By Trouble Ziba
Lilongwe, December 18, Mana: Ten primary schools in traditional authorities Mazengela, Kalumbu and Chadza in Lilongwe District have received a grant to the tune of K3.5 million from Edukans for improvement of leadership and school management.
The schools, each of which has received K350, 000, have benefited from the grant under ‘Star Leadership for Star Schools’ Project which runs from September, 2020 up to March, 2021.
Head teachers of beneficiary schools received the money on behalf of their schools in the presence of school management committee (SMC) members of respective schools.
Presenting the cheques at Mwatibu Primary School in Traditional Authority Chadza in the district on Thursday, Edukans country director representative, Limbani Nsapato said the “small grants” would foster leadership skills for proper school management in the schools.
“As head teachers, you will be going to different schools. We want to assist government in providing good leadership in the schools,” he said.
Nsapato added that the grants would also help check if the skills the head teachers learnt from trainings by Edukans on financial management are being utilized.
To a representative of Lilongwe District Chief Education Officer, Peter Kadewere, the Edukans grant will add to the school improvement fund the schools normally get from government which he said is inadequate.
“Those schools that have received the grants should take it (the gesture) as a golden chance to excel in their schools so that others not involved in the program can learn lessons from you,” said Kadewere.
Kadewere, who was guest of honour at the cheque presentation ceremony, was full of praise for the grant, asking the beneficiary schools to be vigilant in the management of the funds.
“The grants given today will add value to the management of the schools and improve the quality of education in the schools,” said Kadewere.
The education official also commended Edukans for providing training to head teachers in the schools under the program on different areas such as resource mobilization, problem solving, situation analysis, planning, leadership and financial management among others.
As an application for the grant, each school was required to submit a budget plan to Edukans, detailing the major problem the school was facing that it wanted to solve.
Head teacher of Nathenje Primary School, one of the beneficiaries of the grant, Elizabeth Chimutu, said her school’s major problem was vandalism at the school.
She said her school would use the money to buy iron window and door frames, strong door shutters and locks to try keep out those vandlising the school and stealing property.
“We believe that once we fix these, vandalism and theft of school property will be reduced,” said Chimutu.
According to the ‘Star Leadership for Star Schools’ project lead person, Yamikani Givah, the ten schools that received the grants are under ‘Star Schools’ Program which Edukans started in 2018.
She said the ‘Star Leadership for ‘Star Schools’ project arose from school management problems identified under ‘Star Schools’ Program.
“So we had a school improvement plan which focused on leadership involving head teachers and school management committees.
“The project was welcomed so we were requested to extend it to Lilongwe rural east where they do not usually benefit from such projects,” said Givah.
Edukans Foundation is an education specialist organisation funded by Humana People to People Education and Training Foundation. It works in 60 schools across Malawi.
Apart from Nathenje, other schools that received the grants include Kalumbu, Nkhoma, Bango, Mwatibu, Mtenthera, Chigodi, Sonkhwe, Kapedzera and Mchuchu.