FIRST Quantum Minerals (FQM), through Kalumbila Minerals Limited in North Western Province, has targeted to distribute 1,000 desks to local schools by mid this year, in its quest to improve the quality of education in the region.
The mining company, through Trident Foundation, has so far distributed 622 desks valued at K730,000, says community engagement officer, Alex Mapapayi.
The desks are constructed by Trident Foundation’s furniture factory after adding value to locally sourced timber.
“We have been distributing desks to local schools since June 2015 and this programme has been well received by beneficiary communities as well as other stakeholders in education. Our target is to have distributed the first 1,000 desks before mid-year this year,” Mr Mapapayi said.
He said local schools have had a strain on furniture because of high enrolment numbers due to increased population in the area arising from mining activities.
Mr Mapapayi said the mining company has weighed in to help provide furniture as a way of contributing to improved quality education and would ensure that all the local schools are supplied with desks.
Those that were scheduled to be beneficiaries of desks are Musele, Kalumbila North, Wanyima, Kankozhi, Jiundu, Musangezhi, Musanda, Kachiwezhi Primary School, Kisasa Basic School, Jiundu Secondary School and Nkisu and Mbole community schools.
Out of the 622 desks which have so far been distributed, Kalumbila North Primary School, is among the recipients and received 26 which the head-teacher Stanley Katoba said had helped ease the furniture pressure in classrooms.
“We are very thankful to Kalumbila Mine for coming to our rescue because the enrolment levels here are very high and the donation of 26 desks so far, has helped us a great deal,” Mr Katoba said.
At Musele Primary School, head-teacher Justin Chibiya said the donation of 130 desks was motivating pupils and described the gesture as a contributing factor to increased attendance levels.
He said apart from school desks, Kalumbila Minerals made a huge corporate social contribution of erecting a 1 X 3 classroom block and three teachers’ houses.
“That in itself is a motivation as the infrastructure development which has been extended to us has increased the level of attendance by children.
Some of the students were staying away from school because they did not have where to sit. With desks coming in from Kalumbila Mine, they are always attending school, which is a positive development,” Mr Chibiya said.
Kankozhi Primary School deputy head-teacher, Daniel Kapikila said his school was collaborating well with Kalumbila Mine as evidenced by the donation of 150 desks which has helped reduce tension in classrooms.
He explained that Kalumbila Mine was always on hand to offer various social interventions which include sports events and extends health outreach programmes to the school and surrounding communities through the FQM health team.-
– Story courtesy of SUMA SYSTEMS
“We are happy here because Kalumbila Mine is always thinking of us because they extend most of their activities to us. We recently had a team from their health department which came to sensitise us on cholera, malaria and HIV/AIDS which I think is a good stance by the mine,” Mr Kapikila said. – Story courtesy of SUMA SYSTEMS