chu! chu! chu!

  7. This is annoying, our children are learning under a tree hungry then mps waste tax payers money discussing abortion. Nonsense! Zambian /Malawian

  8. Nothin New,I Oredy Syd B4 Dat Educ. Policies Just Lyk Prison Svices Polces(zokhaulitsa) Dey’r Only Punshin De Lito Inocent Vilage Learner! Awo Ali Ku Bambino!

  9. Ths Policy Has Came Due 2 Jerousy,they Said Tchers Wre Spendng Much Tm In There Bussnez Cz They Kncking Off Earier,Now They Want 2 Punic Thm Nt 2 Do Busnes $spending Much Tym In Tchng.Thy Said Techers Received There Salaries In Vain.Nw Ngt Akukaniza Busnss Dzko Nde Lngtukuke Bwanj?? Kmans Mwana Ikangodutsa 12 Mind Yake Yonse Imakhala Kunyumba

  10. The Education sector is being poluted with useless policy makers who are still dancing donors tunes! Pa chichewa chomvekabwino “ma yes bwana” mmene tiliri paumphawi policy imeneyi sikutiyenera we need alot of resources to run it dziko lathu muli anthu ambiri anzeru omwe atati apatsidwa maudindo kwa sabata imodzi zinthu zikhonza kusintha, koma haaa! chisoni alikaka kukakamira ntchito zomwe simbali yawo chifukwa anailowa nt chito chifukwa cha auje aja! tsoka opanda auje.But ihave all the hope angakhalitsebwanji ena akumayisiya mipandoyi akafa,mwina kufamasokumene nanga mkale lija adakhala mu ofesi lija Tiyeni tilikonde dziko lathu tiyeni tiapatse mpata achinyamata kodi simmensa timati ndiatsogoleri amawa? ican agree how difficult it is to teach an old dog new tricks!

  11. poor decision making.. How do expect mwana kukhala mkalasi ngati even inuyo ngati makhala kuntchito its bc of tea break…mwana sangakhale ku xool mpaka 2:00pm…Apa nde maphunziro timafuna aja sakupezekanso..

  12. keep it up learnerz,tel them and teach them hw to think.primary knockng at 2:30 while wa form 4, 2:00pm wat is it? i think batries are low in the heads of all who supported this.recharge them pliz

  13. mwana wastd 1 alimba bwanji from 7:30 -12:00 kunamizana kut mukukweza quality of education …some tyms yu tain to wonder kut who come up with these silly policies? from std 5 to 8 knocking off at 2;30 wa form 4 .2:00 eee logic poor

  14. Zimapweteka kuona anthu mumene amavutikila mumadera osiyanasiyana makamaka mumizi,koma chipongwe chachikulu,mukuwaberaso ndalama zomwe maiko akunja akuthandiza

  15. timetable sanaganizire umphawi wa dziko ndikutalikirana kwa ma sukulu.Mwina mu town osati kumadera a kumidzi kumeneko ndi kupha maphunziro

  16. Ifelt sory when gvt say there is no hunger if ugo in the village local pple r’suffering ryt nw’Remember if ur driving porshy cars,eating Well,Sleeping well and dressing well n’fancy houses pali anthu akuvutika ndipo zonse ndatchulazi akuzisowa,ukakhala pa Nsana pa Njobvu usamati kunja kulibe mame,Maiko akuthandiza Sikuti kuthandiza inu olemera koma Osauka Midzi,Mulungu azakulangani

    • Atonde tasiyani zamilanduapa ifetanva kuti m,baleyu watichiyani ndipo zatikuza koopsya sitingakhalenso ndimpata omapikisana pakulemba ayyaaah

    • Koma palibe atafe ndi njala while learners are runing away to luk thre own food? Koma ameneyu ndi sasamba shame on u guyz.ndaona anthu 4 dayz kumangodya mango nde wina akudya ma Burger mkumati palobe atafe ndi njala? Sorry guyz zandikhuza hvy

    • kodi mumawelenga nkhani muli nd ina mmutu mkumapanga coment zammutu mwanuzo eti!..the issue here is not about lack of food in their homes.no! it simply is the time adjusted for knocking off!,.they are now knocking off around half 2 whch is just too bad hence at around 12 learners are running away either to their homes or kukadya mango!

  17. YEA…. This is trury what is happening in our poor country by the name MALAWI… as the government purchasing most expensive cars for the president almost millions of money spends on that, insted of looking on education sectors. what for…… plz God bless MALAWI

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