AIRTEL Networks Zambia in conjunction with the Zambia Open Community Schools (ZOCS) have handed over a three-classroom block and ablution facility worth over K1 million to the ministry of Education in Chongwe.
The facilities are addition features to Mwalubemba Community School in Chongwe rural which was initially a chicken- run used as a classroom for the early education class.
A playground had also been built for the children. The project is in support of Governments’ stance of making education accessible to all Zambian children through its Free Education Policy, and a partnership between ZOCS and Airtel.
Speaking at the ceremony, Education Minister Douglas Siakalima said good infrastructure was a prerequisite for quality education.
“As Government, we are proud to be associated with partners such as Airtel and ZOCS. It remains our greatest desire to have more educated citizens that will contribute to the country’s development,” Mr Siakalima said in a speech read for him by Permanent Secretary Joel Kamoko.
Mr Siakalima added that, Government was aware that the introduction of the Free Education Policy brought with it teething problems such as limited classroom space.
He expressed happiness that Airtel stepped in to support Government’s policy by creating extra classroom space at the school adding that the newly built classroom block would attract more children to attend school.
Speaking at the same event, Airtel Managing Director, Manu Sood said Airtel’s ambition was to drive not only digital and financial inclusion but access to education for people and communities across Zambia.
“Our visit here started off with us coming to donate desks for the old classroom block and today we are here to witness a realisation of a great partnership with not only the Zambia Open Community Schools and the Ministry of Education, but with the Community itself,” he said.
ZOCS Board Chairperson Victor Koyi said the organisation was committed to complementing Government efforts of ensuring that every Zambian child enjoyed his or her right to education.
Mr Koyi said ZOCS was devoted to creating partnerships that would benefit orphans and vulnerable children in accessing education through community schools.