Wednesday, 4th July, 2018

Printer Friendly and PDF

Wednesday, 4th July, 2018


The House met at 1430 hours


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]












Mr Speaker: Hon Members, as you may be aware, the House is expected to adjourn sine die on or about 17th July, 2018.  The adjournment will bring to an end the Second Session of the Twelfth National Assembly and will result in the prorogation of the House. According to parliamentary procedures and practice, the effect of the prorogation is that all business before the House automatically lapses.


Hon. Members, as at today, 4th July, 2018, a total of 413 questions are due for consideration by the House before it rises. In order to avoid such a huge number of questions from lapsing, the majority of them have been or will be converted to Questions for Written Answer. Responses to the Questions for Written Answer are available and accessible by any hon. Member through the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly.  Should there be a need for any clarification to the responses, hon. Members are urged to approach the appropriate ministries.


I thank you.








The Minister of Health (Dr Chilufya): Mr Speaker, I wish to thank you for granting me this opportunity to deliver a ministerial statement on the end of the 2017/2018 cholera outbreak in Zambia. The brief background is that on 4th October, 2017, two suspected cases were reported to Chipata Clinic with acute watery diarrhoea. Following the laboratory confirmation of samples from the two suspected cases, a cholera outbreak was declared in Lusaka District on 6th October, 2017. Since then, a total of 5,935 cases were recorded from seven of the ten provinces in Zambia, excluding Luapula Province, Northern Province and Muchinga Province.


Mr Speaker, several of the cases recorded in other provinces were linked to the ones reported in Lusaka. Lusaka Province alone recorded 5,718 cases from seven districts broken down as follows:


District                        Number of cases


Lusaka                         5,444

Kafue                                87

Chongwe                           66

Chilanga                            62

Shibuyunji                          53

Rufunsa                             05

Chirundu                           01


Total                            5,718


Mr Speaker, the Central Province recorded 123 cases from eight districts, namely:

District                        Number of cases


Kabwe                         43

Mumbwa                      34

Chibombo                    16

Serenje                         15

Chisamba                       6

Mkushi                           4

Kapiri Mposhi                4

Itezhi-tezhi                      1


Total                            123


Mr Speaker, the Southern Province recorded 39 cases from seven districts as follows:


District                        Number of cases


Chikankata                   22

Mazabuka                      7

Kalomo                          4

Siavonga                        2

Sinazongwe                    2

Livingstone                     1

Pemba                            1


Total                            39


Mr Speaker, the Eastern Province recorded 36 cases from five districts, which are:


District                        Number of cases


Lundazi                        20

Petauke                        10

Katete                            3

Sinda                              2

Chipata                          1


Total                            36


Mr Speaker, the Copperbelt Province had seven cases from Ndola and six from Kitwe. The Western Province recorded three cases from Mongu and one from Kaoma. The North-Western Province had the least number of cases with only two cases reported which was one from Mwinilunga and one from Solwezi.


Mr Speaker, with sadness, I report to the House that the outbreak claimed 114 lives across the country, ninety-eight of which were recorded in Lusaka alone, five from Shibuyunji, two from Chilanga, two from Kafue, two from Mumbwa and one each from Chongwe, Kapiri Mposhi, Kabwe, Lundazi and Ndola.


Mr Speaker, it is standard practice to declare a cholera outbreak over when you have had no laboratory cases reported over a two-week period. I am happy to report to the House that the last recorded case from outside Lusaka Province was from Kabwe, on 27th April, 2018 while the last case in Lusaka was recorded on 31st May, 2018, from Mtendere. On this premise, the outbreak was declared over on 15th June, 2018.


Mr Speaker, allow me to recognise the various players whose swift action and unwavering dedication over the last nine months ensured that the outbreak was contained in the shortest period of time.


Mr Speaker, allow me to thank and commend His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu ...


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Chilufya: ... for ensuring unprecedented political will and leadership during the outbreak. His Excellency appointed a cross-sectoral task force committee of hon. Cabinet Ministers to mobilise and oversee resources for the outbreak responses which included, K159 million that was released by the Government Treasury. This committee also provided guidance and co-ordination for the multi-sectoral approach, which proved to be a major contributor to the containment of the outbreak.


Mr Speaker, my ministry wishes to place on record that there is a register of all the contributions received towards the response efforts which is open to anyone seeking to audit it. The total amount received for the Cholera Emergency Fund was K162,497,500. As stated earlier, the Government contributed K159 million, and the donations in cash were K3,497,500.


Mr Speaker, allow me to recognise the efforts of Her Honour the Vice-President of the Republic of Zambia. She co-ordinated the efforts of various stakeholders who supported the response. My fellow hon. Cabinet Ministers, particularly my colleagues from the Office of the Vice-President, Local Government, Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection, General Education, Higher Education and Lusaka Province, and fellow hon. Members of Parliament among others.


Mr Speaker, allow me to thank our Zambia the defence and security wings whose gallant and exceptionally efficient execution of tasks ensured the restoration of order and sanity to the City of Lusaka and other towns across the country. 


Mr Speaker, allow me to thank the multilateral and bilateral co-operating partners for providing technical support and various resources to the outbreak response. Our in-country and international partners, corporate entities, grass root organisations, communities and individual citizens whose co-operation and support for the Government’s efforts even in light of some radical and inconveniencing measures ensured that control measures were implemented for the benefit of the wider public. The technical team led by the Zambia National Public Health Institute must be appreciated for its outstanding expertise and management of the various aspects of the response.


