Highly charged communities around Changausya Full Primary School in Mangochi on Thursday assaulted the head teacher and two other teachers for allegedly abusing school resources.
The development has forced teachers to suspend classes indefinitely, effectively sending learners on an early Christmas holiday.
A sister to Village Head (VH) Chumbangame, Rose Anusa, confirmed the incident, saying communities are not happy with how the three handled 43 bags of cement meant for renovation of two school blocks and undisclosed bags of soy blend meal which a German organisation—Welthungerhilfe Malawi—is supplying them for the school-feeding programme with funding from the European Union (EU).
She said: “And, after failing to reach a compromise, communities resorted to assaulting the concerned teachers to express their displeasure of their actions, but also ensure that these malpractices don’t take place again.”
The head teacher and his family was reportedly in hiding when this reporter visited the school, but one of the concerned teachers, Dines Tsegula, confessed taking part in the ‘illegal’ sale of cement and the eventual assault by communities.
But Tsegula was quick to clarify that the cement in question had outlived its lifespan having been delivered to the school in 2012.
He said the 43 bags were part of the 200 bags the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology sent them to use in renovating two school blocks which were blown off in 2001 and 2010 respectively.
Tsegula, who is also School Health and Nutrition (SHN) teacher, did not commit himself to comment on the sale of soy blend meal although one woman in Chumbangame Village confirmed buying two bags of the meal from the teachers.
Welthungerhilfe Malawi field coordinator for Mangochi, Steve Chikomo, feared that sale of the soy blend meal could adversely affect implementation of the school feeding programme.
Mangochi deputy District Education Manager (DEM) Paul Magombo, who was tasked to mediate talks aimed at resolving the differences, said he was not aware of the suspension of classes.