Financial woes swamps private schools: not meeting school reopening guidelines

By staff writer

It has emerged that most private schools in Mzuzu are yet to start preparing for the reopening of schools due to financial hiccups.

Akometsi has established that almost all the schools are yet to start orienting their teachers on how they will be required to discharge their duties amid corona virus.

The schools are also short on the budgets of providing all corona virus preventive equipment that are required upon reopening of schools.

As if all that is not enough, school managers are also crippled financially to cater for their staff risk allowances as they will be discharging their duties amid the deadly pandemic.

President Lazarus Chakwera, recently, in his weekly public address made an announcement that government is assessing schools that are ready for possible reopening in the first weeks of September.

According to the president, only schools that will be deemed fit for the reopening will be given a go ahead.

A checklist that the assessment team will be using in approving a particular school, which Akometsi have seen, requires schools to have uninterrupted water supply, provision of personal protective equipment, disinfectants and sanitizers among others.

On the other hand, students will be required to be attending classes in shifts, a requirement that calls for additional workforce, something which infers more cost burdens on private schools.

In an interview, director of Chirwa private secondary school, Ackim Chirwa, admitted that the requirements are forbidding in nature and most schools like his will not manage them due to financial constraints.

“It’s too costly. We can’t manage with our meager resources. They must review their measures and allow us to open. We may solve some of the problems as we go,” he said.

Akometsi followed up with president for independent schools association of Malawi (ISAMA) Joseph Patel for his official views on the development but his line could not be reached despite several attempts.

However, he is on record to have told the local media recently that as ISAMA they are ready to open schools anytime soon.


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