LINDA SOKO TEMBO writes
ZAMBIA Air Force (ZAF) sponsored Air Power Ladies Club (APLC) has started building a K538.629 classroom block for children with disability at Ndeke Primary School.
The new building in ZAF Lusaka base, aimed at improving access to education for children with special needs and for them to have a conducive environment.
Speaking during the groundbreaking ceremony yesterday APLC patron Catherine Muma said she and the mother body of APLC would erect the building.
Ms Muma pledged a total sum of K20,000 towards the purchase of the sub-structure construction materials for beginning the project.
“The construction of the special needs classroom block will totally depend on the input of each one of us in raising funds to ensure that the project is successfully completed.
“As your patron, I am confident that with everyone’s input we will soon witness this project come to fruition,” she said.
Ms Muma said she was also aware that among the members of APLC were those in need of empowerment through skills to enable them to fend for their families financially and as a team.
The members were looking for ways to empower themselves with skills such as book-keeping, tailoring and designing among others.
And Chongwe District Education Board Secretary (DEBS) Ruth Phiri said children with special disabilities were looked down on by society.
They were often hidden away from the public when they were part of society.
In a speech read for her by education standards officer Lucy Njobvu Ms Phiri asked parents with children with disabilities to take them to school because they had qualified teachers to teach the children instead of hiding and feeling bad about them.
“The Education Act demand says no child should be left behind it promotes inclusive schooling or main streaming for children with disabilities so that they can be a part of the large typical community,” she said.
Ms Phiri said the greater challenge they had was transporting and feeding the children who came from vulnerable homes.
Meanwhile, Charity Kunda a pupil at Ndeke suffering from spinal bifida said as children with special needs they were delighted with the construction of the building and that once completed it would help them in so many always.