KALUMBILA Minerals Limited (KML) has handed over classroom infrastructure worth K1,254,000 to Kisasa Primary School in Senior Chief Musele’s chiefdom to decongest the institution whose average enrolment has soared from 600 to 2,200 pupils.
The mining company, through its Trident Foundation, which drives corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes in the area, facilitated the building of a 1×3 classroom block aimed at decongesting classrooms and three staff houses to address teachers’ accommodation woes.
Trident Foundation community relations coordinator, Alex Mapapayi said during the hand-over ceremony at Kisasa Primary School in Kalumbila district on Friday that the mining company was keen to see delivery of quality education in the area hence the resolve to contribute to the provision of educational infrastructure and related facilities.
He said the Kisasa community was hard hit with the population influx arising from the opening of Kalumbila Mine which has seen the enrolment figures ascend to 2, 200 pupils for a school structure meant to accommodate 600 pupils some two years ago.
Mr Mapapayi bemoaned the high pupil to desk ratio at Kisasa Primary School which he said was the highest in the region, if not in the country.
He said Kalumbila Minerals Limited was concerned with the congestion in classrooms where children squeeze themselves on desks while others utilise the floor during class sessions and pledged that they would always endeavour to assist in ensuring that the quality of education was improved.
Apart from the classroom block and three staff houses, Mr Mapapayi said Trident Foundation went further to build five double VIP ablution amenities, provided solar energy and supplied 100 desks.
“I wish to inform you that the 100 desks provided were made by Kalumbila from the timber collected from Musele. As you may be aware, we have a small mill at Kalumbila, therefore we add value to the timber collected from our site and made the 100 desks that we have supplied to this area,” Mr Mapapayi said.
He however pledged that, by the end of 2016, all the schools would be supplied with desks.
Kisasa Primary School headteacher, Christopher Kabemba thanked Kalumbila Minerals Limited for the gesture and said the infrastructure would help decongest classrooms and help children concentrate on their studies.
Mr Kabemba said from an average 600 pupils at Kisasa, the enrolment levels have risen steeply to 2,200 prompted by the mining activities in the area.
He said the high enrolment levels have been compounded by the shortage of teachers as the school only has 15 teachers against 2,200 pupils.
“We are really thankful for the help that Kalumbila Minerals Limited has rendered to us as this will go a long way in the provision of good education standards. I would, however, wish to appeal to the mining company and other corporate organisations to help us in other areas that are lacking,” he said.
And Senior Chief Musele Musoka Ntanda Chibumbu The Third, said he acknowledge the contributions that Kalumbila Minerals Limited was making to the local community and the building of infrastructure at Kisasa Primary School was one of the many charities that his chiefdom was appreciating.
Speaking through his representative, Francis Kakota Kadilu, the tradition leader said he was overwhelmed by the official hand over of the classroom block, teachers houses and ablution facilities which would improve the quality of education at Kisasa School.
“We thank Kalumbila Mine for giving us a gift for the enhancement of education. I would urge the mining company to continue with the spirit of giving through their CSR programmes. We are with Kalumbila Mine all the way,” said Senior Chief Musele.
And Solwezi District Education Board Secretary (DEBS) representative Allan Matavu said the Ministry of Education was happy to note that Kalumbila Minerals Limited values quality education for the local children hence their goodwill of providing additional infrastructure to Kisasa Primary School.
He said it was unfortunate that Kisasa Primary School had only 15 teachers against 2,200 pupils but, with new teachers’ houses built and handed over, his office would start the process of posting more teachers to Kisasa.- Story courtesy of SUMA SYSTEMS.