LILLIAN CHIKANDI writes
CHIRUNDU Central Ward Councilor Chrispin Malesu has appealed to Government to abolish Parents and Teachers’ Committee (PTC) fees in public schools.
Mr. Malesu says this will enable people appreciate the free education policy from grade one to seven and achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number four, which is aimed at ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education; and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all people.
In a statement, the civic leader added that the SDG is about enabling every citizen to study, learn and fulfill full their potential.
Mr. Malesu however said the goal is impossible to achieve because of the high poverty levels in the communities, adding that the only solution to actualizing it is for government to abolish PTC fees and other unnecessary school requirements in government schools.
The councilor argued that PTC fees have become a barrier to most children in rural areas of Chirundu district to attend school because pupils are always sent away for failure to pay the fees; thereby compromising their learning abilities.
He further charged that schools in Zambia have become so expensive because school managements have also introduced a lot of requirements such as buckets, tissue, floor polish, bags of cement, and reams of paper among many other things making it more difficult for the majority Zambians to afford.
Mr. Malesu said for Zambia to achieve the SDG number four, government should adequately fund schools than depending on PTC fees and called for review of the other school requirements that have proved to be the barrier against attaining education for all.
He said the number of children roaming the streets calls for urgent need for government to review the current education policies to check if they are adequate enough.
He said most children in Chirundu district are willing to go to school but because of poverty, most of them are just engaged in street vending.
Mr. Malesu has since thanked the Department of Social Welfare for introducing a programme aimed at reaching out to the vulnerable and marginalized individuals in the communities for them to have access to education and assist them according to their needs.