TAML Engages Headteachers to Address Pupils Security Concerns

The Tea Association of Malawi (TAML) chief executive officer, Tonda Chinangwa says they are now engaging administrators for schools surrounding its estates to address security concerns to avoid a repeat of a gruesome murder of a 12-year-old school girl in Thyolo, January this year.

This follows a plea by Ministry of Gender and Social Welfare for the association to consider constructing standard eight classrooms in its primary schools (most of them junior primary schools) so that their children learn within the vicinity.

Soon after the incident, the Ministry of Gender and Social Welfare made the appeal, arguing the incident might had happened because the slain girl was covering long distances and passing in a thick forest to and from Ntambanyama primary school to access standard eight education.

But according to Chinangwa, apart from cooperating with the police and community to bring the perpetrators to book, "we have started conversations with the head teachers in schools surrounding our estates including Ntambanyama security concerns for the school going pupils."

Meanwhile, Thyolo district Civil Society Organisations (CSO) Network chairperson, Willard Mwambo has supported the proposal for the association to construct standard eight classrooms in its schools.

Mwambo said the current situation is subjecting the estate children to various abuses, such as defilements.

"Learners more especially girls are at risk of being defiled, so the tea estates should put in place a permanent and long lasting solution to this problem. They should construct additional classrooms for standard eight learners in their junior primary schools," he pleaded.

After the incident which attracted widespread attention, police arrested four suspected men who await DNA matching before court prosecution commences.

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