—-Chadiza District Commissioner, Paul Phiri, has called for more platforms that would sanction children to express their views freely.
Mr Phiri observes that in most cases children are not given an opportunity to speak for themselves due to inadequate platforms that allowed them to freely express their views.
Speaking when he officiated at a Quiz and Debate competition between Chadiza Day and Chadiza Boarding Schools organised by the Citizens’ Forum under the motion “GOVERNMENT IS NOT DOING ENOUGH FOR CHILDREN IN RURAL AREAS”, Mr Phiri said there was need for people to allow the children to express themselves freely.
He said the culture that denies children from expressing themselves amongst the elderly should be done away with.
Mr Phiri said allowing children to have a platform where they can express their views would help them in knowing what is there for them both at district and national levels.
He said government has continued providing an enabling platform for children by seriously addressing the issues of cattle herding by sensitizing the communities in rural areas and also by prosecuting the perpetrators.
The District Commissioner said the media has also played a vital role by highlighting most issues that affected the wellbeing of the children.
He has since called on organizations that are involved in advocating for the children’s needs to partner with journalists and offer special training and maintain the cycle of journalists in the realm of child advocacy promotion.
Mr Phiri also called on other co-operating partners to emulate the Citizen’s Forum and organise children in the most remote parts of the district so that even children from there can also participate by expressing their views.
And speaking earlier, Chadiza District Education Standards Officer (DESO), Wilfred Musonda, commended the Citizens’ Forum for organising the debate where children could express themselves.
Mr Musonda said allowing children to speak freely was one way of providing checks and balances to those in leadership and also the law makers.
He said time to suppress the children was long gone but that people and the government should listen and let the children speak.
Meanwhile, Chadiza Day Secondary School has retained the championship of the inter- school debate after beating Chadiza Boarding School by 117 points to 107 while, in the Quiz Competition Manje Basic School emerged victorious after beating Naviruli Basic School.