People of Chiwoko in Chief Nzamane’s area in Chipata district have appealed to government to consider upgrading Chiwoko Primary School into a secondary school.
The community of Chiwoko complained that the area had a lot of children who were finding it difficult to walk long distances to secondary schools.
George Phiri, a retired teacher, said currently, pupils were going to the recently upgraded Chingazi Day Secondary school which was far away from Chiwoko.
Mr Phiri feared that many children might abandon education as a result of the long distance they were covering to Chingazi Day Secondary School.
The appeal was made during a developmental meeting held by Eastern Province Assistant Secretary, Beenzu Chikuba, attended by several heads of government departments at Chiwoko Primary School in Chipata yesterday.
Mr Phiri wondered what criteria government used to upgrade Chingazi Primary into a Day Secondary School when Chiwoko Primary School, which had vast land meant for the expansion of the institution, coupled with a large population, was left out.
‘’In this area, the population is huge and this institution is an old school compared to Chingazi which was recently upgraded. The community here is committed to ensuring that the institution expands by putting up other pieces of infrastructure,’’ he said.
Mr Phiri also asked government to electrify Chiwoko Primary School so that pupils could be conducting their studies in a well-lit environment.
And Chipata District Education Board Secretary (DEBS), Kezius Lungu, thanked the community of Chiwoko for their commitment towards education.
Mr Lungu said government had just started upgrading primary schools into secondary schools and assured the residents in Chiwoko to be patient as the matter was still being looked into.
He said government had plans to upgrade Chiwoko Primary so that it could have Grade ten next year, adding that boarding schools were in far places and very expensive for local pupils.
‘’When you look at the boarding schools we have in the province, they are just filled up by pupils from other provinces and this is because parents of some pupils in this province cannot afford to pay for them. “It is for this reason that we want to have more secondary schools to cater for local pupils,’’ Mr Lungu said.
He also said the issue concerning power at Chiwoko Primary School would be taken to relevant authorities for their consideration.