The District Education Board Secretary’s (DEBS) office in Nchelenge in Luapula Province has received K1.350 billion for infrastructural development of 45 classrooms for 17 schools in the district.
Acting Planning Officer, Daniel Makomena, told ZANIS in an interview in Nchelenge when a joint evaluation team from UNICEF and the Ministry of Education (MoE) toured an integrated water and sanitation program being implemented by Africare in selected schools in Mansa and Nchelenge districts.
Mr Makomena explained that the funds the DEBs received were meant for construction of one by three classroom blocks at four new sites and an addition of classrooms at 13 schools in Nchelenge district.
Mr Makomena added that four staff houses would also be constructed at three new schools which were built last year, but pointed out that funds have not been received for construction of these structures although it was already budgeted for.
He further said that if materials were on site in good time, works would be completed before the onset of the next rainy season and the DEBS’ office faced the challenge of the community not willing to contribute the 25 per cent of materials that they are required to contribute towards the project.
And head teacher for Shimulundu Basic School, Aaron Tende, said that the staff was grateful with the work Africare was doing in improving the welfare of pupils and the community in terms of water and sanitation.
Mr Tende said that the school was happy that it was among the schools that have been identified adding that toilets had already been constructed.
The head teacher said that staff and pupils have been equipped with teaching skills to improve nutrition and the importance of putting up proper toilets and good hygiene.
He explained that pupils have received balls, adding that before the games start pupils begin by performing educational drama on the importance water and sanitation for the community to adopt the culture of cleanliness.
He, however, said that the school was understaffed as it had eight members of staff instead of 19 which is the official establishment, adding that the school has a total number of 678 pupils from grades one to nine.
Meanwhile, government has commended UNICEF and Africare for the work they were doing in improving water and sanitation in rural schools.
Luapula Province Minister, Boniface Kawimbe, said government appreciated the support rendered to it by the donor community and urged the organisation to continue with programs of water and sanitation.
Dr Kawimbe said that the work that Africare was doing should be emulated by other organisations because it bordered on improving not only education but also the health and agriculture sectors in schools.