NGOs Fueling Vandalism In Secondary Schools-Minister

By Tione Andsen

Government has expressed concern that some Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOS) in the country were fuelling acts of vandalism among students in Secondary Schools in the country.

Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Dr William Susuwele Banda expressed the concern Monday when he officially opened a two day Education Joint Sector Review (JSR) meeting at Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe.

“I would like to strongly condemn the destruction and vandalism happening in our secondary schools. The Ministry will not condone such behaviour. I have always said that there are much better ways to address misunderstanding but not destroying property,” he said.

Banda said the gains the country was making in the education sector would be nothing if we keep going two steps back through the destruction of property.

He observed that some NGO’s working in the area of human rights were providing wrong misconception on the issue of demanding their rights for students in schools as a result they revolt to disagree school management in the name of demanding their rights.

Banda said the trend has seen students take the law into their own hands by destroying school properties.

“We recent received a report where students of Lunzu Secondary School in Blantyre destroyed their school in the name of demanding their rights,” the Minister pointed out.

He said NGOS were being provided with access to most school in the country with the view of sensitizing the students on the importance of upholding human rights principles.

“We are now surprised that the NGOs have been emphasizing on demanding their rights from school management and in the end there is no promotion of dialogue between the two which has resulted to acts of vandalism among other things,” Banda added.

The Minister said the Ministry would not hesitate to close down a school which has been involved in acts of vandalism which is a clear indication that students are not interested in school.

Banda did not name any NGO which was largely linked to the current spate of vandalism in Secondary Schools.

For the past four months, four Secondary schools have been in the acts of vandalism and the schools were closed.

The first was Blantyre Secondary School where students damaged and destroyed school property when they staged in protest against School authority.

Thyolo Secondary school was the second to be involved in the acts before Rumphi Secondary school students damaged school property as well.

Just few days ago, Lunzu Secondary School students in Blantyre were on rampage to damage their school property.-MANA