Chilanga children commends government
Chilanga, June 16, ZANIS—–Children in the newly created Chilanga district in Lusaka province have commended the government for the provision of free primary school education and the abolishment of other school user fees in the country.
And Lusaka Province Permanent Secretary Emeldah Chola has disclosed that government has started reviewing policies and laws aimed at enhancing the protection of children and other vulnerable groups in society.
Meanwhile, Child Fund Director Dorcas Chirwa also praised government for banning of beer sachets, review of the national child policy and efforts to develop the national child protection policy as a step in the right direction in addressing child delinquency.
Speaking on behalf of other children during the Commemoration of the Day of the African Child in Chilanga district today, a Grade 9 pupil at Chilanga Primary School, Or’pah Banda noted that the government had made great strides in improving access to education.
This year’s commemoration was held under the theme: “Eliminating Harmful, Social and Cultural Practices Affecting Children: Our Collective Responsibility”.
Banda further noted that government’s ambitious programme of constructing of more schools across the country will provide increased access for children to acquire uality education.
She said the re-introduction of the re-entry policy which has supported the going back to school of a girl child after falling pregnant is a tremendous achievement towards the girl child in the country.
Banda however bemoaned the continued abuse of children especially the girl child who has been subjected to defilement, early marriages and other forms of abuses.
And in response, Lusaka Province Permanent Secretary Emeldah Chola pledged government’s commitment in addressing all harmful cultural and other social practices that impede the growth of children into responsible citizens.
Brig. Gen. Chola explained that government has re-estabilished and enhanced the Child Protection Unit under the Zambia Police, child friendly courts and cells to handle all cases relating to children.
She has since directed all heads of government departments in the province dealing with child development and welfare to refocus their attention on issues to do with harmful practices that are imparting negatively on the children.
Speaking at the same function, Child Fund Director Dorcas Chirwa praised government for banning of beer sachets, review of the national child policy and efforts to develop the national child protection policy as a step in the right direction in addressing child delinquency.
Ms Chirwa noted that some of the practices interfere with children’s education progression and exposes them to abuse thereby resulting in adverse negative health, social and mental developmental consequences.
She pointed out that such vices have contributed to school dropouts, unwanted teen pregnancies and other anti social behaviour among the children.
Zambia today joined the rest of the African Union (AU) member states in commemorating The Day of the African Child which came into being after the 1976 uprising in Soweto, South Africa.
A protest by school children against apartheid inspired the education system which resulted in brutal and deadly repression of those unarmed young protestors by police.