By Ireen Kayira – Mana.
Head teacher for Makonje Primary School in Lilongwe has asked for construction of classroom blocks at the school.
The Head Teacher said this on Sunday when Parliamentary Committee on Education together with Action Aid visited the School to monitor progress of project dubbed breaking barriers tax justice and gender responsive services.
The project which is being funded by the Royal Norwegian government aims at uplifting standards of education.
In an interview with Malawi News Agency (MANA), the Head Teacher, Ronald Chinkondenji said the school has only two classroom blocks for learners from standard one to 8.
“During the rainy season learning is hard for the learners as they are sent back home once the rain starts,” he said.
Chinkondenji said the with the support of the community they managed build one additional classroom block but the block collapsed one side because it did not have iron sheets .
“We want your support because it is not only the classroom blocks that we are lacking, we do not have the library, head teacher’s office, teachers houses as well as washrooms for girls,” he said.
The Head teacher added that because they do not have washrooms for girls the school dropout for girls is high.
He requested for the support so that children in the area can go further with their education.
Chinkondenji said the community is ready to take part in the building of the classrooms for example moulding bricks among other things.
Action Aid International Programmes, Manager Julie Juma said the aim of the project was to sensitise the community on tax so that they may be able to ask for development projects in their community more especially in the education sector.
“So far we have seen that communities are taking this well as you can see they were able to ask members of parliament who were here what they want for their school,” she said.
The Manager said organisations can build a block and leave but if the community takes it in their hands that the school should have all the blocks it can happen.
“If they question the authority and tell them that you pay tax and demand for the blocks and put pressure on them it can happen and this is the power that we are giving them,” Juma said.
She said tax acts like a contract where citizens pay and in return government give back through development activities as such it is important that citizens monitor their tax so that it doesn’t end in people’s pockets.
Chairman for the Parliamentary Committee on Education, Brainax Kaise commended Action Aid for their initiative as it would help duty bearers in their line of work.
“The fact that they were able to tell us their needs it is a good development. It only shows that communities are aware of their rights and they know that part of their tax has to go towards the improvement of the education sector,” he said.
Kaise said the role of the committee is to educate the nation as such they would do whatever they could to address the challenges.
“Among the challenges they mentioned is the one that is affecting the girl child education as such this will be our driving tool.
“Women should be at the fore front in governing the country and this can only be possible when they are educated,” he said.