You are currently viewing Companies should be more involed in education

Companies should be more involed in education

GOVERNMENT on Wednesday announced the grade seven results, a development which deserves commendation because it is the first time the grade seven results are coming out in November.
This is the earliest they have come and we have no doubt that those proceeding to grade eight next year will be able to start classes with the rest of the non-examination classes.
We commend the Ministry of Education and especially the Examinations Council of Zambia, for managing the grade seven examinations efficiently. We hope this is only a sign of better things to come.
In this year’s results, Government says it has recorded an increase in the national progression rate of 90 percent from 89.3 achieved last year and we say this is commendable.
But we want to state that priding ourselves in figures is not enough because despite the given figures, some children will be offloaded onto the streets and this is where our concern lies.
Primary school education forms the basis of education for any child and from there, one hopes to proceed to higher grades.
Education is, furthermore, a necessity for development. It produces personnel armed with skills and knowledge for various sectors in the country.
But despite this, education in Zambia has become expensive for a number of parents, let alone those in rural areas.
The fact that a child has made it to the next grade, in this case grade eight, means a parent has to fork out some handsome amount of money to take the child to school.
While we know that nothing comes cheaply, the school fees demanded by some schools in Zambia push parents away from sending their children to school.
Take for instance, a school that is demanding boarding fee of K1,500 per term. a parent who is unemployed and not carrying out some business venture of some kind, like chicken rearing, may not afford to pay.
It is understandable that schools have to keep going and that sometimes government grants are not enough to sustain them.
But in some cases, the high school fees can negate the achievement of a high progression rate when so many children who have passed the grade seven examinations fail to proceed to grade eight.
Every child looks forward to advancing in their education and all the necessary measures should be put in place to help such a child.
Zambia abounds in private and parastatal companies that have been keeping the economic engine going and we believe the only way this engine can be maintained is by investing some of their profits in the education of the underprivileged.
We think that companies have to start being involved in the lives of the children early enough so that they can cultivate a cadre that will always be interested in what those companies do.
We recognise the efforts of the Forum for African Women Educationalists of Zambia (FAWEZA), which funds the education of underprivileged girls, from primary school to tertiary level.
We want to see other companies take up the challenge so that every child goes to school, in line with the United Nations Education, Scientific Co-operation (UNESCO)’s initiative of Education for All.
Let us remember that no country can succeed if it does not adequately provide for its citizens’ educational needs.