More than 400 pupils not attending classes in Kaoma
Kaoma , July 9, ZANIS ……..More than 400 hundred pupils from Chatwika Basic School in Kaoma district of Western province are reportedly not attending classes as the school has no teachers.
Mushwala ward Patriotic Front ward development chairperson Shimalya Ngombo said the situation is currently forcing parents to send their children into early marriages as they cannot see the benefits of education in the area.
Mr. Ngombo said this when Chiefs and Traditional Affairs Deputy Minister Taundi Chiseke addressed a public meeting at Mushwala basic school over the weekend.
He said since schools opened in January this year no single teacher has ever been at the school adding that parents have made several visits to the district education board secretary Mutumba Sendoi but no amicable solutions found.
Mr Ngombo complained that officers from the Ministry of Education in the district were failing to monitor what was happening in the schools adding that many children especially in far flung areas were not accessing quality education in Kaoma.
He said parents were finding it difficult to send their children to different schools as they have no resources due to high poverty levels in the area.
And Deputy Minister Taundi Chiseke has requested parents in the area not to panic as government is employing over 5, 000 teachers in order to reduce on the shortage of teachers in the country.
But in an interview, Kaoma district Basic Teachers’ Union of Zambia (BETUZ) chairperson Inambao Mutata said teachers have deserted the school due to witchcraft allegations.
Mr Mutata said that plans are under way with DEBS’ office in order to engage the community in the area so that they could stop the rampant attacks of witchcraft which have caused panic resulting in teachers running away from the school for safety.
He said government has spent colossal sums of money on improving the infrastructure at Chatwika basic school which at the moment has been turned into a white elephant.
Mr Mutata said government should intervene in the matters of witchcraft and repeal the witchcraft ACT so that people found practicing witchcraft face the law.