Mr Speaker, I wish to caution that although the most recent battle against cholera has been won, the war is far from over. Zambia remains at risk of cholera outbreaks as long as issues such as limited access to clean and safe water, poor sanitation and inadequate solid waste management are unresolved. In view of the high economic costs, both direct and indirect, a permanent end to the loaming threat of a cholera outbreak is of utmost importance. My ministry has already begun a post-outbreak evaluation and is supporting the work on medium to long-term projects for the improvement of water and sanitation.


Mr Speaker, the Government of the Republic of Zambia sponsored the resolution at the World Health Assembly to end cholera globally by 2030. This is in line with the Global Cholera Control Strategy launched by the Global Taskforce on Cholera Control which implores affected countries, technical partners and donors to reduce cholera deaths by 90 per cent and eliminate its transmission in as many as twenty countries by the year 2030. Further, Zambia took a bold step and announced to the world its resolution to end cholera in the country by the year 2025. To actualise this elimination goal, and in line with the three axes of the Global Roadmap for Cholera Control, our strategy will include the following:


  1. increased access to appropriate health care;


  1. early case management;


  1. strengthened surveillance information sharing;


  1. strengthened laboratory capacity;


  1. a multi-sectoral approach and effective co-ordination of technical support;


  1. access to clean and safe water and sanitation
  2. increased health literacy and improved behavioural hygiene (water, sanitation and hygiene); and


  1. community involvement including action on the social determinants to health.


Mr Speaker, allow me to conclude by reiterating the clarion call to action that with collective effort, we shall surely be the beacon that shows the rest of the world that cholera can be eliminated. Therefore, I implore hon. Members of Parliament and the wider community to participate in the Keep Zambia Clean, Green and Healthy Campaign. We need to ensure that we all work together to have universal access to clean and safe water.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the ministerial statement given by the hon. Minister.


Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, congratulations to the hon. Minister on having managed to get over this epidemic. In my view, the fight against cholera took an apolitical angle because everyone in this country did play a part. Are there any political parties that contributed to the fight against cholera materially, morally or otherwise? If there are any, I would like the hon. Minister to mention them. I would also like to find out why in his statement, he appeared to be silent on this issue.


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, allow me to refer to the part of the statement where I thanked the in-country and international partners, corporate entities, grass root organisations, communities and individual citizens whose co-operation and support for the Government efforts ...


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Chilufya: ... even in light of some radical and inconveniencing measures, ensured that the control measures were implemented for the benefit of the wider public. All the political parties which participated in the fight are recognised in this statement as in-country partners. We have also recognised the support of the grass root organisations, and all the individuals. 


Mr Speaker, sometimes, it may be embarrassing to mention individual entities because you may omit some of them. That is why I simply identified the supporters as in-country partners, all corporate entities and grass root organisations.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mbulakulima (Milenge): Mr Speaker, I agree with the hon. Minister that it is actually important for all of us to recognise the effort by His Excellency the President of Zambia. If he did not order the military people to come in, I think the disaster would have been more than what it was. I agree with him that the war is far from over. Our environment is very filthy. What is the hon. Minister together with his counterpart from the Ministry of Local Government doing to prepare for the rainy season which is just around the corner? Do we really need to go through the same situation whereby we will have to call upon the soldiers to clean the environment because the vendors are still going back to the street? I want to believe by November, the rainy season will be full throttle. What measure is the hon. Minister putting in place to ensure that we do not get close to the old situation again in terms of street vending which normally contributes to 90 per cent of the filth which results into the outbreak of cholera?


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, like I said in my statement, the outbreak is over, but there are measures that we are putting in place to avoid a recurrence. These measures include the following:


  1. Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 79 which has increased the powers of those who work in public health to ensure enforcement is still active; and


  1. SI No. 10 that was signed by the Ministry of Local Government on street vending and certain measures regarding our environment, is still active;


Sir, I also want to state that if you looked at the epicentres in Lusaka, such as Kanyama and other surrounding peri-urban areas, where access to clean and safe water was a determinant of the outbreak, you would see that there are contractors on site. The contractors have made significant progress in reticulating the area to increase access to clean and safe water for the citizens there. Further, the Government has embarked on a Keep Zambia Clean, Green and Healthy Campaign that calls on all of us to clean our environments. This programme is being headed by the President of the Republic of Zambia, His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, who has shown political will by being at the frontline in these clean-up exercises.


Mr Speaker, furthermore, as the Government, we are pursuing universal access to clean and safe water by increasing investment in water and sanitation for the public. I also want to appreciate the hon. Member’s statement that His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu took a bold decision by summoning the Defence Forces onto the streets to help with the cleaning up of the communities. It also took boldness by the President to allow us to impose a curfew on Kanyama Compound which helped us to regulate certain conduct. There was a need for political will to support the execution of very difficult decisions such as keeping people away from places where there was no water and sanitation facilities.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kabanda (Serenje): Mr Speaker, indeed, you deserve commendation for fighting the war against cholera. I would like you to clear the air which is coming from certain quarters that cholera cannot be treated using vaccines because it is a water-borne disease.


