Saturday, June 15, 2024

Kitwe NGO, former COBUSU leaserhip welcome proposed ZNS voluntary training

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A non-governmental organisation known as Beautiful Gate-Zambia has suggested that the planned re-introduction of voluntary Zambia National Service (ZNS) training by the government should be made a prerequisite for entry into the defence force or receiving a scholarship for tertiary education.

Beautiful Gate-Zambia is a non-governmental organisation looking after the vulnerable children in Zambia.

Beautiful Gate-Zambia Executive Director, Bill Kaping’a, on President Hakainde Hichilema’s pronouncement yesterday during the ZNS jubilee commemorations in Chongwe that government was contemplating introducing voluntary Zambia National Service training for youths, Mr Kaping’a said the initiative was long overdue.

He told ZANIS in Kitwe yesterday that the pronouncement is good as it will help reduce illicit activities by youths because they will have something to keep them busy.

Mr Kaping’a however said the plan should be executed as an assurance to the youths for jobs in the defense forces or education scholarships to motivate them.

He also noted that the training will help groom the youths into responsible citizens, as they would also acquire life support skills such as bricklaying, tailoring, agriculture, poultry and shoe making among others which they can later use in their lives.

“This is a good move as it will help keep busy the youths that complete grade 12 as they wait to go into university, but then those that undergo this training should be given preference when recruiting defense force officers and in the awarding of scholarships by the Higher Education Loans and Scholarships Board just to encourage the youths to undertake this training,” he said.

Mr Kaping’a however bemoaned the low levels of the spirit of volunteerism among youths which he said may lead to the failure of the programme if it is not well planned to motivate them.

He alleged that many modern youths lacked the spirit of volunteerism and were more interested in fast money.

And former Copperbelt University Students Union (COBUSU) president, Lawrence Kasonde said the initiative by the President will help youths who are not in employment acquire life survival skills.

Mr. Kasonde also noted that the programme will keep youths away from criminal activities and from being used as tools of violence by politicians.

“If you look back, the ZNS training programme helped a lot of our parents to learn a lot of skills such as carpentry and plumbing, it is also going to help unemployed youths. So for me, it is a good move, and to the youths I would urge them to take advantage of this programme which will enable them to get skills for free,” he said.

And former Copperbelt Students Council chairperson, Niza Phiri, suggested that the programme be a revolving one where one can go for training and after a stipulated period of time, graduates to give room to others.

Mr Phiri said the move will help cushion the problem of unemployment among youths as they will be able to acquire skills which they can use to start running their own businesses.

In the past, the compulsory ZNS training for school leavers was used to instill discipline and the spirit of patriotism among youths.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Will the push to re-introduce ZNS training for school leavers respond to the current needs? ZNS had a component of military training because at that time Zambia was faced with liberation wars and hostile neighbours in Rhodesia and South Africa. Unless there’s an adjustment to the program we might end up creating another problem should youths with military skills end up on the streets. My proposal is that we consider skills training as early as grade 6 & 7. You don’t have to spend 3yrs in a college to be a carpenter, bricklayer, mechanic, etc.

  2. National Service is for the entire Nation and to propose a Voluntary National Service is wrong and ill conceived. If the intention is to raise a new cadre of youths who will be Patrotic to this nation and Zambian in bodyi and soul then it should made mandatory. It should be left to choice of individuals and their families but should be a deliberate policy of Government and the people of Zambia.
    What the Government should do is plan properly, find the resources and introduce A COMPULSORY National Service. ZAMBIA is the Only Country that reneged on this and brought the country to where we are where the youths now identify themselves on tribal lines than on National patronage. .
    It should be Compulsory and no one should enter College, University or better still be employed anywhere…

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