Editor's Comment

Let’s be practical

IF MORE Zambians put their money where their mouths are, Zambia would be a so much more developed country.In other words, if Zambians individually and collectively walked the talk, the country would develop much faster.
Standards of living would improve and there would be more smiles on the faces of a lot more people.
Unfortunately, there seems to be more jaw-jaw than action. Promises are made in abundance but delivery is often at a trickle.
Around this dark cloud though, there is a bright silver lining.
It comes in the shape of President Edgar Lungu who is walking the talk in firm strides right across the country.
Examples abound, but the latest is one that should prod or even shame those who constantly fail to match word with deed.
President Lungu has set aside K1 million for the modernisation of Ishuko Primary School. This is the school he attended in his formative years and he has decided to give back to it.
Such a gesture by the head of State is unusual and it exposes how, as former pupils, most tend to neglect their former schools.
Many even unashamedly say they attended ramshackle schools and that these institutions are in no better shape many decades later.
Admittedly, there are many Zambians that are supporting their former secondary schools and even institutions of higher learning, but few think of rendering similar support to their former primary schools.
The President’s gesture should not be in isolation. Others must take proactive steps to contribute something for the betterment of their former schools and cushion the burden of Government support.
They don’t have to give as much as what the President has donated, although more would of course be welcome. The donation of a couple of desks, a door, window frames or a borehole are all useful, especially in rural schools.
It is not a secret that many public schools, especially those built in the 1960s, 1970s and to some extent 1980s, are in a dilapidated state. There are also some schools that are makeshift and a sorry sight. They need support.
The President’s gesture to remember Ishuko in Kitwe where he grew up should also be a reminder for officials at the Ministry of General Education to sustain facelifts for learners to be in conducive environments.
The pupils at Ishuko Primary School will not only get a more comfortable learning environment but will also be inspired that one of the school’s product is now a President of the country.
Going back to support schools like this will increase the confidence and motivation levels for learners to aim high and reduce on illicit activities such as the gangs that have rocked the Copperbelt, especially Kitwe.
The President has set the pace. We expect elected or appointed public servants to emulate the President’s approach to service and reciprocate the gesture to their former schools.
Late President Levy Mwanawasa adopted a room at the University of Zambia Great East Road campus.
Zambia National Service Commandant Nathan Mulenga recently donated computers to his former primary school in Mufulira. He built a computer laboratory as well.
We expect citizens to have a heart of gratitude by helping out their former schools.
Alumni institutions, too, need to continue offering high level standards of education. As humans, we encounter so many hurdles in our lives, and each one of them teaches us something.
If you lived in a ramshackle house as you grew, it is your duty that the next generation shouldn’t go through the same.
Similarly with schools, if you struggled to get into a library during your time, you should be able to build a library or stock it so that the next generation shouldn’t pass through the same.
And this you do using a free will.
The gesture should not just be restricted to schools but could be extended to upgrading and extension of churches, rehabilitation of roads, dams and other facilities.
It may entail helping neighbours complete projects for the good of the community. That is what walking the talk entails.

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