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, indeed, cholera is not treated using vaccines. Vaccines are used as one of the measures to prevent cholera. Therefore, vaccination is a preventive measure and does confer protection for two to three years for up to over 70 per cent if it is done well. It is not used for treatment, but for the prevention of cases. Indeed, cholera is a water-borne disease, which is transmitted either through consumption of infected food or drinking of contaminated water.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Zimba (Chasefu): Mr Speaker, my question is similar to the one which was asked by the hon. Member of Parliament for Serenje Parliamentary Constituency. The hon. Minister has said that cholera cannot be treated using vaccines. The Government had a vaccine that was being used on a trial basis during the past outbreak. Seeing that the vaccine was received with mixed feelings by the country, what is the Government’s position? Since the hon. Minister has told us that cholera cannot be treated using vaccines, what then, was that trail all about?


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, I want to make a clear distinction between the treatment and prevention of cholera. There are drugs which we use to treat cholera and there are molecular vaccines which we use to prevent it. The cholera vaccine has been proven to prevent the disease in individuals who have been vaccinated with two doses. Zambians in the epicentres responded very well to the vaccination programme. We had over 90 per cent response in the affected areas. Yes, it is not the only intervention that controls a cholera outbreak. It is just one of the many interventions. The key intervention is making sure that you close the tap, if there is contaminated water that people were consuming. You must stop that consumption of contaminated water and then create access to safe water. You have to break the transmission cycle. Therefore, vaccination is important as it is one of the interventions. However, the main thrust in containing cholera is creating access to clean and safe water like we did. The vaccination was received very well, and was one of the efficacious interventions that we used in the response, not for treatment, but for prevention.


I thank you, Sir.


Dr Chibanda (Mufulira): Mr Speaker, I want to say well done to the hon. Minister for winning this battle. My question is on the committee that was constituted by the Head of State and the epicentres that were created. Does the Government intend to maintain these epicentres and committees as permanent fronts for the fight against cholera?


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, I believe that the hon. Member is trying to talk about the cholera treatment centres. The cholera treatment centres have been closed. They were only opened to handle the cases of cholera by filtering them and then transferring the confirmed ones to the main centre which was at the National Heroes Stadium. I would like to confirm that all the cholera centres are closed down and only opened in times of crises. However, the interventions which are multi-sectoral in nature are on-going. In our continuous execution of the Health in All Policies (HiAP), our technical teams are working together to ensure that the people have access to clean water and good sanitation. They are also working to ensure that all the other determinants of good health are addressed as a way of sustainably ensuring the eradication of water-borne diseases.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Lihefu (Manyinga): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for that good statement. What policy measure has the ministry put in place to ensure that those who go against the laid-down procedures are punished?


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, public health laws demand that certain measures which must be complied with are put in place. If entities or individuals do not comply with public health laws, there are penalties which apply. Therefore, keeping the environment clean, disposing of waste in appropriate places and ensuring that we do not litter are some of the provisions in the SI No. 10 which are also part of the broader public health law. Therefore, the law does provide for penalties for people who break public health laws. The enforcement of these laws is through the collective efforts of health inspectors from the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Local Government and the Zambia Police Service.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kafwaya (Lunte): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for the information he has shared in his statement. I have taken note of the optimal intervention strategies which he has taken to reduce the possibility of recurrence as well as to mitigate mortality risk in the event of an outbreak. One of the interventions the hon. Minister mentioned is surveillance.


Sir, what method is the hon. Minister using to ensure adequate surveillance in the seven provinces where there were incidences and also the three that did not have any incidences to ensure that the whole country is covered?


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, as part of the broader agenda to strengthen health systems as a way of ensuring a healthy population to contribute to the development of the country, we have put in place very strong public health security measures. One of our key interventions is surveillance.


Sir, surveillance refers to a process whereby we have stakeholders at various levels who will pick out any suspicions for any diseases and report them appropriately so that action is taken. Surveillance teams are available at district level. The operations of the Ministry of Health are highly decentralised. Every district has surveillance officers who are well co-ordinated through the district health office, the provincial health office and the Zambia National Public Health Institute.


Surveillance and disease intelligence is a very important part of the national health security. Zambia has posted a key milestone by establishing the Zambia National Public Health Institute to oversee disease surveillance and intelligence.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mwiinga (Chikankata): Mr Speaker, was all the money which was donated by well-wishers spent? In case it was not, I want to make an appeal that it is used to work on the Chikankata Road.


Mr Speaker: I did not get your question.

Mr Mwiinga: What I wanted to find out was whether all the donated money from well-wishers was spent. That is all.


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, I would like to repeat that the money that was donated was about K3.9 million. All of it was spent. It was part of the about K162 million which we spent on our response to the cholera outbreak.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr C. M. Zulu (Luangeni): Mr Speaker, how long does it take for the cholera vaccine to expire in the human body after it is taken? Is it one day, two days or one week?


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, it takes a few days. It can take from twenty-four to seventy-two hours, but will confer protection for up to three years if the vaccination is done well. In terms of the onset of action, the time taken is much shorter, but in terms of conferring of protection, it is two to three years if it is administered appropriately.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Micheelo (Bweengwa): Out of the total number of 5,935 cases, is the hon. Minister in a position to tell this House how many of those are female and male adults as well as children?


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, the tallying of cases has a lot of details and we desegregate by gender all the cases that come in. I have not included that gender desegregation in my presentation. However, that information is readily available. I can make it available to the hon. Member of Parliament if he wants it.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: I think we should be winding down this segment now. I will take the last questions from the hon. Member for Lupososhi, hon. Member for Mumbwa, hon. Member for Kapiri Mposhi, hon. Member for Lukulu East, hon. Member for Kabwe Central and the hon. Member for Kamfinsa; in that order.


Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi): Mr Speaker, I commend the hon. Minister on the job that he embarked on to ensure that cholera was contained in Lusaka and other provinces as it required quite a lot of effort.


The hon. Minister mentioned in his statement that one of the measures which they have put in place is increased access to appropriate health care. Bearing in mind the fact that the construction of the health posts in various places like the Northern Province has not been completed, how then does the ministry hope to achieve this particular measure which has been included in the ministerial statement?


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, health services are provided in a multi-sectoral manner. The services are provided across a continuum of care. The building of infrastructure to create access to health services is one intervention. The Government is making progress in the construction of health posts. We have now completed all the administrative procedures to do with the construction of the health posts. At an appropriate time, we will come and deliver a statement to update the House on the specifics regarding the construction of the health posts.


Mr Speaker, the contractor has remobilised in places where he had demobilised. The contractor is also getting ready to mobilise in places like the Northern Province. The current state of affairs does not deter us from providing health services across the continuum of care which involves health promotion and other disease preventive measures such as calling upon the stakeholders to do their bit in managing social and commercial determinants as a way of preventing cholera.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Nanjuwa (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister mentioned the total amount of money that was actually donated towards the fight against the outbreak. Did the committee or the Government set aside a budget to fight the outbreak? How much was the actual budget which ended up achieving what the hon. Minister has talked about?


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, all the activities were costed. We made projections of how much we would spend. We were getting resources from the Ministry of Finance based on the projections. We did not even finish paying off all our obligations at the end of the outbreak. There are still some small debts that we are managing after the outbreak. We had monthly projections based on the interventions that included the provision of clean and safe water through the tanks that we erected in various places, payments to human resource, transportation and hiring of water bowsers. We projected as much as we could as we could not foretell the end date of the outbreak. We were working in a coherent manner with various stakeholders identifying all the interventions and meticulously costing them. Afterwards, we spent according to the releases. 


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kakubo (Kapiri Mposhi): Mr Speaker, it has been well understood that the Government received funds to help manage the cholera situation. One radical change which the Government imposed was that the vendors had to vacate the streets to which they obliged. How much of the money which the ministry received was allocated to the plight of the people, especially the youths who agreed to leave the streets in order to keep them clean, but whose livelihoods were disrupted? Did the hon. Minister consider giving any money to the traders?


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, our scope as a multi-sectoral committee involved carrying out interventions to stop the outbreak. If we determined that an area had no water and sanitary facilities, we had to shutdown such a place. This included streets, upmarket trading places, markets and wherever public health laws were being flaunted. The aspect of social mitigation was not catered for in the funds which we were given. The Government continuously offers social protection to any citizen that may be affected by any such issues. My colleague in the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare who handles social protection could speak more eloquently about the mitigation measures that could be undertaken during an outbreak.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, I thank you for this opportunity to raise a supplementary question.


Sir, one of the tools in fighting some of our public health priorities are strong public health laws. I do note that the principle law which is the Public Health Act is very old and almost outdated as it was enacted in the 1930s or 1940s. As a result, the hon. Minister has had to deal with Statutory Instruments (SIs). Secondly, the hon. Minister also talked about the Zambia National Public Health Institute (ZNPHI) which is a welcome creation to help us fight our public health problems. Unfortunately, the existence of the institute is not backed by any piece of legislation. So, I just want to find out from the hon. Minister when he will bring the Public Health Act to the House for amendment with the same urgency that we saw when we dealt with the law to do with insurance. Further, when is the hon. Minister going to bring the law to back the existence of the ZNPHI to this House, if it is really important in the fight against cholera and other public health problems?


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, I want to agree with the hon. Member for Lukulu East, who is a senior colleague in the profession that it is important to back what we do with a legal framework. We are in the process of reviewing the relevant public health laws to ensure that they are in tandem with international health regulations and current practices. So, as we speak, there are various interventions taking place that will culminate in the bringing of relevant documents to Parliament for enactment into law.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Ngulube (Kabwe Central): Mr Speaker, I have noticed that apart from the cholera epidemic that kept us on our toes as a country, there was also the foot and mouth disease and other diseases which came on the scene. Now that we know that the cholera outbreak is always in the rainy season, what preventive measures is the Government putting up to ensure that we do not lose a hundred plus lives and that we save resources that are lost in the process of fighting the scourge?


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, I would like to repeat that the Government has put in place sustainable measures to ensure that we do not have cholera outbreaks repeatedly. That involves, like I said, a broad agenda to ensure that citizens have access to clean and safe water. We are also working to ensure that citizens and other stakeholders participate in ensuring that the environment is clean.


Mr Speaker, the Government has also invested in infrastructure to ensure that trading is conducted in places where there is adequate water and good sanitation. So, even as the vendors were moved from the streets, the Government did have plans to actually shift them to markets that are designated for them to trade in. The street vendors who actually participated in the containment of the cholera outbreak have now become more organised and are now trading in certain places. They are now calling themselves Organised Vendors Association.


Mr Speaker, there are various measures which we have put in place to ensure that the determinants of water-borne diseases are addressed adequately in a multi-sectoral manner in order for us to avoid repeated outbreaks.


Mr Speaker, I want to urge the hon. Members of Parliament to continue to sensitise their constituents on the importance of hygiene and adhering to public health measures to avoid cholera outbreaks like they did during the cholera outbreak. Our colleagues in the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries are also working with us closely to ensure that …


Ms Mulenga: Hear, hear!


