Saturday, June 22, 2024

More than 60,000 children enrolled in primary schools in Chipata


At least 60,000 children were enrolled for primary education in the first quarter of 2023 in Chipata district following the introduction of the free education policy in the country.

Chipata District Education Board Secretary (DEBS), Gabriel Chutu, said the district recorded an enrollment of 31,455 boys and 33,183 girls in the district.

Mr Chutu said under the secondary education category, a total of 16,035 pupils were enrolled during the same period. Out of the 16,035 enrolled in the secondary education, 7,802 were girls and 8,233 boys.

He was speaking during the Chipata District Senior Management meeting. He said a total of 6,697 pupils were enrolled in the early childhood education (ECE) category, of which 3,206 were boys and 3,491 were girls during the same period.

Mr Chutu told the meeting that 2,000 desks were to be procured under the 2022 Chipata Central Constituency Development Fund (CDF) after contracts were cleared by the office of the Attorney General.

He said under the 2023 CDF, 4,000 desks would be procured, adding that the request for approval had already been forwarded through the Provincial Local Government Office.

He added that the procurement processes would start once the request is approved.

“Under the 2022 Luangeni CDF, 2,500 desks are to be procured and contracts were already cleared by the Attorney General and signed by those allocated while under the 2023 CDF, 3,535 desks will be procured and request for approval was already forwarded through the Provincial Local Government Office,” he said.

And Mr Chutu said there was a shortfall of both early childhood education and primary school trained teachers, especially in rural schools of Chipata district.

“Lack of trained ECE and primary school teachers is negatively affecting literacy levels in the district,” he said.

Mr Chutu said the other problem is inadequate Information Communication Technology (ICT) equipment such as computers, printers, scanners, photocopiers for report writing and data compilation.

Meanwhile, Mr Chutu has observed that private schools are not very conversant with the curriculum framework and school calendar for the Ministry of Education.

He has since advised that the private schools in the district must be oriented on the Zambian curriculum framework and the school calendar for them to follow.


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