We need support – Chibanja Primary School in Mzuzu calls on stakeholders

Written by  Mike Mkwala

Located in Chibanja Township in Mzuzu, Chibanja primary school was established in 2012; and currently the school has 839 learners.

Chibanja Primary School at a distance Chibanja Primary School at a distance

There are only two brick built classrooms, the rest are made of wood commonly known in vernacular as Zigwagwa.


The zigwagwa classrooms were constructed by community volunteers, while the two bricked classrooms were constructed by the Local Development Fund through the Mzuzu City Council.


Chairperson of the School Management Committee McLean Tembo, said that the contractor of the two blocks funded by LDF left before the works had completed, and the school authorities have written the council for an update on the blocks and no reply has been given.


“The two bricked built classrooms were funded by the Local Development Fund, through the city council. Before completion of the project, the contractor left. We don’t know what happened”, said Tembo.


Aside the classroom problem; the school which has classes from standard 1 up to 8, only has desks in standard 7 and 8. The rest of the students sit on the floor.


Students in a class at the school

“This is a wet land; and for learners to be sitting on the floor, in classes without cement floors it is not conducive for learning”, said the Deputy Head teacher for the school, Joyous Moyo. The school is also facing challenges of encroachment.


With no teacher’s house around, unscrupulous community members have now started building houses on school land.


“The land we reserved to build teachers houses since we do not have even one at the moment, people have started building their houses. But we have written the council and we hope we will be helped”, said Joyous Moyo the Deputy Head teacher at the school.


It is also revealed that there is no proper sports field for the learners.


This reporter was told that the community managed to raise K50, 000 as they were told by the authorities to subsidize on fuel so that they should be helped clear some land at the school for sports activities. Sadly, the vehicle only came once and never returned to finish the works.


Additionally, much as the school looks nice from a distance because of its toilet structures; all the 6 beautiful looking toilets are not operational. Works stalled before completion.


Currently, the 839 learners and 16 teachers use this toilet block which has 3 toilets.


“We are aware of the challenges the school has. As of the stalled classroom blocks under LDF, funds had been depleted before completion of the project. The toilets problem is really serious; it is almost the same thing that those building toilets at the school did not complete them.


“But that school was established by the community, and so, much as government supports the school in a number of ways, but the funds are not adequate, we would like therefore to appeal to other stakeholders in the sector including community members to ensure that learners at that school are given a conducive learning environment,” said Amon Chavula, the Mzuzu City District Education Manager.


Worse still, early this year, heavy winds blew off roofs of the Zigwagwa classrooms at the school.

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