East Schools Benefit From PPP Projects

Education is also one of the main drivers of sustainable and inclusive development.
Though a right, access to quality education is far fetched in some parts of the country.
This is due to long distances that children have to walk to access school infrastructure, inadequate school infrastructure and in some cases poor staffing levels in some schools especially among rural communities.
With the realisation that government alone, cannot address all the challenges in the education sector, it is encouraging Public Private Partnership (PPP) in the construction of schools and other needs among communities.
In Chipata district of Eastern Province, a number of schools have been done and successfully completed under the Private Partnership.
One such school is Chipembaulo school situated in Chief Nzamane’s area built with the assistance of NWK Agri-Services.
Initially a community school, Chimpembaulo only had one classroom which was used for pupils from grades one to seven.
The school lacked desks and pupils had to sit on the floor during lessons, the pupils did not have adequate learning materials while some of their teachers were not trained.
Some of the pupils at Chipembaulo were reluctant to go to school due to the challenges that were faced by the school.
Through the PPP being encouraged by government, NWK Agri services constructed a 1 X 3 classroom block and to help address the learning needs of the children in chief Nzamane’s area.
Chipata District Commissioner, Kalunga Zulu who officiated at the handover ceremony of the school commended NWK agri services for ploughing back to the community by way of constructing a fully refurbished classroom block.
He noted that corporate the social responsibility exhibited by the company which also provided solar power would leave a lasting legacy in the community whose children would learn in a conducive learning environment.
“This new and improved facility will increase access to education and play a major role in shaping the future of the children in this area,’ he stressed.
The DC further said government was encouraged and also supportive of NWK Agri-Services and their partners in their continuing efforts to create a positive impact in the communities within which they operated.
And NWK-Agro-Services Technical Manager, Darly Blanchard stated that the opening of the school marked the cooperation of the company and the local community who made it possible for the company to construct the classroom block.
He stated that this was possible because of the joint cooperation of his company and Trade Foundation from German, Compaci and DEG companies.
Mr Blanchard hoped the move would assist the children to learn in an enabling environment and motivate the teachers.
And Chipata District Education Boards Secretary Kezias Lungu described gesture as a long last investment for the organisation.
Mr Lungu said the Ministry of Education was indebted to such initiatives which supplemented government efforts of addressing the ever growing demand for the delivery of quality education.
He stated that as government would continue to partner with companies that help uplift people’s lives through support of the education sector.
He, however, stated that the Ministry of Education would next year construct three teachers’ houses adding that it will also ensure that enough teachers are sent to the school.
Mr Lungu has since thanked the community for their participation and interest towards improvement of education in the area and asked the community to guard the classroom block jealously and sustain it as it has come at a huge cost from the partners.
It was clear that these institutions are applying their Global knowledge and experience to assist government meet educational, economical, environment and social challenges faced by the communities.
Another company in Chipata district, Cargill Zambia with aid from its cooperating partners constructed a 1 x 3 classroom block and provided accessories at a cost of USD 150,000 to a school in the district.
Cargill Zambia Country Director Frans Grey noted that his company realized that the best gift a child could be provided with is education as the future of a nation is dependent on an educated society that was able to develop economically and socially.
As a community school, Kafupa School also faced challenges due to lack of infrastructure, desks and other accessories.
Mr Grey stated that his company saw the need for the people in Kafupa to have a proper structure to enable children learn in a conducive environment.
This construction of the classroom block and the installation of solar power excited Eastern Province Permanent Secretary Dr. Mulenga Chileshe who noted that the province was capable of improving the social and economic sectors if companies continued to address some of the challenges faced by people in communities where they operated.
Dr Mulenga stated that the construction of a 1 x3 classroom block at Kafupa Primary School was clear testimony of the consistency of the company’s support of government policy which aimed at providing formal education to all regardless of locality.
The Permanent Secretary who named other partners as TSHIBO, Aid by Trade, Cotton made in Africa and Deg-Compact stated that the community in Kafupa was getting real opportunity to thrive through the collaboration and innovation of Cargill and its partners.
“I am also happy to note that Cargill and its partners have also build VIP toilets both for teachers and pupils at the institution to enhance sanitation,” he said.
He said its commitment to work with government had seen the company handing over classroom blocks in Katete, Petauke and Chipata districts of Eastern Province.
And Senior Chief Nzamane of the Ngoni people stated that the construction of a modern classroom in the area would help the children in the area learn in an attractive atmosphere.
Chief Nzamane urged parents to give equal opportunity to both boys and girl children if the area is to develop.
Chief Nzamane aised the need for the parents and children to guard the infrastructure jealously.
He also aised the Parents Teachers Association (PTA) and village headmen to partner in an effort to quickly put up another 1 X 3 classroom block to provide adequate classrooms to the 478 pupils at the school.
While basic literacy and numeracy skills are vital, a quality education goes far beyond the ability to read and write.
The classroom should be a place where children learn to be responsible and active citizens a place which supports children and young people to develop their full potential their personality, critical thinking and life skills. Quality education also means equipping young people with the knowledge and skills necessary for productive livelihoods.
For this to be achieved there is need for both universal access and quality education, it’s about every single child’s right to go to school and to learn well and productively, and enjoying the experience and being enriched by it.
This must go alongside unrelenting ambition which can mostly be achieved through an enabling learning environment where infrastructure is tailored to the tune of children needs regardless of locality.
Such initiatives aimed at supplementing government efforts in improving access to quality education should be encouraged by all.

Source : The Times of Zambia

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