MWAPE MWENYA, Lusaka
MINISTRY of Gender permanent secretary Edwidge Mutale has cautioned girls at Lumanto Primary School to be vigilant and report any form of abuse by male teachers.
Ms Mutale said it is unfortunate that some male teachers are allegedly proposing to pupils without shame.
Ms Mutale was speaking recently when she addressed the girls at the school. She was in the company of Minister of General Education Dennis Wanchinga and World Bank officials.
“If a male teacher is touching you in an unpleasant manner, make sure you report. No-one should be sexually molested, to those of you who have my phone number, make sure you call at any given time and I will surely respond,” Ms Mutale said.
She encouraged the girls to also report any form of abuse to the Victim Support Unit at any police station and ensure that perpetrators are brought to book.
And School head teacher Vincent Hamombe said in an interview that most girls in the school indulge in illicit activities because they come from vulnerable homes.
Mr Hamombe said though the school has not recorded any sexual abuse perpetrated by teachers, it is important that both teachers and the girls are warned of the consequences.
He said the school has 345 girls and 337 boys out of which only 150 are accommodated due to limited boarding facilities.
“The only problem we are encountering is coming from weekly boarders; they cook for themselves and when they run out of food, some girls resort to entertaining men, in exchange for food. We do not condone such behaviour, if any girl is found wanting, she is summoned together with her parents,” Mr Hamombe said.
He said some children who fail to pay for accommodation walk more than 10 kilometres to school.
Mr Hamombe said due to the distance and limited boarding facilities, the school records high absenteeism.