Media Network on Child Rights and Development (MNCRD) Executive Director Henry Kabwe has said there is a need to ensure that society does not only focus on the protection of children but also on their development.
Commenting on International Children’s Day of Broadcasting (ICDB) celebrated on 5th March, 2023, under the theme:Invest in us; protect us: we are the future,” Mr. Kabwe said children’s lives should be enhanced in order for them to fulfill their potential.
Mr. Kabwe said investing in children is as good as investing in the future of the country.
He said with the introduction of free education in Zambia more children are getting access to education.
“Radio and television stations will host children to conduct media activities in the annual commemoration of the international children’s day of broadcasting – ICDB.The media network on child rights and development (mncrd) joins the rest of the world to appreciate various media outlets that will provide platforms for the children to do shows and present news to the general public.This year’s theme is timely as it presents a two tier approach to enhancing the lives of children in order for them to fulfill their potential – protection and investment.The theme – invest in us; protect us: we are the future – reminds us of the need to ensure that we not only focus on the protection of children but also on their development.Investing in children is as good as investing in the future of the country,” Mr. Kabwe said.
“With the introduction of free education in Zambia, we are seeing more children getting access to education. the demand and pressure on schools to have children and the increased teacher – pupil ratio, which in some cases is reaching 150 learners, shows the gaps that were there as poor and vulnerable families were discriminated against in the development cycle.The pressure created should drive government to engage partners to ascertain the needs and meet them through local and international budget support.Such support should extend to the review of the curriculum process and the need to reform our examinations system to make learners concentrate on getting knowledge, behaviors, values and skills from the education system other than merely passing examinations as the primary purpose.The expansion of early childhood education (ece), the school feeding programs and other interventions including quality health can help prepare our children to become competent, accountable, uncorrupt, responsible and skilled citizens able to take zambia to socio-economic development,” Mr. Kabwe stated.
He also spoke against rampant child abuse in the country.
Mr. Kabwe noted that child abuse continues being unreported in many communities that have accepted child labor, sexual abuse, corporal punishment and other demeaning forms of abuse.
“As chairperson of the Zambia national education coalition (Zanec), Mncrd will continue to engage government in the promotion of quality education in Zambia.This can be grossly affected when children are not protected from any form of abuse. Child abuse has been banned through the statutes but it continues being unreported in many communities that have accepted child labor, sexual abuse, corporal punishment and other demeaning forms of abuse.”
He said law enforcement agencies should work with communities to protect children from abuse.
“We call upon law enforcement agencies to work with communities to protect children from abuse and ensure that the compulsory access to education is effected. We need to protect children from pedophiles that have increasingly been abusing, especially girls, within the school, community and child right NGO settings.We implore the media to continue sensitizing the public on the children’s code act of 2022 and using children to promote child rights issues in Zambia.
The media can equally help address misconceptions about child rights and enable the public to appreciate the value of promoting and protecting children’s rights,” Mr. Kabwe said.