By Vincent Khonje:
The country’s President, Lazarus Chakwera has asked Malawians to take responsibility for their actions, saying that it is a sign of passing a test of character.
Chakwera was speaking on Saturday in Kasungu when he presided over the celebration of Kamuzu Academy (KA) which has clocked 40 years of academic excellence.
Chakwera led students, teachers, parents, alumni and the public in commemorating KA’s Founder’s Day which falls on November 21, but was commemorated a day earlier.
Dubbed ‘The Eton of Africa’, the education institution was established by Malawi’s founding President, Ngwazi Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda in 1981, modeled on the Eton College in England.
He said taking responsibility for oneself is not easy but no nation can be built without that foundation.
“As a nation, we cannot have good media if our schools do not produce journalists who regard what they write as a sacred responsibility; we cannot have good health care if our schools do not produce doctors who regard their patients as a sacred responsibility.
“We cannot have good government if our schools do not produce public servants who regard the public office as a sacred responsibility.
“We cannot have good roads if our schools do not produce engineers who regard the lives of motorists as a sacred responsibility,” said Chakwera.
“I submit to you that if you come out of this school having not learnt what your responsibilities are or having not learnt to take care of those responsibilities or failing to attain to your responsibilities, then you will come out having learnt nothing,” he told the KA students.
Chakwera further said that it is with being responsible for ourselves that the nation will be rebuilt.
He said continued failure by Malawians to be responsible for themselves is what has destroyed the society even now as the country battles with Covid-19 pandemic.
“Government has secured hundreds of thousands of life-saving vaccines, but many of those doses are at risk of being wasted because there are so many people who are not responsible enough for their lives and health to go to clinics and get vaccinated,” he said.
The president said there are many examples of good things in this nation that others have provided but said it was sad that people are not responsible enough to put them to good use.
“Street lights that have been erected, only to be vandalised; schools that have been built, only not to be attended to; hospitals that have been filled with medicines, only to be pilfered; taxes that have been paid, only to be siphoned,” said the President.
He further said the culture of refusing to take responsibility for one’s affairs is a national crisis and expressed hope the KA students would be a generation to refuse to be such.
Speaking earlier, Chairperson of KA Board of Governance, Francis Perekamoyo, said the board of the school always ensures that it preserves the philosophy of the school.
“The philosophy of Kamuzu Academy is to achieve academic excellence and to educate the whole person.
“The board of governance, therefore, oversees and ensures that the philosophy is achieved and realised at all costs,” said Perekamoyo.
Deputy Minister of Education, Madalitso Wirima Kambauwa explained that the wish of the founding member was to create a garden of learning, saying the institution has produced high profile people in cabinet ministers, members of parliament, high court judges and airline pilots.
Wirima said Kamuzu offered scholarships to two outstanding students from each district across the country to study at the magnificent school and wished if that was continued.
The school has over 600 students and about 50 teachers. After arriving in Mtunthama, President Chakwera, who was escorted by the First Lady Monica Chakwera, toured national monuments in Kachere Tree, Drum Tree and Kamwala Well which are in the vicinity of where Kamuzu Banda received his formal education at Chinyama Village.The Kachere Tree is what was used as a classroom; the Drum Tree is where a drum, which was used to call children for lessons, was hanged while Kamwala Well was a source of water for the students.
After the event, the president also had a chance to greet Malawians at Kasungu Boma on his way back to Lilongwe.