The Ministry of Education in consultation with all District and Education Division Managers has resolved to further extend the temporary suspension of primary and secondary school classes up to 31st March 2023 when Term 2 ends. This suspension applies in the Cyclone Freddy most affected education districts of Nsanje, Chikwawa, Mulanje, Phalombe, Blantyre Rural, Blantyre Urban, Thyolo, Chiradzulu, Mwanza, Neno, Zomba Rural, and Zomba Urban.
In a statement signed by Secretary for Education Chikondano Mussa, the classes will resume on 17th April 2023, when Term 3 commences.
“The rapid assessment of schools that the Ministry of Education has conducted in the affected districts shows that most structures such as classrooms and toilets are unsafe and hence, need certification before children can be brought to school; while other infrastructures such as, roads, bridges, and support services need maintenance or restoration for learners to safely access schools,” in part reads the statement.
The statement added another reason:
“Furthermore, as of Friday, 17th March 2023, about 230 schools were being used as holding camps for internally displaced communities.”
According to the statement, all learners sitting for national and international examinations will return to school on 27th March 2023, to start preparing for examinations.
“The 2 rest of the classes in primary and secondary school will write their end of Term 2 examinations in the first week of Term 3. In this period, the Ministry will continue to work with District Councils, Development Partners, and other stakeholders to mobilize support to meet the immediate minimum needs of the schools for safe reopening,” continues the statement.
As an alternative, the Ministry has put in place measures to ensure the continuation of learning. The statement disclosed that learner-targeted radio lessons will resume on air from Monday 20th March 2023, from 08:00hrs to 16:30hrs, for both primary and Secondary school throughout the period including during the Easter holiday.
“The radio lesson broadcast schedule for Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) Radio 1 & 2 is attached and can also be downloaded from the Ministry’s website: https://www.education.gov.mw/. b. Online lessons available on the following links: https://c14.radioboss.fm/u/285 (both primary and secondary) and https://shakaina.radioca.st/stream (secondary). c. Carefully designed learner-centered secondary school learning materials can be accessed online on the Ministry of Education website above,” explained the statement.
The statement adds that immediate requirements for the resumption of classes include, temporary classrooms, toilets, textbooks, and scholastic materials such as movable chalkboards, chalk, dusters, notebooks, and gadgets to support digital learning, e.g., radios and tablets.
“The Ministry is calling upon development partners, community leaders, parents, guardians, and all stakeholders to support the recovery process of learners to access the radio lessons and the digital learning materials available,” concludes the statement.