Africa-Press – Zambia. The government has retrieved 19 girls from forced marriages out of a total of 22 girls who were married off by their parents and guardians in Shiwang’andu `district.
Shiwang’andu Education Board Secretary (DEBS), Kalale Katele says the issue of early marriage is very rife in the district adding that his office has managed to retrieve 19 girls of the 22 girls from early marriages and has redirected them back into School.
“We have a big problem in this school especially when it comes to the withdraw of girl children who are forced into early marriage and so far we have managed to withdraw 19 girls out of 22 who were married off by their parents, ” said Mr. Katele.
The DEBS disclosed the development when Education Minister Douglas Siakalima paid a courtesy call on newly appointed District Commissioner Maureen Mwamba at her office yesterday.
Mr. Katele further said that at Musonko Primary School 8 pupils all in Grade 7 have been impregnated. The DEBS further disclosed that the government has brought on board a number of cooperating partners that are rendering assistance to vulnerable children.
He said one of the cooperation partners , Campaign for Female Education ( CAMFED) has sponsored 1,125 girls , while under a programme of Keeping Girls in Schools ( KGS) 244 are being sponsored.
Mr. Katele said 2, 000 girls are expected to be under KGS sponsorship, adding that so far beneficiaries have already been identified. Meanwhile, construction works on Matumbo Boarding School project with a revised sum project of K67, 000,000 have resumed and the contractor is back on site.
Shiwang`andu District Education Buildings Officer William Luchele said that construction works have reached at 65% completion. Mr. Luchele added that the scope of works done is ablution blocks, laboratories for Information Technology(ICT), Sciences, Home Economics, a Library and Assembly Hall and Housing Units for Teachers among others.
And Minister of Education Douglas Siakalima said that there is need for Matumbo Boarding School to be completed in order to protect the infrastructure from vandalism.
Mr. Siakalima said this when he inspected progress works at Matumbo Boarding School yesterday. “To facilitate the completion of this project, we shall rehearse with Ministry of Finance to consider the project for completion,” said Mr. Siakalima.
In addition, Muchinga Province Education Officer (PEO) Allan Kaoma and Matumbo Boarding Secondary school Head teacher Christine Chungu have appealed for partial opening of Matumbo Boarding School once all the super structures are roofed.
Speaking shortly after an inspection tour of the school under construction, Dr. Kaoma and Mrs. Chungu said the partial opening of the school would greatly contribute to pupils attending classes regularly. Government owes contractor COVEC construction company engaged to construct Matumbo Boarding School a total of K48 million for the works done so far.