Mponda Primary School defies government’s part-time policy


Parents whose children learn at Mponda Primary School in Balaka have complained that they are being forced to pay fees for extra lessons which contravenes the Government’s ban on provision of part-time lessons in public institutions.

Our investigation reveals that teachers at the school continue offering paid part-time lessons where learners pay a minimum of K3,000 monthly.

Our visit to the school on Wednesday afternoon found only a few learners attending classes as others were reportedly sent back home due to lack of the fees.

One of the concerned parents who spoke on the condition of anonymity expressed dissatisfaction with the arrangement, saying most parents are going through unfavourable economic conditions and cannot afford to pay for the extra lessons.

”Its very unfortunate to learn that most learners are sent back home because of non-payment of extra fees,” the concerned parent said, adding, the arrangement makes it difficult for some learners to catch up with what their fellow learners have learnt, claiming the content delivered is not revised during normal classes.

Speaking in an interview, Headteacher for the school, MacDonald Chikwanje, disclosed to have knowledge of the extra lessons which he described as ‘remedial’ lessons but, however, he expressed ignorance that learners were paying for the lessons.

Speaking in a separate interview, Balaka District Education Manager, Ignatius Kameni while condemning the malpractice by the school, expressed ignorance on the matter and vowed to investigate the issue with urgency.

”Infact, this is contrary to the Government Policy on education and it’s very unfortunate bearing in mind that Primary School education in Malawi is free of charge,” Kameni explained.

Meanwhile, chairperson of Balaka District Education Network, Hassan Abdulmalick has bemoaned the tendency which he described as unfair considering that learners have to be given equal treatment in as far as access to education is concerned.

Mponda Primary School is located near St.Loius Catholic Parish along Chingeni-Liwonde road and has a total enrollment of over 3,000 learners.

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