By Sarah Mkandawire
Communities surrounding Mvama LEA School in Lilongwe Urban have asked the District Education Manager [DEM] to come and visit the school to solve the longstanding issues that are making the communities to turn hostile against the school.
One of the parents, Mrs. Esnath Kaliza Mwale has accused the Primary Education Advisor [PEA] and District Education Manager [DEM] for remaining quiet besides receiving several calls of inviting them to address a meeting with them or members of staff on issues surrounding School Improvement Grant [SIG] and Development Fund.
Kaliza said management of these two funds is being kept secret claiming that most of the teachers at the school have never and ever been consulted on the needs of the school a development which is negatively affecting teaching and learning at the school.
She has claimed that a low classroom shelter was built at the school with the total cost of MK7.4 million but looking at the amount spent and the state of the classroom shelter, does not match clearly speaking for itself that there was abuse of funds at the school.
The parent said the schools head teacher and management committee just sit down with teachers backing corruption activities planning estimates for the needs of the school representing all members of staff while the truth is, members of staff and support staff are not consulted.
She said the school has been sending Operation Budget for 2022 and 2023 to the PEA and DEM without holding any meeting with teachers for their needs to buy books, desks, training of school management committee, chalk boxes, among others saying interestingly, teachers are only been told that the school has planned for the items to buy.
Kaliza has challenged both the PEA and DEM to take with them Mvama School’s Operation Budget for 2022 and 2023 to the school claiming that this will be an eye opener that development funds are being abused left and right in schools by a few individuals to benefit their pockets.
She wondered if at all the country has Civil Society Organizations on good governance to be holding meetings with teachers in schools minus head teachers and management committees for teachers to feel free to express themselves on the abuse of funds in schools.
The parent said it pain hear to see development partners funding schools for projects which are on only on paper while on the ground, there is nothing, pupils are learning without text books, teachers teaching without teachers teacher’s guides yet that the government is boasting to be providing quality education.
She recalled that at one time the Civil Society Education Coalition [CSEC] called on the Government of Malawi to come swiftly arresting and prosecuting head teachers and management committees abusing school funds, but this was only done on paper.
…..’’Head teachers and management committees are abusing school funds because government is just watching , had it been that two or three were arrested and prosecuted in court, the malpractice would have stopped by this day,’’….said Kaliza.
She expressed hope that the DEM for Lilongwe Urban schools, will find time in as soon as yesterday to come to Mvama LEA School to see for himself an iceberg of the fruits of corruption happening in amny schools across the country saying his coming will help cementing the sour relationship between the school and the school communities to become cordial.