Ponde Secondary School opens up to pupils

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–Ponde Secondary School in Chienge District has opened to 685 pupils despite some works not being completed.

Acting school deputy head teacher, Francis Siku, disclosed that 80 per cent of  work has been done but there were challenges of power and water as the boreholes had not yet been sunk.

Mr Siku said pupils were using pit-latrines and buckets for water and sanitation while the laboratories had no apparatus yet and the pupils were just learning theories without practical lessons at the moment.

He said the scope of works and the completion period were still a preserve of Lusaka.

The Acting Deputy head teacher said currently, there were 24 teachers which included 17 males and seven females to share the 20 teachers’ houses which were still under construction.

Mr Siku informed Luapula Province Permanent Secretary, Mbololwa Muyaba, that the pupils who had come to open the school this year were initially squatting at Ponde Primary School which made the learning atmosphere unfavourable as there were sometimes 100 pupils in one class.

He said the opening of some classrooms at the secondary school has created space for primary school pupils at Ponde Primary School to normalise their attendance per class and the situation at the new school to be manageable.

And Chienge District Education Board Secretary, George Mwangula, expressed concern over the design of the school wall fence because it left some school structures exposed to outside contact without provision of the watchman monitoring the situation with accuracy as the wall fence was attached to some classroom walls leaving the rest of such classrooms exposed to external machinations.

Mr Mwangula said when the issue was raised with the contractor, ZAMCHIN, he argued that he was following the design and cannot bend the rules.

He said unless the design changes, the status quo will remain the same as approved when they were getting the contract.

But Mr Mwangula noted that the design of the current wall fence did not leave room for extension of school infrastructure in the future because it was closing the possible extension avenues for additional classrooms and buildings which might be necessary in the years to come.