The Zambia National Education Coalition (ZANEC) has condemned the alleged gassing incident that occurred at Mushindamo Girl’s Technical School in North-Western Province on Saturday, February 27, 2021.
ZANEC Executive Director George Hamusunga said the safety and security of learners in schools must always be guaranteed and should not be compromised.
Mr. Hamusunga said it is important to note that Zambia has endorsed the Safe School Declaration, which is an inter-governmental political agreement that outlines a set of commitments to strengthen the protection of education from attack and restrict the use of schools and universities for military purposes.
“Pupils should have adequate safety when they are at school. It is important to ensure that the school environments are safe for the learners and teachers as well,’’ he said in a statement made available to ZANIS in Lusaka today.
He further said the incident is a timely reminder for the Teaching Service Commission and the Ministry of General Education to ensure that schools have the necessary learner protection and safeguarding measures for a safe learning environment for pupils.
Meanwhile, Mr. Hamusunga has called on investigative wings of government to fully investigate the matter and ensure the perpetrator of the reported gassing is brought to book.
He has also called on the Teaching Council of Zambia to take interest in ensuring that the rights of the accused teacher are protected till proven guilty.
Mr. Hamusunga further said Mushindamo Girls’ Technical School should provide counseling services to all the affected learners in order to enable them to recover from the trauma and continue with normal life and learning.
At least 21 pupils at Mushindamo Girls’ STEM school were admitted to Solwezi general hospital after being pepper-sprayed by a drunken teacher during their entertainment period last Saturday.
However, Solwezi District Police Officer-In-Charge, Kennedy Muselu, who confirmed the incident, urged the public to remain calm and avoid spreading rumours that gassing has resurfaced in Mushindamo.