THE Konkola Copper Mines (KCM)’s adult literacy programme in Chililabombwe has leaped to higher heights with over 100 of the current 800 learners set to sit for Grade 7 national examinations.
KCM community relations manager Brian Siatubi said the programme had exceeded initial expectations.
Mr Siatubi said it was good that the Ministry of Education allowed the learners to sit for Grade 7 examinations, adding this was a glimmer of hope for those who never had a chance to attain such level of education.
The KCM adult literancy programme was launched in July 2014 in partnership with the Chililabombwe District Education Board (DEB) and targeted 520 students at 10 learning centres.
“The programme was introduced as part of the Golden Jubilee (50th Independence anniversary) celebrations to provide basic reading and writing skills to adults, who never attended formal education. It has now attracted mainly marketeers aged between 35 and 65, who will be integrated into the Grade 8 system in 2016 after passing Grade 7 examinations,” he said.
Adult literacy coordinator for Chililabombwe Gertrude Mulonga said there was overwhelming response from the community as many people began to see the benefit of adult literacy.
Ms Mulonga said some mothers were coming along with their children who were not performing well in regular schools to the adult literacy classes so that they could improve their reading and writing skills.
“We appreciate KCM for providing teaching aids and tents for offices in the peri-urban areas,” she said.
Christina Chishala, a 63-year-old marketeer at Mine Market in Chililabombwe, said she was enthusiastic about the benefits she was reaping in her business after knowing how to read and write.
“Since I started the lessons last year, I have learnt so much that my business has improved because I now give the correct change to customers. I have gained a lot of knowledge such that I have enrolled to write my Grade 7 examinations,” Ms Chishala said.
Anna Chola, 56, another marketeer said she was encouraged to join the adult literacy school after watching elderly women conversing in English in a Nigeria movie.
“After writing the examinations this year, I want to further my education and go all the way up to Grade 12. This is an opportunity one can’t afford to miss,” Ms Chola said.