Government has commended the Zambia Open Community School (ZOCS) for complimenting efforts in providing quality education to the underprivileged in the country.
Ministry of Education Permanent Secretary Chishimba Nkosha said government takes pride in working with organizations working to provide quality education to orphans and other vulnerable children especially the girl child and children with special needs.
Mr Nkosha pointed out that it was not possible for the ministry to reach out to every child countrywide in providing access to quality education due to limited resources.
He however noted that community schools play a major role by servicing 20 percent of the country’s education sector.
Mr Nkosha said this through a speech read on his behalf by Ministry of Education Principle Education Officer Rodgers Chisenga at ZOCS 2014 Annual General Meeting.
Mr Nkosha expressed concern with the increasing large number of children of school going age dropping out of school.
He disclosed that the 2013 UNICEF report revealed that over 500,000 children in the country were out of school despite Zambia being a signatory to the UN Convection on the right to education.
Mr Nkosha pledged to continue providing support to community schools through grants, infrastructure development, supply of teaching and learning materials and training of volunteer teachers and deployment of qualified teachers.
And speaking at the same occasion ZOCS board member Cecilia Sakala disclosed that ZOCS currently supports over 524 community schools in 39 districts across the country.
She said the community schools provide education to 117,000 learners of which 46,800 were boys and 70,200 were girls.
Ms Sakala said ZOCS will continue to aid vulnerable children access quality education in order to improve their welfare.