World vision hands over school buildings
Kalomo, July 19, ZANIS —-Kalomo District Commissioner, Patrick Phiri says education is the facet to human advancement and contributes to national development in every society.
Speaking when he received on behalf of government 10 staff houses built at a cost of K1.6 million by World Vision Twachiyanda Area Development Programme (ADP) in partnership with an American
charitable organization known as ‘Hoops of Hope’ together with the Chikanta community at Jonathan Sim- Chikanta secondary school in Kalemu area yesterday, Mr Phiri said government attaches great importance to education because it is central to issues of sustainable development and economic growth.
“A country cannot rise to its full potential if it does not have its learned people like engineers, doctors accountants, managers, teachers et cetera, but all that starts in the school environment,” Mr Phiri said.
He said the only institution which serves 14 basic schools in Chief Chikanta’s chiefdom to acquire high education has impacted the lives of children who now stand a better chance of completing their education and further their studies in colleges and universities.
The handover ceremony was also attended by its United states World Vision International financial sponsors team leader, Alan Shifter and Chief Chikanta of the Tonga speaking people of Kalomo district including Southern province Education Standards Officer, Mweemba Chipengo.
Mr Phiri also lauded Intel for installing 20 laptops in the state of art solar computer laboratory at the school to enable the over 300 pupils at the institution have access to 30,000 books through the local area network (LAN) connection especially in Biology and Geography subjects.
Intel has since expressed willingness to introduce a wireless network at the institution to improve internet connectivity.
Meanwhile, Mr Phiri said government through the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) would soon embark on electrifying all health centres and learning institutions in remote parts of Kalomo.
The District Commissioner who however did not categorically state when the exercise would commence made the assurance when responding to a plea by Chief Chikanta who asked government to consider linking the school to the national power grid if it was to provide quality education to its
And World Vision acting national Coordinator, Ronald Nsofu said his organization is saddened by the teacher to pupil ratio in the communities it serves which affects the provision of quality education but pledged his organisation’s commitment to supplement governments’ efforts in the education sector.
“As a child focused organization, we have observed with sadness that in 40 communities where we are undertaking holistic transformational development through the area development programmes, the teacher to pupil ratio remains a challenge affecting the provision of quality education and we remain committed to significantly supplement government’s efforts through projects like the one we are commissioning today” Mr Nsofu noted.
Earlier, Kalomo District Education Board Secretary, Webster Mwiinga in an interview said government’s decision to revert to primary and secondary school system would improve delivery of quality education saying at the moment, some grade 8 and 9 classes were handled by primary school teachers certificate holders.
He however said while the reversion was an expensive venture taking into account of the number of basic schools in the country against that of existing secondary schools, the end result once the exercise would be over would be vindicated.
Kalomo has a teacher to pupil ratio standing at 1 to 66 and 1 to 22 for primary and secondary schools respectively.
Mr Mwiinga said his department has so far made 12 submissions for some of the basic schools to be turned into secondary schools out of the 123 basic schools, 7 secondary schools and 80 community schools in both Kalomo and its ‘new born’ Zimba districts.
The initial phase of Jonathan Sim- Chikanta secondary school project started in 2006 with the construction of two by two by three classroom blocks, a block of three staff houses, a computer laboratory, four pupils hostels for boys and girls, an ablution block and building of an ongoing dining hall and kitchen to serve for 312 pupils by World Vision and its partners and donors.
Government has also built a one by four classroom block and a staff common room with four offices.
World Vision Twachiyanda ADP has built 10 schools in Chikanta chiefdom alongside providing for services in food security and economic development, health, nutrition, HIV and Aids, water and
sanitation, humanitarian and emergency response and advocacy.
By 2015, World Vision Zambia intends to contribute to the improvement in the well-being of 940,000 vulnerable children and improve the quality of life of 230,000 households in various communities country-wide.