Luangwa DEBS calls for punishment of parents who stop children from going to school

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Luangwa District Education Board Secretary (DEBS) Veronica Mubanga says the constitution of Zambia should be amended so that it could provide for a clause to punish parents who deliberately fail to take their children to school.

Ms Mubanga disclosed that parents in her district withdraw young girls from school and marry them off in order for them to gain some income when they charge the pride price.

She added that boys are equally stopped from attending classes and are engaged in fishing activities in order to earn income for their families.

Ms Mubanga who was the only female to submit before the Chomba led Legal and Justice Sector Reforms Commission disclosed that most parents in Luangwa prefer short term gain from their children.

She disclosed that child marriages in Luangwa district are common among both boys and girls who are groomed to believe that they need to marry early in order to either give their parents revenue or keep their parents.

The DEBS noted that cases of child marriages can only be addressed if a law is enacted to compel all parents and guardians to educate their children especially that there is free primary education in Zambia.

She said all government schools in her district provide free primary education and provides books and other learning materials to all pupils.

She stated that despite government introducing free primary education in the country, Luangwa district still records low turnout of pupils in primary grades because of fishing activities and child marriages.

Luangwa District is located on the eastern side of the country at the confluence of the Luangwa and Zambezi Rivers in Lusaka province.

Residents of Luangwa which was formerly called Feira until 1964 are predominantly fishermen because the district lies along the two rivers.

They have lived with the challenges of animal-human conflict for many years as it is also a Game Management area.

Because of the animal-human conflict the people do not do much farming but depend on fish as their crops are always destroyed by wild animals.