(Kaitano Lubrino – Citizen/Contributor)
The Malawi Police Service says if the complaint boxes planted in some selected schools across the country are being utilized, the crisis of physical and sexual abuse which primary school learners are currently facing can be stopped.
Speaking during a monitoring tour which the MPS conducted on March 1, 2021 at Mponela 2 Primary School in Dowa, The National Police Child Protection Officer Superintendent Andrew Bokosi commended the initiative saying it is really promoting safe education in the country.
Bokosi said that as police they are committed to ensure that the organization creates a conducive learning environment for all school going learners.
“We are making significant efforts to promote safe education in Malawi and we are also ensuring that this program of safe schools is rolled out to all primary schools in the country.” He said.
Bokosi further said that violence taking place in homes, schools, communities and workplaces which include sexual, physical, emotional violence, corporal punishments, neglect and abandonment can stop.
He added that if these incidences are unchecked they have the potential to increase school dropout rate in primary schools.
“We have deployed one school one police officer and painted referral pathways on school walls with contacts of all key stakeholders. We have also planted complaint boxes a mechanism which we believe shall give survivors of abuse a chance to report.” Said Bokosi.
He said since the introduction of the program in the selected districts, perpetrators of various crimes have been arrested while some complaints were referred to the right respondents for action.
Paul Francis Chiusiwa who is also the head teacher for Mponela 2 Primary School applauded MPS for putting on list his school where he believe the initiative will end violence and create a learning environment of no fear from the forms of violence.
“Learners are now able to channel their complaints as well as grievances through the complaint box and the referral Pathways that were painted on the wall at our school.” Said Chiusiwa.
The program is being implemented in the districts of Dowa, Mangochi, Salima, Dedza, Nkhata Bay, Mzimba, Ntchisi, , Machinga and Nsanje with support from Global Partners in Education through UNICEF.