Dr Chilufya: … the fishing camps have enough sanitary and modernised water facilities. So, there are a lot of measures that we are putting together as the Government in the spirit of the HiAP. We have a multi-sectoral approach with heavy community involvement in primary health care to ensure that we do not have the return of cholera.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Musonda (Kamfinsa): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for the statement. I am sure that the hon. Minister will agree with me that one of the issues which complicates the fight against cholera is the contamination levels in our underground water as a result of boreholes, shallow wells, proximity to soakaways and pit latrines. What measures is the hon. Minister putting in place to ensure that people start moving away from soakaways and shallow pit latrines in terms of putting up sewer handling systems and plants?


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, the contamination of water sources by the sewer system is a key determinant of cholera outbreaks. In our response, we are urging all planning authorities to ensure adherence to public health laws so that there is a minimum distance between a water point and soakaway. Furthermore, in planning for urbanisation and the redoing of our settlements, we are focusing on establishing sewerage systems and water networks to ensure that there is no mixing of water for household consumption and sewer. This will result in less need for soakaways. So, we are looking at investing in modern sewerage systems for many planning authorities. For now, we should focus on the enforcement of the existing laws that prescribe the minimum distance between water points, pit latrines or toilets and soakaways.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.








295. Mr Mecha (Chifunabuli) asked the Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development:


(a)        when the rehabilitation of a 1 x 2 classroom block at Mandubi Primary School in Chifunabuli Parliamentary Constituency, whose roof was blown off, will commence; and


(b)        what has caused the delay in commencing the project.


The Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development (Mr Chitotela): Mr Speaker, the rehabilitation of 1 x 2 classroom block whose roof was blown off at Mandubi Primary School will be completed within the course of this year, 2018 before the onset of the rains.


Mr Speaker, the delay in commencing the project is due to the lack of funds. Currently, the Ministry of General Education is in discussions with the Ministry of Finance for the release of funds to repair the blown off roof at Mandubi Primary School.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.




296. Mr Kabanda (Serenje) asked the Minister of Tourism and Arts:

  1. whether the Government has any plans to market the Chipota Falls in Serenje Parliamentary Constituency;


  1. if so, when the plans will be implemented; and


  1. what the estimated annual cost of marketing the falls will be.


The Minister of Tourism and Arts (Mr C. Banda): Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Tourism and Arts, through the National Heritage Conservation Commission (NHCC) is currently evaluating various heritage sites for purposes of declaring some as national monuments and others for tourism promotion and sustainable development.


Sir, some of these sites have not been verified, but have been reported to the commission and have subsequently been documented. Chipota Falls is one of these sites.


Mr Speaker, the Zambia Tourism Agency (ZTA) and the NHCC have plans to promote Chipota Falls as a part of the Northern Tourism Circuit. Last year, the Ministry of Tourism and Arts flagged off the Annual Fruit Bat Migration at Kasanka National Park in Serenje. During this visit, a team from the Ministry of Tourism and Arts, comprising the ZTA, NHCC and the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) held a strategic marketing meeting with the management of Kasanka National Park to package the tourist attractions around the park and make them available to the local and foreign consumers. This programme will inevitably include the Chipota Falls, subject to certain preconditions for successful marketing being met such as accessibility and accommodation at the site. The tourism product consumers get more value in getting a travel package with more places of interest to tour than one single destination.


Mr Speaker, the promotion of tourism products in the Serenje area, including Chipota Falls and all other tourism attractions in the Northern Circuit, is ongoing.


Mr Speaker, the annual cost of marketing the tourist attractions in the country for the year 2018 is K15,509,000 which includes the Chipota Falls.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.




297. Mr Lufuma (Kabompo) asked the Minister of Higher Education:


  1. whether the Government has any plans to construct a college of mathematics and science in Kabompo District;


  1. if so, when the plans will be implemented; and


  1. if there are no such plans, why.


The Minister of Higher Education (Prof. Luo): Mr Speaker, the Government has always had plans to construct not a college, but a university college of science and mathematics in Kabompo District.


Sir, the implementation of these plans has already commenced with tender processes for the engagement of a consultant to design the university college nearing completion. The environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) which is a prerequisite to the commencement of construction works has also commenced and will be completed in the next three months.


Mr Speaker, it is envisaged that when all this preparatory work has been finalised, the designing of the project will take about four to six months, after which, a contractor will be engaged and the construction of the said university college will commence. The construction works, therefore, are scheduled to begin by the end of the first quarter of 2019.


Sir, as stated above, the Government has plans to construct a university college in Kabompo.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Lihefu (Manyinga): Mr Speaker, the people of Kabompo are always listening when the hon. Minister talks about this important project. Is the hon. Minister assuring the people of Kabompo that this project will resume in the first quarter of 2019?


Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Kabompo.




Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for the clarification. I am sure it is one that pleases the residents of Kabompo District.  Of late, we have had problems in terms of funding in this country. I want to find out whether the money which has been allocated for the construction of the university college is secure. When is the money for the project going to be released?


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, the money that will be used for the construction of this particular institution will come from the Kuwait Fund. In fact, we are waiting for a no objection from them so that the money can be made available for the construction works.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Phiri (Mkaika): Mr Speaker, the situation in Kabompo is just like the one in Katete. A pronouncement was made that university colleges would be built in three districts. May I find out from the hon. Minister whether what she has said applies to the other districts.


Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Liuwa.




Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, the project to construct a university college for science and mathematics was first announced by the late President Sata in 2012. We are now in 2018. Six years later, we are still talking about designing the structure of the university college. Since nothing has been done in the last six years, could the hon. Minister tell us why the people of the Western Province, and Kabompo in particular, should this time around be confident that she is talking about something which the Government means to do.


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, if the hon. Member of Parliament for Liuwa correctly remembers, he will recall that the announcement by His Excellency the late President Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, may his soul rest in peace, was just about the building of a university college in the North-Western Province. What followed after that was a discussion of where the university college would be located. When I came into the ministry, I recall that there were discussions regarding the desire for the university college to be located in Solwezi or Mufumbwe. I put my foot down and in the last discussion, it was decided that it would be built in Kabompo. We have not only been talking, but also travelled to Kabompo. I am even aware of where this particular university college will be located.


 Sir, since the hon. Member of Parliament who is asking the question has been in the Government before, I am sure he understands the importance of consultations to ensure clarity of what needs to be done. Therefore, the six years wait has been alright because we are now clear on what should be done. We are now all sure of how to proceed. The traditional leaders and the people of the North-Western Province have all agreed that the university college will be in Kabompo. I thank the people of Kabompo for giving us a very beautiful site. The university college will be built on a hill side. It will really look beautiful.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, is there an aspect of counterpart funding to the secured loan so that we are certain about the implementation of the project?


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, I think that question should be directed to the hon. Minister of Finance because she knows more about the process. I am aware that recently, there was a discussion between the two ministries. We were assured that the money would be secured and that we should go ahead with the advertisement for the tender process. That is why we proceeded.


I thank you, Sir.




298. Mr Mukosa (Chinsali) asked the Minister of Health:


  1. whether the Government has any plans to construct a clinic in Nashinga area in Lubwa Ward in Chinsali Parliamentary Constituency;


  1. if so, when the plans will be implemented; and


  1. if there are no such plans, why.


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Health is working with the Chinsali Municipal Council to construct a clinic in Nashinga area in Lubwa Ward in Chinsali Parliamentary Constituency.


Sir, we expect to commence the construction works within 2018.


Mr Speaker, part (c) of the Question is non-applicable.


I thank you, Sir.




299. Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa) asked the Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development:


  1. when contracts for tarring the following roads were signed:


  1. Chienge/Kaputa; and


  1. urban roads in Kaputa District;


  1. who the contractor for each project is;


  1. what the time frame for completing each project is; and


  1. what the scope of works for each project is.


Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, the contract for the upgrading to bituminous standard of the Chiengi to Kaputa (U2) which is 78.1 km and Luchinda which is 27.6 km (D77) in Luapula Province was signed on 15th July, 2014.


Sir, the contract for the upgrading to bituminous standard of the 10 km of urban areas in Kaputa District in the Northern Province was signed on 15th July, 2014.


Mr Speaker, the contracts were awarded to Messrs. Copperfield Mining Services Limited in a joint venture with China Henan International Co-operation Group Limited at a contract sum of K500,040.613.


Sir, the original time frame for the execution of the project was thirty months from the date of commencement. The project completion date was first extended to 30th April, 2018, and later to 16th January, 2020.


Mr Speaker, the original scope of works for the project includes clearing and grubbing, base construction, bituminous surface layers, road markings and traffic signs, and the provision of guard rails and other ancillary works.


I thank you, Sir.








Mr Mwamba (Lubansenshi): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the Report of the Committee on Education, Science and Technology for the Second Session of the Twelfth National Assembly laid on the Table of the House on 12th June, 2018.


Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?


Mr Machila (Magoye): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.


Mr Mwamba: Mr Speaker, going by its terms of reference as set out in the National Assembly Standing Orders, your Committee considered two topical issues, namely the role of community schools …




Mr Speaker: Order on the left!


Mr Mwamba: … in enhancing access to education in Zambia and access to education for circumstantial children in Zambian correctional facilities.


Your Committee also considered the Action-Taken Report on the report of your previous Committee for the First Session of the Twelfth National Assembly.


Mr Speaker, pursuant to the above, your Committee interacted with several stakeholders who tendered both written and oral submissions. To further consolidate its understanding of what is obtaining regarding the role of community schools in enhancing education in Zambia, and access to education for circumstantial children in Zambian correctional facilities, your Committee undertook local tours.


Sir, in highlighting a few critical findings of your Committee, I will start with your Committee’s findings on the role of community schools in enhancing education in Zambia. In broad terms, the role of community schools is to provide education services to communities where Government schools do not exist or are inaccessible due to various factors. The Government schools have not been adequate to meet the educational needs of all the communities within a distance of a 5 km radius as per the Educating our Future Policy.


Sir, despite the critical role which the community schools can play in supplementing the Government’s efforts in the provision of education to communities, your Committee observes that these schools face many problems which compromise the quality of education they offer. Let me touch on some of these challenges as observed by your Committee in the course of its work. Your Committee observed that some of the community schools do not have the capacity to sustain themselves in terms of infrastructure, learning and teaching materials, human and financial resources. In this regard, your Committee urges the Government to put in place measures to ensure that all community schools that have no capacity to sustain their operations are urgently absorbed, if they are to meaningfully contribute to the enhancement of education in Zambia. Further, your Committee observed that most community schools do not have qualified teachers. The Committee recommends that the Government should provide qualified teachers to all community schools in order to enhance the quality of education offered by these institutions.


