Some stakeholders in the Education sector in Solwezi District are elated by Government’s decision to revamp school production units.
And the Zambia National Union of Teachers (ZNUT) Provincial Organizing Secretary Setty Maseka has also appealed to school managers to own the programme for it to yield positive results.
Mr Maseka said if well implemented the programme will help schools to generate money for their operations, become financially self-sustained instead of depending on grants alone.
“The injection of part of the school grant component towards Production Units is a step in the right direction by the new dawn administration and once school managers own the initiative, it will add to their income and become self-sustained in the near future,” he said.
He said revamping production units will also impart and enhance survival skills as well as necessary competences in pupils for production and value addition such as entrepreneurship and farm management among others.
Mr Maseka said ZNUT is in support of government’s decision to revamp the Production Units as it will also add value to the School health nutrition programmes being undertaken by some learning institutions in the country.
He said the initiative will also play a key role in expanding the agriculture sector and enable the country to diversify from mining.
Mr Maseka said this may also help Zambia to become a prosperous middle income country by 2030.
He has , however, implored government to consider increasing funding to schools to actualize, sustain, and make school production Units viable.
Meanwhile, Chamuta Primary Community School Head teacher, Gili Kakunta said in an interview that revamping school production Units will enhance national productivity, resourcefulness and empower pupils with additional skills and competences among other benefits.
Mr Kakunta has commended government for allocating a component from school grants towards production units which he said was serving as capital for investment in suitable programmes.
And Chamuta Primary Community School Production Unit Coordinator Patricia Tembo said the school has decided to venture into a Retail project using a capital of K10, 000 taken from the school grant.
Ms Tembo said the project which involves selling rice and second hand clothes locally known as Salaula has proved to be effective and profitable.
She explained that the school was initially interested in agriculture and poultry but that it could not manage because of lack of land.
Ms Tembo said the school is now focused on increasing the profit and generate enough income not only for the operations of the school but for buying land that can be used for implementation of other projects.
She has applauded government for its effort to revamp production units saying it will not only empower schools with finances but that the initiative will also play a key role in empowering pupils and make them responsible citizens.
“The good part about production units is that learners are able to acquire different skills while they are still at school. I will give an example of what we have been doing here at Chamuta Primary Community School since we launched the project last November, we have been encouraging our pupils to observe and participate in the activities especially on weekends,” she said.
In May 2023, North Western Province acting Deputy Permanent Secretary Tradeson Mulofwa launched the Programme in Solwezi District under the theme: “Revamping Production Unit in the education sector: Contributing towards and beyond a prosperous middle income Zambia.”
During the launch, Mr Mulofwa said that government had generated themes to guide school managers in the implementation of the production unit and highlighted them as follows: agriculture, design and technology, tourism and hospitality, whole and retail, transport and accommodation.