The Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) has attracted over 800 students in its supported adult literacy programme.
KCM acting manager community relations Brian Siatubi said the mining company placed education as a priority in its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) agenda and therefore supports a number of education programmes in its areas of operation.
Mr Siatubi said KCM partnered with the Ministry of Education in Chililabombwe district in line with the education policy; “Educating Our Future”, to provide literacy to all Zambians.
“This programme is testament to our commitment to community empowerment through education. The programme has had fantastic uptake and I was delighted to learn that our oldest student is 77 years old,” Mr Siatubi said.
He said under the same partnership, the Chililabombwe DEB had set up 11 centers with 20 teachers on hand to teach the learners while Konkola Copper Mines Plc provided logistical support which includes tents and teaching materials.
The programme which was launched in July this year, in partnership with the Chililabombwe District Education Board (DEB), initially targeted 520 students at 10 learning centres.
And Chililabombwe District Education Board Secretary (DEB) Junis Hamududu said enrolment had risen to 813 leading to the addition of one more learning centre to bring the total to 11 centres.
Ms Hamududu said the programme would provide literacy and numeracy lessons to members of the community who missed the opportunity of enrolling in formal school.
She said the programme would also sensitise the adult students on community safety matters.
“This programme was set up to prepare the learners to graduate during Zambia’s 50 year independence anniversary as a gift to the community.
So 50 learners completed the first phase in October and were awarded certificates on Independence Day, and the other learners will be graduating in phases in November and December, 2014,” she explained.