On Friday 21 September, the groundbreaking ceremony for Loyola Jesuit Secondary School (LJSS) took place in Kasungu.
The Guest of Honour was the Minister for Education, Science, and Technology, Madam Eunice Kazembe. In her speech, the Honorable Minister commented on the need for good educational institutions to prepare Malawian youth to contribute to the future development of the country.
Fr. Emmanuel Mumba, , S.J., the Provincial of the Zambia-Malawi Province of the Society of Jesus, outlined the background of the Jesuit decision to establish LJSS. He highlighted the Jesuit commitment to create an ‘option for the poor’ in response to the country’s need for excellent secondary education accessible to children from all backgrounds.
Archdiocese of Lilongwe Vicar General Msgr. Francis Sonkhani was pleased to endorse the project on behalf of the Archbishop of Lilongwe, Most Rev. Remi Ste-Marie (who is out of the country at this time).
Key officials from the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology, as well as local government and Traditional Authority representatives, participated in the ceremony.
The Ambassador of the United States of America, Mrs. Jeanine Jackson, also graced the event.
The ceremony was held on the 22-hectare site of the new secondary school, and featured the laying of a foundation stone, the unveiling of a plaque commemorating the occasion, and the planting of trees.
Also featured in the ceremony was a poem, ‘Anything,’ by Qabaniso ‘Q’ Malewezi, which was read by Standard 7 learner Amanda Chimtengo. Learners from Saint Joseph’s Catholic Primary School performed a drama sketch exploring the importance of accessible, quality education.
LJSS will be a co-educational, grant-aided school for 500 boarders. Phase One of the construction, the commencement of which was marked by the groundbreaking ceremony, will see the school open in 2014 for its first enrolment of Form One girls and boys.
The school is an initiative carried out by the Zambia-Malawi Province of the Society of Jesus. The Jesuits have run schools and educational institutions in countries around the world, including many in Africa, for years. They have made the commitment to assist with the educational enterprise here in Malawi by establishing LJSS as a grant-aided school, to be run in cooperation with the Government of Malawi.