The Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19–constituted to oversee the national response against the pandemic–has described as “fulfilling and satisfying” the Covid projects being implemented in the education sector, with the guidance of the education cluster under the taskforce
Co-Chairperson for the taskforce, Dr. Wilfred Chalamila-Nkhoma, made the remarks when he inspected Kwakupokera Community Day Secondary School and Ngazi Primary School in Mzimba North Education Division, where a borehole and a classroom block have been drilled and constructed, respectively.
The education cluster, just like many other clusters in the national Covid-19 response, received huge sums of money from the government, which it disbursed to certain chosen schools for construction of either classroom blocks or boreholes or for provision of additional teachers.
The projects, according to Chalamila-Nkhoma, were aimed at reducing students’ crowding in classrooms and promoting good hygiene practices in schools amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said the presidential taskforce is impressed with the “successful” implementation of the projects and looks forward to the projects achieving more of the desired objectives.
“When we construct more classroom blocks, we are creating space for more students, which calls for recruitment of more teachers. The pandemic is still here. We need to consolidate these kind of initiatives. When we find more money, let us build more classroom blocks, provide water and recruit more teachers.
It is sad we have Covid-19. But let us capitalize on it by building sustainable structures that will be able to prepare us for the future in case there will be another pandemic,” Nkhoma said.
According to him, so far, drilling of the boreholes is at 83 percent and construction of the budgeted 383 classroom blocks is almost done, with only 26 at roofing level and only seven not started yet.
Further to that, Nkhoma disclosed that 3270 new teachers were recruited on 14 months contract to benefit 2047 schools and that most of them are now being retained by local councils in order to start working permanently.
Chief Education Officer for Mzimba North Education Division, Pauper Mkandawire, commended the government for implementing the projects, saying they are helping reduce the leaner: teacher ratio and promote good hygiene practices, which, he said, is resulting in improved health for the leaners and teachers.