About 200 children of Mahopo in Lusaka have become beneficiaries of the kind hand of the Japanese who have completed the construction of a community school worth US$90,051.
THE Japanese embassy in conjunction with the Civic Forum on Housing and Habitant Zambia (CFHHZ) handed over 1x 3 community school on Friday to the community.
Japanese Ambassador Kiyoshi Koinuma who handed over the school said the Japanese government realised the importance of education and would continue to support Zambia’s education sector.
“The project was funded under the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects Programme of the Government of Japan and amounted to US$90, 051.
‘‘Japan has been supporting Zambia since independence and we realise the importance of education,” Mr. Koinuma said.
He said the classroom block would provide quality education in a conducive environment for about 200 children in Mahopo community.
Mr. Koinuma underscored the key role of education in a country’s development, saying even just one school was capable of changing society.
He observed that the children in Mahopo would not only be able to get broader choices to pursue for the future, but also contribute to the development of Mahopo community and subsequently to the development of Zambia.
Speaking at the same function, Minister of General Education John Phiri said the development was a contribution towards attainment of the Sustainable Development Goal number 4 which sought to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promotion of lifelong learning opportunities for all.
Dr. Phiri said the provision of education to the future generation remained critical if Zambia was to develop at a desired rate.
He said the school would help several generations to come as the township had no school and children had to walk long distances to access education.
“Previously, the nearest school to this community was 12 kilometres away which made access to primary education for children below 10 years old a challenge, the distance was too long,” Dr. Phiri said.
And Kabwata member of Parliament Given Lubinda said the school would contribute to the literacy levels of close to 600 school-going children aged between six and 10.
Mahopo falls in Kabwata parliamentary constituency.
Mr. Lubinda, who is Minister of Agriculture, said the school was the best gift to the residents of Mahopo community.
He urged the Mahopo community to guard the facility jealously and ensure that every child went to school.
And CFHHZ executive director Grace Mtonga said her organisation would continue to provide support to vulnerable communities.
“The Civic Forum on Housing and Habitat Zambia has a mandate of building capacity of grassroots organisations using a multi-faceted approach,” she said.
And community representative Annie Chikanji said the residents were delighted with the completion of the school which would promote girl child education, as girls used to get pregnant and married off at an early age because there was no school nearby.