Chieftainess Chungu of yaba people in Lupososhi Town has urged parents and guardians in his chiefdom to ultilise government’s free education policy by taking their children to school.
Chieftainess Chungu observes that with the free education policy in place, no child should fail to go to school.
The traditional ruler in an interview on Tuesday observed that previously some parents and guardians gave an excuse of lacking funds as reasons for not taking their children to school but later married them off, a situation she said should be a thing of the past.
” lack of money will now not be a reason why a parent cannot send their child to school because education is free from grade one to 12,” Chieftainess Chungu said.
She has since encouraged parents to find other means of finding school requirements such as uniforms and books, saying what government has done means a lot.
” Here in rural areas people can still engage in farming activities so that they raise some money to buy some of the school requirements because school fee is what was the challenge for them,” she said.
Chieftainess Chungu has disclosed that she has come up with by laws in her chiefdom to prevent parents from marrying off their children at an early age and that the coming of the free education policy will strengthen her fight against child marriages.
According to the by-laws anyone found wanting is subjected to hard labour, locally called ‘Milima Chipuba’, the move she said has helped to fight child marriages in the chiefdom.
Meanwhile Rotina Mulenga a member of the community volunteers under the Non-governmental Gender Organization Coordinating Council ( NGOCC) revealed that her organisation has managed to retrieve 49 girls from early marriages, to date.
Mrs. Mulenga said out of those retrieved 20 have since managed to complete their grade 12 education.
” We are working closely with our Chieftainess in bringing back girls who have entered marriages and we are taking them back to school, already some of them that were retrieve have even completed their grade 12, “she said.
Mrs. Mulenga has since called for stakeholders to come on board and help to put up a dormitory at Chungu secondary school saying the move will help to keep girls from engaging in bad vices.