The bench under a small tree in the picture doubles as a Head Teacher’s Office and a Staff Room at Chabere Full Primary School which is located in the area of Group Village Head (GVH) Amon Moyo, Traditional Authority (T/A) Mzikubola in Mzimba district.
Despite having only four class rooms, the school has a total enrollment of 350 learners who hail from 5 villages. Heartrendingly, the school was opened in 1994 and the construction of two out of the four classrooms which the school has was initiated by community members. On their part, community members also constructed toilets for members of staff and leaners.
Due to a lack of a proper and secure office, the Head Teacher of the school perseveres the burden of carrying text books to and from his house after teaching hours. Further to this, the Head Teacher also risks theft of other teaching and learning materials that are kept in his house.
Luckily, the school is targeted by the School Feeding Programme in which all the 350 leaners benefit from. However, the school has no storeroom. Thus, pots, porridge flour, plates and cups are kept in one room which doubles as a store as well as a classroom and it is only demarcated by an imaginary line to mark the end of a classroom and the beginning of a storeroom.
“Luckily, we have two churches a few yards from the school and recently, the clergy who are ministering the congregations allowed us to use the churches as classrooms. However, we are forced to go out when the worshipers have mid-week activities,” explained the Head Master of Chabere Full Primary School.
YONECO visited the school a day after the 2020 commemoration of the International Youth Day (IYD) which was celebrated under the theme ‘Youth Engagement for Global Action’.