NGO acknowledges importance of group work
Mafinga, July 7, ZANIS ——A Non-Governmental Organisation involved in the promotion of sustainable development says development cannot be driven successfully by a single actor but by the involvement and active participation of wider groups.
Reformed Open Community Schools (ROCS) Board Chairperson Bizeck Phiri says meaningful development can only be achieved with the participation of all stakeholders with the government providing policy direction accompanied by resources necessary to uplift living standards of its people.
Professor Phiri said this in Mafinga district of Muchinga province yesterday in a speech read on his behalf by ROCS Board Member Abigail Tuchili during the launch of Community Education: The Engine for Sustainable Development (ENGINE) project funded by the European Union through Red Een Kind (REK).
ROCS is targeting to support a total of 30 community schools and about 30,000 community members in its ENGINE project in both Mafinga and Chama districts in three and half years.
Professor Phiri said that the role of ROCS in the ENGINE project therefore shall include engagement with key stakeholders; Government inclusive at all levels to strengthen linkages that will deliver
sustainable development in the community schools.
Professor Phiri has since urged the government to do a little more in improving learning and teaching in community schools.
He suggested that the government should consider sending more trained teachers to community schools, provide more desks, text books and improve infrastructure saying these are some of the critical needs which the government can provide.
Professor Phiri said that he is optimistic that his organization will work together with the government and other stakeholders to address issues affecting the provision of quality basic education in the communities.
The Board Chairperson added that the initiative of ROCS to support 30 community schools in Mafinga and Chama districts should bring all stakeholders together because there is need to pull and pool the energies, synergies and resources together to enhance the impact.
“We need to develop joint collaborative relationships and processes with each other to achieve and propagate a common agenda which will cascade and permeate into lower level advocacy actions generated from the various contours and ridges leading to empowerment and transformation,“ said Professor Phiri.
Speaking at the same function, Muchinga Province Education Officer Jobbicks Kalumba assured ROCS of government support in realizing its dreams of promoting sustainable development.
Mr Kalumba said that the intervention by the project is in line with the government policies and will contribute both directly and indirectly to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.
Mr Kalumba added that the ENGINE Project amplifies the vision and mission of the Ministry of Education, which is to provide equitably accessible education and skills training opportunities for sustainable livelihood and development.
He added that this project is a clear example of Private-Public Partnership (PPP) that the government of the republic of Zambia is encouraging for the attainment of sustainable development.
The Provincial Education Officer also informed the gathering that the District Education Board Secretaries (DEBS) offices in the two project areas have committed themselves to provide desks and trained teachers to selected schools.
And Chief Mwenichifungwe of the Fungwe people of Thendele commended ROCS for extending its support to Mafinga district.
Chief Mwenichifungwe said this through his representative, Benson Ngámbi.
Mafinga District Commissioner Christine Nakanyika pledged government’s full support to the project and appealed to the beneficiary communities to ensure that they work together with ROCS in the promotion of sustainable development.
Ms Nakanyika also appealed to the school-going children not to rush into marriages.
ROCS is an initiative of the Reformed Church in Zambia established in 1997 to support community schools especially in rural Zambia currently supporting 65 community schools with more than 16,000 children benefiting from a number of education projects.
The objective of ROCS is to contribute to human development by improving access to quality education and empowering communities to mobilise additional resources.
It also provides basic education materials to the pupils, support teachers to colleges, provide building materials and sink boreholes in project areas.