Government, with funding from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has procured mobile laboratories for 20 secondary schools in Central Province.
Kapiri Mposhi District Commissioner (DC), Beatrice Sikazwe, disclosed this at the handover of the mobile science laboratory kits to beneficiary schools at Kapiri Mposhi Girls Technical School over the weekend.
This is the first consignment of mobile laboratories to be distributed to some selected schools from all the eleven districts of Central Province.
Most schools in the province have had no science laboratories for science practice and teaching since they were build while others have dilapidated laboratory infrastructure.
Ms Sikazwe noted that there has been persistent poor performance in science subjects amongst pupils due to lack of laboratories in schools for hands-on science practice in the province and country as a whole.
She said government has embarked on providing mobile laboratories in a bid to counter the trend of poor performance in sciences amongst pupils in the country.
Ms Sikazwe observed that the science laboratory kits will enhance practical learning of sciences at the beneficiary schools.
“In the modern world we cannot do away with science. The significance of science can be seen through the many benefits that humanity has continued to derive from it in various fields that include medicine and agriculture. So investing in the training of young scientists is the best we can do for sustained improvement of the field,” said Ms Sikazwe.
She warned pupils and teachers against vandalizing the equipment.
Meanwhile, Central Province Education Officer (PEO), Elizabeth Banda, noted that lack of laboratories in schools has hampered teaching of sciences and resulted in reduced pass rate in the area.
Ms Banda disclosed that in Zambia about 70 percent of pupils are learning sciences using only theoretical approaches while only about 30 percent are using a combination of both recommended theoretical and practical approaches.
She said 45 teachers across the province have been trained to handle the mobile laboratories to carry out experiments in biology, chemistry, physics and agricultural science.
Ms Banda challenged science teachers in the beneficiary schools to stop teaching sciences only in theory but engage pupils in the practice of science to enhance their knowledge in the field and ultimately improve the pass rate in sciences.
“This is the first batch of the mobile labs from the National Science Centre and we are receiving more of these to give to the remaining schools that do not have in the province so that we improve the performance of our learners,” Ms Banda said.
The PEO noted that science laboratory kits will ensure the provision of science education and help Zambia’s attainment of its national vision for 2030.