LINDA SOKO TEMBO writes
ABOUT six schools have been constructed in Chembe district aimed at improving the education sector in the area especially for the girl child, Chembe Member of Parliament Sebastian Kopulande has said.
Dr Kopulande said pupils were forced to walk long distances to school and from grade one to four more girls were in school than boys.
In an interview, Dr Kopulande said from grade five up to seven numbers reduced having more boys in class than girls and when he inquired, he was informed that most girls stopped school due to early marriages in the district.
Dr Kopulande said he took time to visit the community and discovered that most pupils stopped school not because of early marriages but because when they reached puberty they did not have the means to protect themselves during that time.
“We have built six schools in Chembe district using Constitutional Development Fund (CDF) so that we can take education facilities as close as possible to the people. Many children were not able to go to school covering a distance of more than 10 kilometers going and coming,
“We discovered the girl child stopped school and stayed home when they reached puberty. Here is a girl who stays home for the whole week and she comes back after a week and finds the friends have leant a lot in all the subjects and fails to catch up with the rest of the pupils,” he said.
Dr Kopulande said he was moved and called on government to provide free sanitary pads for girls in schools to avoid them missing classes and stopping school and that he also set up the rebuild Chembe Foundation and introduced “Girl Child Support Programme”.
“In my recent visit to Chembe two weeks ago, one of my major priorities was to donate 52,000 pads, buckets and dishes for hand wishing in all the schools using my own resources worth K120, 000 in the all the schools that had opened for examination classes,” he said.
“My goal is to ensure that a girl child is educated and that once they are educated they will appreciate the value of education and teach their children the importance of education,” he said.
The lawmaker said his focus was on building schools and that 80 percent of the CDF was spent building schools to ensure that they developed and educated citizens because lack of education brought about lack of development in the District.