Mr Speaker, on the irregular release and inadequate Government grants to community schools, your Committee recommends that the Government should consider increasing grants to community schools and ensure that they are released regularly and timely.


Sir, let me now comment on the second topical issue that focused on access to education for circumstantial children in Zambian correctional facilities. According to the Prisons Act, No. 14 of 2000, mothers who come in conflict with the law are allowed to live with their children of less than five years in the correctional facilities as they serve their sentences. The children who live in the correctional facilities with their mothers, referred to as circumstantial children, like other children, have a right to early childhood education.


Sir, your Committee observed that the legal framework that governs correctional facilities does not provide for food rations and other basic needs for circumstantial children. As a result, these children depend on the food rations given to their mothers.

Mr Speaker, another matter of concern is that all the correctional facilities in the country were constructed without taking into account the plight of these circumstantial children. As such, the facilities lack provisions for children. For example, the facilities do not have showers or toilets for children. One wonders what happens from 16:00 hours, when the facilities are locked up to 06:00 hours the following day when they are opened. It is saddening to note that the mothers to the circumstantial children are locked up for so many hours without access to water with which to clean their children.


In light of the foregoing findings, your Committee recommends that the Government should consider, as a matter of urgency, constructing, at least, one common boarding facility in each province for use by pregnant women and mothers to circumstantial children. Alternatively, your Committee recommends that there should be an equipped classroom block and qualified teachers in a correctional facility, to ensure that the education of circumstantial children can be assured. Further, your Committee urgently recommends that the Government should initiate amendments to the Prisons Act, No. 14 of 2000 in order to explicitly provide for food rations for circumstantial children as well as other basic needs.


Sir, I wish to conclude by thanking you for the guidance provided to your Committee during the session. I also wish to thank all the stakeholders who appeared before the Committee. Lastly, I want to thank the Clerk of the National Assembly and her staff for the support they rendered to your Committee.


Mr Speaker, I beg to move.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Does the seconder wish to speak now or later?


Mr Machila: Now, Mr Speaker.


I thank you, Mr Speaker, for allowing me to second the Motion which is currently on the Floor that this House do adopt the Report of the Committee on Education, Science and Technology. This is an important Motion. I wish to thank the mover for ably highlighting the salient issues that are contained in your Committee’s report. However, I wish to point out a few issues related to the two topical issues considered by your Committee as I second the Motion.


Mr Speaker, regarding the topic on the role of community schools in enhancing access to education in Zambia, most stakeholders submitted that there is a lack of qualified teachers in community schools. If the community schools are to be regarded as the forte of the education provision in Zambia after the Government, private and granted-aided schools, then, the schools need to be provided with enough qualified teachers by the Government so that the education they provide is of quality. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that the Government provides qualified teachers to community schools.


Mr Speaker, with regard to your Committee’s local tour, your Committee observed that Lupando Community School in Katete District has only seven qualified teachers against 1,109 pupils, giving a teacher/pupil ratio of 1:158 making it difficult for effective learning to take place.


Sir, Lupando Community School also has only two blocks of 1 x 3 classrooms, which are not adequate for the school. The school has no teachers’ houses as all the teachers commute from Katete central area. Your Committee recommends that the Government build teachers’ houses, classroom blocks and send more teachers to Lupando Community School.


Sir, Lupando Community School is not designated as an examination centre. This entails the children in examination classes travelling and camping at the next school that is assigned as an examination centre in order for them to write their examinations. The camping of these children at the schools with examination centres is yet another challenge as they become exposed to many vices since they are away from their parents. The Committee recommends that the Government consider allocating Lupando Community School with an examination centre number so that the children in examination classes can have their examinations while coming from their homes.


Mr Speaker, your Committee observed that the Government’s grant to Lupando Community School was not released regularly and also that the amount was inadequate as it could not cater for the school’s challenges. The Committee, therefore, recommends that the Government should consider increasing the grant and releasing it timely so that Lupando Community School effectively plans towards the school’s operations.


Sir, with regard to the circumstantial children’s access to education in correctional facilities, your Committee undertook local tours of Lusaka Central Correctional Facility in Lusaka and Namuseche Correctional Facility in Chipata. Your Committee observed that in both facilities, there was no Government programme to offer education to the circumstantial children. Your Committee observed that the circumstantial children in the facilities have no food rations as they only depend on what is given to their mothers. Knowing very well the type of food that inmates eat, this may not be nutritious enough for the growth of these children.


Mr Speaker, your Committee recommends that the Government urgently provides for the education of the circumstantial children as early childhood education is critical for the development of an individual into adulthood. Your Committee further recommends that the Government provide circumstantial children with nutritious food that will provide for the healthy growth of these children.


Sir, your Committee toured the new correctional facility under construction at Mwembeshi. Your Committee observes that among the six blocks meant for female inmates, none had a provision for a bathtub or shower facility, which would make it ideal for circumstantial children. Mothers face many problems with their babies, especially during the night. Therefore, confining a mother and her baby in a building without water and bathing facilities may be unbearable.


Sir, your Committee, therefore, recommends that the contractor Mukuyu Ventures redesigns one female block to suit the needs and convenience of circumstantial children so that the toilet and shower facilities could be constructed within the block.


Mr Speaker, with these few points, I beg to second.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for according me this opportunity to support the Motion on your Committee’s Report on Education, Science and Technology which has brought important topical issues on the Floor of the House.


