First Lady, Esther Lungu has urged government to ensure children with disabilities are provided with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools. Mrs Lungu said this will help in the implementation of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEMs) programme in schools.
She said children with different disabilities should not be left out when implementing the STEMs programme because it is important to their development. Mrs Lungu said government provide technological devices such as talking calculators, phones and computers to children with disabilities.
“I hope that under the STEMs programme, children that are different disabled have been catered for,” she said.
Mrs Lungu was speaking in Kitwe today when she officiated at the handover of newly built three classroom blocks built by the SOS children’s village Zambia at Kafue Bridge Secondary School.
The school has since been renamed Esther Lungu in recognition of the First Lady’s contribution to educating vulnerable children.
And Mrs Lungu said there is need to expand infrastructure in schools to provide a safe environment for children.
“We need all children back in school but we should ensure their safety through additional classroom blocks so that social distance is observed,” she said.
Mrs Lungu said 53 percent of Zambia’s population is made up of young people hence the need to support education for all children.
She stated that government has created a conducive environment for the private sector to participate in the development of the nation through the Public Private Partnership (PPP) agreement.
Mrs Lungu said SOS has taken advantage of PPPs to help vulnerable children.
And Mrs Lungu has donated assorted foodstuffs, inputs, sports skits and K20, 000 cash to the school which has been re-named after her.
She also donated foodstuffs to two girls who have been brought back to school under the re-entry policy as well as a Kitwe mother with triplets who needed help.
And Copperbelt Minister, Japhen Mwakalombe has commended Mrs Lungu for her efforts in supporting girl child education which he said is an equalizer between the poor and the rich.
Mr Mwakalombe suggested that the school be renamed Esther Lungu, which the First Lady gladly accepted and promised to take responsibility for the school’s needs.
Meanwhile, SOS Board Chairperson, Elias Mpondela said the school was built at a cost of K5million with support from SOS Norway.
Mr Mponde disclosed that SOS Kitwe village is taking care of 3,321 children.
He said the newly built infrastructure comprise three classrooms, borehole, ablution block, home economics rooms and a computer laboratory.
And Copperbelt Provincial Education Officer, Felix Ngoma said the Ministry of Education had been looking for partners to develop the school which was initially a primary school.
“The school starts from early childhood education to grade eleven with 54 teachers and 1,733 pupils,” he said.
Mr Ngoma thanked SOS for working with the school and called on other stakeholders to emulate the organisation in supporting the education sector through donation of books, computers and desks among other services.