Govt told to give back school to NGO


Some concerned citizens at Mdoola area in Nkhata-Bay have told government through the Ministry of Education to give back a school which it turned into a district girls boarding school instead of a CDSS to reach out to many underprivileged students as per agreement.

Malawi24 understands that in a bid to complement government’s efforts on educating every Malawian child, Chimbota Community Development Organisation constructed a school facility which was named Chimbota Private Secondary School.

It is reported that by then every student seeking secondary education at the facility was paying K35,000 in school fees which seemed to be a huge burden on many students from underprivileged families in surrounding areas.

Later, authorities at the organization thought of handing over the school to Malawi government on agreement that it should be run as a Community Day Secondary School (CDSS) knowing that more students may manage to pay the school fees at a CDSS rate.

However, this publication has established that Ministry of Education turned the school into a district girls boarding facility where students are paying close to K100, 000, leaving underprivileged students with no option but to walk long distance to access cheaper education services.

Village Headman Mdoola reacted angrily on the matter by saying if the ministry does not want to make the school a community day secondary, then it should be handed over back to the owners.

The Village Headman said there have been more dropouts since the school was turned into a boarding facility and further lamented the need to hand it over to Chimbota Organization and be administered as a private school so that more students should return to school.

“The school was constructed by Chimbota Community Development Organisation and there is no need for government to own and run it by force. The organisation has also been instrumental in providing bursaries to needy learners up to the university level,” worried Village Headman Mdoola.

Alick Vimphangwe who is one of the communities from the area, said government needs to resolve the matter with urgency claiming it will affect the education status for the area.

On the other hand, Ishmael Zangazanga a beneficiary of the Organisation’s bursary scheme, said the current situation is forcing students to walk over nine kilometres to access secondary school education unlike in the past when students were walking less than two kilometres.

“I did my secondary at Chimbota Private Secondary School on a full bursary by Chimbota Community Development Organisation up to now when am at University of Malawi. I am worried about what is happening at my old school, and I hope authorities will resolve this to the benefit of children within our area,” said Zangazanga.

Earlier this month, spokesperson for the ministry of education Mphatso Nkuonera told one of the local media houses that the ministry followed all procedures before taking over the school.

Nkhuonera is further quoted as saying the ministry expects Chimbota Community Development Organisation to engage them if they have issues on the school ownership.

However, the organization’s director Kevin Troughton, maintains that they want their school back over government’s failure to meet their agreement of making the facility a CDSS.

On the issue of engaging the ministry of education on the matter, Troughton argues that his organisation has written the ministry several times but has never received any feedback

“Our plan was to run the school together with the government as a community day secondary school so that parents in the area could manage to pay the affordable fees and ensure that students in the area are accessing secondary school. But with the current situation, we have no choice but to take the school back and run it again as a private secondary school,” said Troughton.

The Director has then announced plans to extend the infrastructure at Chimbota school to ensure that the school has additional modern buildings so as to enhance quality education in the area.

Chimbota Community Development Organisation which runs Chimbota Lichenga Nursery, Chimbota maize mill and shops, is a registered non-profit organisation, serving around Bwelero, Dindano and other areas to the south of Nkhata Bay district.

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