CHONGWE Secondary School opened its doors to the public in 1973 as a boys’ institution.Kasisi Girls was the other boarding school in Chongwe which was specifically for orphaned girls run by the Catholic sisters.
However, due to extra attention rendered to the girls and excellent results, the school soon became an attraction for the elite from Lusaka.
The local girl-child had to stop school in Grade 7 as there was no other school for the girls in the district.
In the early 1990s, Government introduced basic education, meaning nearly all primary schools were having grade eight and nine classes but after that the girls in Chongwe had nowhere to further their education.
Mukamambo (II) Girls Secondary School was later opened in the late 1990s to cater for the girl-child.
But like Kasisi, it also became a school for the elite from Lusaka. Again the local girl had no chance to further her education beyond Grade Nine.
Due to an increase in population, Chongwe Boys Secondary School opened its doors to the girls in 2000 but only as day scholars as it was designed to accommodate boys only.
This meant the girls had to walk long distances from far-flung areas and they were often late for lessons and so results were always poor.
Most of these girls were and are still renting from the nearby villages and this makes them vulnerable to both fellow pupils and some men due to high poverty levels.
That the school administration has now completed building a girls boarding house to accommodate about 50 vulnerable children must be commended.
The project had stalled for over a decade.
It is also hoped that only girls who are really vulnerable will be accommodated and selection must be done on merit.
However, to achieve better results, the school authorities need to erect a perimeter wall to prevent unruly boys from straying into the girls’ dormitories as well as employ a full-time live-in matron who will not only monitor girls’ movement but also provide guidance and counselling to the girls.
As for now, our girls can breathe a sigh of relief and all we can say is thumbs up to the head teacher and the entire teaching staff. God bless you!