Editor's Comment

Walk the talk on education

IT IS sometimes irritating when talk about improving education in Zambia ends in just that – mere talk.
In recent years, Government opened more doors for pupils and students with the construction of an ever-increasing number of schools, colleges and universities.
On the other hand, we have had armchair critics, many of them beneficiaries of Government education, offering no more than lip-service in their flamboyant talk.
It is therefore always heartwarming when you get institutions that actually walk the talk on supplementing Government’s efforts by supporting education. A case in point is the Catholic Church, which has launched a
Catholic Boys School.
What is even more heartening is that this is in a rural setting – the nondescript farming settlement of Njolwe in Chongwe which is one of the many places in Zambia in need of equal learning opportunities.
As it were, education provides and opens up opportunities to those who may be disadvantaged.
Education leverages all learners because they are subjected to the same learning materials, which must produce the same output and outcome.
Thereafter, it is expected that the subjected learners are at the same level to comprehend any situation.
Through education one can explore their potential outside poverty to lead a successful life.
President Edgar Lungu has aptly described education as the proverbial ‘teaching a man to fish’ and through it, an individual develops personally, socially as well as economically.
Education transforms people to do bring out their best because they acquire knowledge and skills, which have an impact on the country’s socio-economic development.
Education helps individuals to make informed decisions – whether to embark on professional careers or trades and move on in life.
Therefore, the launch of the construction of a Catholic Boys school is a milestone for the district because it will give more learning opportunities to young people not only in the district but also for Lusaka Province and the country as whole.
The education platform, especially like the one being set up in Chongwe, helps promote morals and values amongst the boy-child. In the process, it rescues the boy child from vices like alcoholism, casual sex and criminal activities.
It is good exposure and has the potential to save them from a life of hardship such as hard economic times ahead.
It also ups the quality of life for the rural folks as some amongst the beneficiaries might turn out to be good citizens that will do great things for the country and Chongwe in particular.
Education should build morals and good character. But this must be done in an environment that reflects the community and family.
Upgrading school infrastructure and investing in knowledge is the surest way of winning the future.
Knowledge, not monetary capital, is the most important ingredient for economic development.
That is why President Lungu said the provision of quality education is the responsibility of everyone and should, therefore, not be left to Government and the Church alone.
Through the construction of a boys’ school which will offer quality education in the country, the Catholic Church has upheld its tradition of being Government’s partner in taking
education to all parts of the country.
President Lungu, in mobilising support to the project, has pledged K1 million, and has rightly stated that while the church is the originator of the project, it may not be able to fund the school on its own.
The Catholic Church has a long history of offering quality education based on also imparting morals. It has always been the belief of the Church to have a strong education and organisation to serve people diligently.
Through the construction of the school in Chongwe, the Catholic Church has yet again proved the crucial role churches play in the education of society.
Let this be another bright light in the education sector for others to emulate.
This is not only for other churches but also for other supporters of the sector as well as individuals who have the passion to provide quality education, not necessarily for profit but for the satisfaction of having an educated society.
With an educated society, the bar on discourse is significantly raised and focus falls on matters that help improve the society – for the individual as well as
society as a whole.
Therefore, a round of applause to the Catholic Church and all those that put word into deed on improving education in Zambia.

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