Poor learning environment affecting learners in Mzimba


By Sopani Ng’ambi

Learners at Kaswiti Primary School in Mzimba District are at risk of not meeting their academic goals as they are failing to access quality education due to poor learning environment at the school.

Kaswiti Primary School, which is under Mzimba North Education Division, has two iron sheet roofed classroom blocks and one grass-thatched block which leaks when it rains.

Learners at Kaswiti Primary School

According to the school’s headteacher, Pius Tembo, learners from different classes are forced to use same classroom due to the challenge.

“We meet a lot of challenges here. For instance, during lessons, Standard 4 and 5 learners use one classroom, same as those of Standard 7 and 8,” Tembo said.

“When the rains come, things get worse. Our grass-thatched classroom block leaks heavily, a situation that disrupts lessons hence spoiling learners’ brighter future,” Tembo added.

Apart from having few dilapidated blocks, the school also has inadequate staff houses, as there is only one small house.

“The school does not have enough teachers’ houses, so we live far from it hence facing travelling problems as roads here are in bad condition especially during rainy seasons,” Tembo explained.

Also, hygiene wise, the school is in sorry state as learners use poorly constructed and unclean toilets, hence putting their lives at risk as the situation would lead to disease outbreaks.


Meanwhile, in line with Sustainable Development Goal Number 4, Access to Quality Education, a Mzuzu based non-governmental organisation called Citizen Impact, together with the Kaswiti community have launched a fundraising campaign for materials to build the school block and other needed structures at the school.

Citizen Impact Organisation founder, Chimwemwe Banda, who also spoke on behalf of Kaswiti residents, said after realising the importance of education, they deemed it fit to embark on the fundraising initiative.

“Knowing that education is important and requires good learning environment, we decided to engage the community in building and rehabilitating needed structures at the school,” Banda said.

“So far, we have managed to make some bricks for the school block and toilet but we still need more support from different stakeholders,” Banda added.

Kaswiti Primary School has 330 learners and among them, 176 are girls while 154 are boys.

If Malawi is to address challenges schools like Kaswiti meet, then recruiting more teachers, building and rehabilitating school infrastructure as well as making sure there is good teachers’ welfare, would be necessary.