THE Government has drawn-up a robust programme to roll out secondary schools in rural areas to shorten the distance pupils cover, Mines and Mineral Development Minister Christopher Yaluma has said.
Mr Yaluma has also said efforts are being made to solve the challenge of low staffing levels in rural schools across the country.
He said Government had been concerned about the distance pupils cover to access secondary schools as the reason for the upgrading of most basic schools.
“The Patriotic Front (PF) do not subscribe to the concept of basic schools ,that is the reason the Government had embarked on construction of secondary schools while upgrading some basic schools into secondary schools ,” he said when he paid a courtesy call on Rosa Mission Secondary School head teacher Thomas Yambayamba at his office on Sunday.
Mr Yaluma who is Malole Member of Parliament assured the head teacher that Government was committed to increasing staffing levels in rural schools.
Presenting the 2016 K53 billion national budget ,Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda proposed to spend K9.1 billion on education and skills development.
Of this amount, K1 billion is earmarked for various infrastructural projects in the sector, such as schools, universities and trades training institutes,
While K217.8 million is for the recruitment of an additional 5,000 teachers.
Mr Yaluma said the Government is committed to ensuring that the issue of low staffing levels especially in rural areas were resolved and commended teachers teaching in remote parts of the country for their sacrifice.
“Be assured that your Government will endeavour to make your life a little bit comfortable. We are implementing various projects such as rural electrification, rural roads and health posts all in an effort to make you people comfortable,” he said.
Briefing the area MP, Mr Yambayamba lined up many challenges facing the newly upgraded school such as lack of laboratory facilities, lack of computers and limited class room space among others.
The school is also scouting for K175, 000 out of the total K250, 000 required to build a one by three classroom bloc.
In response, Mr Yaluma said Government would soon rollout computers in schools and that part of the Constituency Development Fund would be deployed towards the building of the classroom bloc.
“Let me know the needs of the school and do not restrict your demands to the CDF,we can still look elsewhere for funding so that we lessen the burden because being proximity to schools can reduce early marriages and generally reduce the cost of education,” he said