MWAPE MWENYA, Lusaka
MINISTER of General Education Dennis Wanchinga has advised youths to engage Government on matters affecting their education instead of resorting to violence.
Dr Wanchinga was speaking last week at a Junior Achievement Mentorship programme for 60 pupils from 10 provinces who among them were children with disabilities. Forty girls and 20 boys were in attendance.
The minister said there are many ways of airing grievances other than resorting to vandalism and violence, which may result into culprits being expelled from school.
“Do not accept to be used as tools for violence by selfish individuals, this negatively impacts on your academic qualification and it will be difficult for you to continue with your education,” Dr Wanchinga said.
He said Government has put in place policies and guidelines that govern the education system to ensure that no child is left behind in education.
Dr Wanchinga said his ministry has introduced counselling and career department in schools to help children achieve their ambitions.
“I am appealing to school administrations countrywide to strengthen the career and counselling departments so that our children are given opportunities to realise their dreams,” he said.
He said teenage pregnancies and early marriages have impacted negatively on girls’ education and Government is doing everything possible to reduce drop-outs by introducing different programmes aimed at re-admitting children into schools.
Dr Wanchinga urged girls to concentrate on their education and avoid illicit activities such as sex, alcohol and drug abuse.
And speaking at the same event, First Lady Esther Lungu who graced the occasion encouraged girls to shun activities that may disturb their studies.
“Stay away from sex until you finish school and find the right man, you will be saving yourselves from any form of abuse at the hands of a violent partner and poverty,” Mrs Lungu said.
She said children irrespective of physical status should embrace each other and avoid discrimination.