—-Chipata District Commissioner Kalunga Zulu says literacy is one of the key elements needed to promote sustainable development.
In a speech read on his behalf by Chipata District Agricultural Coordinator (DACO), Alphonso Kahalawe, Mr Zulu said literacy empowers people to make right decisions in areas of economic growth, social development and environmental integration.
Mr Zulu said this during the International Literacy Day celebrations held at St Margret’s Secondary School in Chipangali Constituency in Chipata district sponsored by the Ukadzipalile Rural Literacy project, an initiative by the Japan Tobacco International (JTI).
He added that literacy is a basis for lifelong learning and plays a crucial role in the creation of sustainable, prosperous and peaceful societies.
Mr Zulu noted that literacy is a key lever of change and a practical tool of empowerment on sustainable development.
However, Mr Zulu expressed concern over the high number of illiteracy levels in society.
“The sad part of humanity is, even today, a huge fraction of our society remains illiterate,” he said.
He further noted that according to data from UNESCO’s Institute of Statistics, about 739 million adults worldwide are illiterate of which most of them are girls and women.
Meanwhile, St Margret’s Head teacher, Beatrice Phiri, urged parents to send their children especially girls to school instead of forcing them into early marriages.
Sr Phiri added that children in the area should be taken to St Margret’s School because it was built for the community, adding that this time around, children should be more educated than their parents.
And JTI regional supervisor, Wilson Mumba, said he was pleased that a lot of farmers are able to read and write.
Tobacco farmers also expressed their gratitude about the Ukadzipalile Rural Literacy project initiative.
“ I am happy that JTI funded this project and through it, a lot of
farmers are able to read, write and even sign at banks without any
problem,” said Geoffrey Ngoma, a tobacco farmer of Mangwe school.
And Jane Phiri said before the project, farmers were unable to get the right
amount of money after selling their products because they were
illiterate but now, the story has changed because they can read and
write without difficulties.