Print this page
Monday, 05 August 2019 14:50

Council approves sites for construction of secondary schools

Written by  Synd Kalimbuka
Students like these to benefit - File Photo Students like these to benefit - File Photo

Zomba, August 5, 2019: Zomba District Council has approved sites where government plans to construct seven secondary schools in an attempt to reduce distances the students travel to access secondary education. 

The schools are part of the 250 secondary schools which government announced to construct across the country Secondary Education Expansion Development Project through the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.

Speaking during a full council meeting on Saturday, District Education Manager for Zomba Rural, Charles Sakwata advised the local council to choose the sites in order of priorities.

Sakwata said the district council is expected to inform the ministry on the approved sites so that a team from the ministry headquarters could come for assessment.

In response, the council considered first five sites which were prioritized in its District Development Plan (DDP) to construct five secondary schools in the next five years.

The council also added two sites to construct additional secondary schools so that in total, there are seven sites as provided by the government.

The selected areas include; Chilipa Zone in Zomba-Chingale, Ntungulutsi Zone in Zomba-Lisanjala, St. Paul’s Zone in Zomba-Chisi, Mchengawede Zone in Zomba-Malosa, Nsondole Zone in Zomba-Nsondole, Chikala Zone in Zomba-Ntonya and St. Martin Zone in Zomba-Thondwe constituency.

In her reaction, Member of Parliament for Zomba-Malosa, Grace Kwelepeta expressed gratitude with the development, saying it was pleasing that the council chose an area to benefit from a particular development based on priorities within its DDP.

Kwelepeta who is also Deputy Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, observed that using the DDP as a guide in the planning process of development would help in addressing numerous challenges the district faces in various sectors.

She added that once the seven secondary schools are operational, they would reduce distances students cover to access secondary education.

“The secondary schools project will indeed reduce distance which students walk currently which range from 10-15 kilometres,” Kwelepeta said.

Kwelepeta attributed the current high school drop-out rate among girls to the long distances covered to go to school.

Representative of Zomba District Commissioner, Isaac Ali advised members of the council, chiefs in particular, to work together with authorities from the education sector during the handover of the identified land.

Ali said this transition would reduce the challenges which the district faces when such projects commence where communities and individuals bring land disputes, thereby delaying the project.

Zomba district has 200 primary schools whose learners are selected to two district boarding secondary schools, three conventional secondary schools and 32 community day secondary schools.