20 August 2018
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Tuesday, 13 March 2018 11:26

Washed-away Mwanag’ombe Bridge affects education services at Mchuchu School

Written by  Mphatso Nkuonera
Mwanang'ombe Bridge blocking students from going to school -Pic by Mphatso Nkuonera Mwanang'ombe Bridge blocking students from going to school -Pic by Mphatso Nkuonera

Lilongwe, March 13: Students at Mchuchu Primary School in Nathenje zone are failing to go to school following the washing away of Mwanang’ombe Bridge due to heavy rains that fell in the area.

Both the school’s head teacher, Elizabeth Chimutu and village headmen confirmed on the development in separate interviews with the Malawi News Agency (Mana) on Monday.

“Both students and teachers are now failing to cross the place as it is very deep. Classes are seriously disturbed because no one can challenge the running water that is swelling due to continued heavy rains in this area.

“We have over 987 learners but currently almost half the number from the other side of the river is failing to go to school, disadvantaging both teachers and pupils from teaching and learning,” Chimutu said.

She added that the problem has drastically affected syllabus coverage by compromising teaching pace and delivery of quality education to the students at the school.

The school is the only one catering for ten group village heads from Traditional Authorities (TAs) Kalumbu and Mazengera.

Village headman Chapsinja of GVH Mayenje said the development is retrogressive to education development and feared that this situation would lead to high dropout rate and push girls into early marriages.

“We mobilized ourselves to contribute two bags of cement per village to solve this problem. We have only managed to erect pillars. We have failed because we could not raise enough resources. Children are just spending their precious time at home now, our fear is that they cannot do well at school to become reliable and responsible citizens of this community,” the village head lamented.

A visit to the bridge by Mana saw a ladder made from bluegum trees which the community improvised but it is being avoided because it shakes when one steps on it.

Veronica Grevarzio, a standard 8 pupil at the school said she had not been to school for a week at the time of the reporter’s visit to this village.

“It is now six days since I attended classes. We wait for the river to subside and cross it by stepping in the waters, otherwise the improvised ladders are very shaky and risky I cannot dare use it,” Grevarzio said.

Member of Parliament for Lilongwe Mpenu in which the bridge falls, Watson Makala Ngozo said he was not aware of the issue and asked for more time to give his comment.

“Yes, I know Mwanang’ombe Bridge but the Village Development Committee has not reported it to me yet. I will be able to answer you by next week,” he said.

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