ZEPH to be recapitalized
Nchelenge, May 24, ZANIS ——– Government has disclosed that it will recapitalise the Zambia Education Publishing House (ZEPH) in order to reduce the shortage of teaching materials in schools countrywide.
Education Deputy Minister David Mabumba disclosed this at Mutono Junior Secondary School in Nchelenge on wednesday when he addressed the teaching staff from Nchelenge Secondary and Mutono Junior Secondary Schools.
Mr Mabumba said from his tour of schools, he had noted that many schools had a shortage of teaching materials and government is thinking of recapitalising ZEPH which was responsible for printing education teaching materials in the past.
He added that once ZEPH is recapitalised, the problem of shortage of teaching materials and course books in schools will be a thing of the past.
The Education Deputy Minister said he had also noted that the selected primary schools which should be upgraded to junior secondary schools had some challenges which included the qualifications of the teachers to handle the secondary education subjects for the pupils, shortage of classrooms, availability of land for expansion, readiness of community contribution towards the construction of infrastructure among others.
Mr Mabumba said the community contribution was important because it promotes the sense of ownership of the school by the community as the beneficiaries of the facility are members of the same community.
He added that government will be quick to release funds for buying roofing materials and other requirements for construction after the community demonstrates commitment and devotion to the dream of the secondary school for their children.
He disclosed that government has also noticed that the 83 secondary schools under construction countrywide and the 35 more provided for in the 2013 national budget as new projects will still not be enough to cater for the increasing demand of secondary school education countrywide.
Mr Mabumba said it was for this reason that government was looking at other alternatives of increasing secondary school education places by identifying some primary schools for upgrading into junior secondary schools or day secondary schools to increase school places at secondary school level and also to reduce on the walking distances for the pupils who were covering several kilometres to access the schools.
The minister encouraged the teachers in all the schools that he visited to remain focussed and passionate about their dream of a junior secondary school presence in their area because of the other economic benefits that the infrastructure would inevitably bring to their areas.
He called for unity of purpose and concerted effort as a critical synergy for achieving their secondary school dream.
The Deputy Minister assured the teachers that government was ready to assist them after seeing their commitment.
And Mutono Junior Secondary School Head Teacher Florence Kashimbi said the school lacked accommodation for teachers, learning materials, laboratory and equipment for technical drawing while course books were few.
Ms Kashimbi also said that the school had no power and has only one VIP Toilet and a borehole which is being shared with the community while the road to the school is in a deplorable state.
Shefurther disclosed that the school has no school furniture for members of staff and had only few desks for pupils which caused problems every morning as most pupils sit on the floor during their learning time.
And Nchelenge Secondary School Head teacher Kaputula Kwandangala said the Nchelenge community, members of staff and pupils of his school were indebted to the government for coming to their aid when the school was at the verge of closure due to deplorable sanitary conditions last year but the funds given to the school had helped the situation to bring it to where it is currently.
Mr Kwandangala said pupils had even tested a warm shower on Tuesday morning following the near completion of the rehabilitation works of the school infrastructure.
The Head teacher however informed the minister that some thieves broke into the school last December and stole property worth KR2,646 for which no recoveries have been made yet.