Zambia: Thousands Ditch School for Caterpillars

Government has raised concerns over the high levels of absenteeism among school going children in Shiwang’andu district.

Over 7 – thousand learners from primary and secondary schools in the district are currently reportedly out in the field collecting caterpillars.

Education Minister DOUGLAS SIAKALIMA says the increasing number of absenteeism by children due to caterpillar collection is worrisome.

Speaking when he addressed teachers in Shiwang’andu today, Mr. SIAKALIMA said over 7- thousand children have been absconding class for caterpillar collection.

He said there is need for teachers and parents to intervene by withdrawing the children from caterpillar collection.

The minister lamented that the level of absenteeism affects government’s agenda of providing access to quality education.

Mr SIAKALIMA says village headmen should also play a role in discouraging parents from taking their children for caterpillar collection saying, security wings also need to bring to book those encouraging such acts.

He further called on teachers to adopt a professional attitude towards delivering education.

Mr SIAKALIMA said government is committed to increasing human resource in the education sector as evidenced by President HAKAINDE HICHILEMA in his pronouncement of recruiting 30 -thousand teachers next year.

And Shiwang’andu District Education Board Secretary (DEBS) KATELE KALALE said another issue that has affected the education sector in the district is early child marriages.

Mr. KALALE said the school -going girl child has been a victim of early marriages especially in the rural areas.

He said the ministry has, however, managed to retrieve 19 girls from early marriages out of the 22 that were married off by their parents.

The Education Minister is in Muchinga province on a familiarization tour to check on education projects and interact with teachers.

 

Source: ZANIS

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