PATRIOTIC Front (PF) founding member, Kelvin Fube Bwalya, is advocating for the provision of high quality free primary and secondary school education in Zambia. Mr Bwalya, who is commonly known as KBF, says he envisages policies that would eventually reduce the high number of pupils per class to a maximum of 40 pupils per class within five years to 30 pupils per class in 10 years. In his latest book titled: ‘Zambia Must Prosper 2’ he says that given the opportunity to govern Zambia, he would ensure to pursue policies aimed at achieving quality education for all, both at primary and secondary levels. He says there is need for policies that will ensure that no child dropped out of school on account of failing grade seven or grade nine exams. Children that fail exams at any level should be given an option to re- attempt the exams or to take up less academic but rather more practical forms of education, he said. The respected prominent Lawyer has also called for the eradication of the need for a grade 12 school certificate as a compulsory academic prerequisite to employment or further education. He suggests for the modification of primary to university education curriculum in order to prepare youths adequately for the real work place. In the book he calls for the creation of financial and infrastructure capacity to absorb all grade 12 school leavers into apprenticeships, vocational training, colleges and universities every year. Youths trained under this arrangement are expected to repay educational loans once they start working, he suggests in his book to be released later this month. He calls for the building and increasing of sports and recreational infrastructure to tap into the various talents that youths possess so that such talent is positively utilised. “I have realised that when our youths approach me on the streets and politely request me for an opportunity to clean my car in exchange for a small fee, what the youths are actually communicating is that; ‘we are young, energetic and ready to work. Give us work to do; any work- as long as we can feed our families’. “It is at this stage that one has to admit that we have failed our youths and it is time to correct this anomaly. It’s time to get our youths to work!” he says Mr Bwalya said the quality and wealth of any nation was highly dependent on the quality of its human resource. ‘If we get our minds and act right in how we handle our youths, Zambian youths are by far the greatest asset this country readily possesses. Actually, the human resource is far more important than the natural resources,’ he said. Mr Bwalya says he had resolved to pursue an agenda he has called; “Every Youth in School or at Work,” to ensure that every Zambian youth of school going age is given the best training and equipped to offer Zambia the best productivity. He says there is also need to ensure that every Zambian youth of working age has an opportunity and is co-opted to contributing to creating wealth for the nation. He bemoans the prevailing state of the nation which he describes as nothing but a result of the calibre of human resources in politics, government and private sector. ‘It is also a reflection of how effectively Zambian leadership has deployed this human resource for the advancement of the nation so far. The fact that youths constitute 82 per cent of our human capital renders them the most important group in our country. If Zambia will see significant progress in all areas of our national life, how we handle our youths is the defining aspect,’ he observed. Mr Bwalya attributes the prevailing youth unemployment facing Zambia due to lack of adequately training of the young people and not providing jobs for the youths who wanted to work. This, he says, is a perfect recipe for poverty to be entrenched in Zambia. Is it possible that the provision of high quality free primary and secondary school education in Zambia can lessen the depravity of youth unem0loyment Zambia?
This therefore is a must-read book for all those concerned with the plight of the youths in Zambia.