Dowa West Parliamentarian, Hon. Dr. Ephraim Abel Kayembe, has expressed a concern over needy bursary secondary school students who are being sent home due to lack of payment of school fees in their respective schools.
Dr. Kayembe said three students from his constituency were sent home, he tried to intervene with their school masters but this proved futile and he was informed that they will only be allowed entry into classes once their schools receive notification that their fee balances have been cleared.
He asked the Council to establish ways and means on how to assist the needy bursary students expressing fears that if nothing is done for them, they will be out of school for the whole academic year.
Making his contribution on the same, Dowa District Council’s Chairperson, Martin Luka Phiri, accused the District’s Social Welfare Office of referring the needy bursary scheme students to MPs and Councillors as though they have a basket fund to cater for all needy secondary school students in the district.
Luka asked the Welfare Office to give the needy students a message of hope observing that some of them operate from long distance areas walking on foot to go home without receiving assistance adding that the development of referring needy students to them for bursary funds must be stopped.
…”The office should tell the needy students what is on its table for them to go back home with one message and not washing hands at MPs and Councilors for having a basket bursary fund.. ,’’ said Luka.
He also expressed concern that it is very disappointing to note that some of the needy students are being given bursary forms while others are being asked to meet councillors and MPs saying this development is taking the district nowhere as some will be demanding the criteria one has to meet to be given bursary forms at the office.
Luka called for the need to register all the needy bursary scheme students in the district, continuing and new applicants per constituency for the council to see on how best to assist them so that their school not be disrupted by school fees.
On his part, Dowa Central Legislator, Hon. Darlington Harawa, said he would have loved if the council was to write letters to the schools informing them that the council is processing school fees saying this will sound good than the MP words.
Hon. Harawa expressed hope that if letters are sent to schools, all the needy secondary school students will be assisted at once without hearing news that the concerned students have been sent back home.
By Vincent Gunde