——Government’s move to establish Early Childhood Education (ECE) and upgrading some primary schools to secondary level has been commended by several traditional rulers in Southern province.
Chiefs Chikanta’s and Siachitema’s representative, Michael Chinganya, said the move would enormously contribute to the education advancement of the minors especially in rural areas.
Councillor Chinganya said people of Siachitema received the coming up of Siachitema primary school to a fully-fledged secondary school with joy and thanked government for listening to their cries, adding that many children ended up in grade nine citing the inadequacy of secondary schools in the locality.
Kalomo District Education Board Secretary, Webster Mwiinga, disclosed that both Siachitema and Choonga primary schools will this year have an ECE and grade 10 enrolments while her Zimba counterpart, Munakasaka Chikuba, said Luyaba as an institution to benefit from such an imitative.
And chief Simwatachela of Zimba district has also praised government for upgrading Luyaba primary school to have an early childhood and grade ten secondary school enrolments for this year.
“I am impressed that since the pronouncement of elevating the school to a secondary was heard, all my 300 headmen were overwhelmed by the development and I can confirm that the 21 village headmen around Luyaba have started bringing upfront materials for infrastructural development at the institution while the rest of the headmen in the chiefdom are expected to contribute K500.00 which will be paid in two instalments,“ said Chief Simwatachela who is also a head teacher at Jokwe community school.
Earlier, Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education Minister, John Phiri, stated that the learning ECE centres estimated at a cost of K4.8 million would be strategically placed throughout the country to target less privileged children especially in rural areas.
The PF manifesto on its core programmes on education development clause (a) it states that it will provide and facilitate early children education centres and teachers in all local government wards in the country while clause (b) categorically indicates that it will phase out basic education and re – introduce conventional early childhood, primary, secondary, secondary and tertiary education system alongside to open two paths for grade eight pupils based on their grade seven performance to follow up to grade twelve where learners will follow an academic path and the other to follow a technical path.
In this regard, the education ministry has decided to re-align its school curriculum to suit the needs and aspirations of both the learners and communities for the academic and vocational aspects to ensure that the learners take a pathway that best suits their intellectual ability and interest.
It also entails that the learner does not only acquire academic knowledge but skills that can make them employable or get self – employment .To this effect, schools will produce graduates that go into the community not to look for employment but create employment.
“Upon leaving school at either junior or senior level, the graduates shall be awarded not only the usual certificate from the Examinations Council of Zambia (ECZ) but a trade certificate from TEVETA, and in the new curriculum , learners shall be provided with education that would help them move away from theory to practice, and I, therefore, appeal to parents, pupils teachers and all other stakeholders to embrace the newly introduced system as it is good both for the learners and the country as a whole,” said Southern Province Education Officer, Stephen Kashiko, when asked over the benefits of the new curriculum.