20 DecKASUNGU DATA: Why Jesuits Go There!

THOUGHTS ON EDUCATION IN KASUNGU DISTRICT, MALAWI

Why do we choose to locate Loyola Jesuit Secondary School in Kasungu?

 Some data that will give you a picture of our choice to make our school a real “Option for the Poor”

Results of 2010 Kasungu District Standard Eight Examination

  1. 12,000 pupils entered examination
  2. Of these, 6,000 pass examination
  3. Of these, 3,000 placed into secondary schools
  4. Thus, only 25% of standard 8 pupils are able to go on for secondary education.

 

Need For Good Secondary Schools (SS) In Kasungu District

  1. There are presently 48 secondary schools in Kasungu district
  2. Of these, 45 are Community Day Secondary Schools (CDSS)
  3. And 2 are conventional District Secondary Schools (DSS)
  4. And 1 is a private and very expensive National Secondary School (Kamuzu Academy) (NSS)
  5. The 45 CDSS are very poorly equipped: 33 have no electricity, no libraries, no chemistry lab, no running water, no science lab
  6. Up to 80% of the Standard 8 leavers in Kasungu District are selected for these CDSS
  7. Up to 60% drop out by the time they reach their Form Four
  8. Of the 40% remaining only 53% complete Form Four successfully
  9. Of these 53% only about 19% go on to some tertiary program
  10. The passing rate is much higher in the other three secondary schools (DSS and NSS)
  11.  This clearly demonstrates the need for more good secondary schools in Kasungu District

 

Girls in Community Day Secondary Schools — CDSS

The Community Day Secondary Schools are found in the country-side close to villages and large concentrations of people.  Students attending these schools come directly from their homes.  On the one hand this reduces the cost for parents.  But it also negatively affects academic performance of students, especially girls, because of conditions girls experience at home:

  1. When girls return home they have to do domestic work
  2. They fetch water, care for younger siblings, wash clothes
  3. They cook, look for firewood, work in the field
  4. They clean in and around the house, pound maize
  5. Going to or from school girls are often sexually abused
  6. Many girls drop out due to their early child-bearing
  7. Many girls marry early and never complete CDSS
  8. Girls that stay at home hardly find enough time for study, accounting for their poor performance in the CDSS
  9.  Thus boarding secondary schools are really a defense of the girls’ right to secondary education

   

Jesuit Reasons for Choosing a Grant-Aided Secondary School (SS)

 

  1. We intend to open a very good co-educational boarding SS that can also serve children of low-income background from Kasungu District
  2. For this we need a grant-aided school where teaching and basic running costs are largely covered by government, thereby keeping student fees at a more modest rate
  3. That type of school offers a fair chance of good education to poor but bright children from Kasungu District
  4. While many students would come from outside of Kasungu because of national selection, we would favour selection of children from Kasungu
  5. A good SS offers successful underprivileged children a chance to be selected for tertiary studies

 

 [Fr. Alojz Podgrajsek, S.J., Project Manager, Loyola Jesuit Secondary School, Kasungu

Lilongwe Jesuit Community, P.O. Box 1530, Lilongwe, Malawi   

Up-dated  01 November 2011]

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