Sir, I will confine my debate to the role of community schools in enhancing access to education in Zambia.


Mr Speaker, as the Committee’s report has stated, education is a universal right, which every child of a school-going age must access. It is not only a universal right, but also an equaliser. In the actual fact, education levels the playing ground. When we are all provided equal opportunities to education, there are no kings, queens or people in different places because all of us are brought to the same level. Therefore, when your Committee undertakes a study to try to see how the community schools can take education, especially to the underprivileged communities, it becomes imperative that all of us take a keen interest in it.


Mr Speaker, your Committee has ably indicated that the community schools come about because communities find it very difficult to make it possible for all their children to have access to the already existing schools. In my area, it is basically the same situation at play because there are distances between some schools and certain communities. In some areas, there are distances in the excess of 25 km to 30 km between schools and communities. Therefore, communities come together to see how children, especially young ones between six and nine years, could access education. This is what moves them to provide spaces, where children can go to learn.


Sir, your report has ably indicated that community schools have proved to be a major provider of basic education to many children, especially to vulnerable ones who mainly to live in the rural and peri-urban areas of Zambia. Yes, we may have community schools in the urban areas, but when you look at their conditions, you will notice that they are totally different from those which are in the rural areas.


Mr Speaker, when I look at the figures which have been provided by your Committee, I may slightly differ with it. When we look at the community schools in Kaputa, there is no way one can say that they can produce learners who can be compared to those in Government schools. Not at all. This is in terms of their quality which depends on the education which they get.


Mr Speaker, in the actual fact, if I had my way, I would have made sure that the Government could not have allowed the existence of community schools in this country. In the ideal situation, we should have done away with such schools. Nevertheless, the challenges we have in our communities entail that we will not stop having community schools from being created. Suffice to say that the quality of education offered in the schools and teachers who are available in rural places leaves much to be desired. This is the more reason I wanted to debate on this particular issue of education. 


Mr Speaker, the number of children in communities is increasing, especially those of a school -going age. The distances to education facilities are long and the number of schools and teachers’ houses is not increasing. The teachers who are posted to rural places like Kaputa will eventually leave these places for urban areas. This leaves rural schools with no teachers and, therefore, no education for the pupils. We should ensure that the community schools are well resourced because they are providing children in our constituencies with some form of education.


Mr Speaker, your Committee’s report has highlighted a number of challenges that community schools are faced with such as poor infrastructure. My analysis is not only limited to Kaputa. In my tour of duty as an hon. Member of Parliament, I have been to places like Liuwa, Nalikwanda, Nakonde and Lunte in the Northern Province. You will find that the sort of infrastructure in the community schools we are talking about is the same. The structures are grass-thatched houses and children basically sit on the floor with no desks whatsoever. This is what is prevailing in the community schools.


Mr Speaker, it is the responsibility of our Government to ensure that there is universal access to education. We must reduce the resource gap between the Government and community schools by providing infrastructure which is amenable for children to learn.


Mr Speaker, your Committee has also talked about the human resource gaps or inadequacy of teachers. This is very true because any school that is brought about by a poorly resourced community can only find probably a Grade 12 dropout or Grade 9 to be a teacher. In such a case, what sort of instructions will that teacher provide to the children when he/she has not been to any college to learn teaching methodologies? These are the sort of resource persons that we have in community schools. Sometimes, there is nothing to pay these helpers or teachers. However, they are doing a commendable job under difficult circumstances. The fact that they are not trained and have not completed school means that we are using resources which may not impact well on the education of children in our communities. Again, there is an imperative requirement for our Government to ensure that this matter is actually looked at.


Mr Speaker, many issues have been highlighted in your Committee’s report and one of them is the failure to implement operational guidelines by community schools. The report has highlighted the fact that there are guidelines that are supposed to be given to community schools and the District Education Board Secretary (DEBS) is supposed to put in place a mechanism for inspecting these schools. In places like Kaputa, it is possible that the DEBS and education standards officers may not be able to move from the district centre to the remote areas where most community schools are because they are no longer paid a rural hardship allowance which served as motivation. This allowance was paid to the DEBS or education standards officers when they left Kaputa District centre to Mukupa Katandula, for example, where there is a community school. This is a journey that takes more than one day. One would need to spend a night away from home. The person would also need money to buy a meal in order to inspect the schools or any other job that is required in the area.


Some inspection officers in rural areas have no transport to ensure that they are mobile. If the transport is there, the rural hardship allowance is not paid to the officers so that they find accommodation to spend a night and food in the area where the inspection of the community schools is supposed to be carried out. Therefore, these officers tend to inspect places that are near to the centres where they operate from. As the hon. Minister of General Education comes to respond, we want to find out when this allowance which teachers or education officers benefitted from will be re-introduced so that these people can be motivated to inspect schools and ensure that the education standards in the rural communities they serve are raised.


Mr Speaker, I will leave a number of issues for other people to talk about. All I can say is that community schools are very important in our country because the number of our children will keep increasing. We will definitely not stop them from growing up and needing education. Therefore, the Government must ensure that it finds ways for children who go through community schools to get a better education for them to be able to come and contribute to national development.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kambwili (Roan): Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for according me this opportunity to add a few words to this debate. I will be very brief. From the outset, let me say that I take the previous speaker’s contribution as my own as most of the issues I want to raise have been raised by him.


Sir, I think, by and large, we should accept that as Zambian leaders, we have failed to provide education for our people, especially in rural areas. The coming up of community schools is a clear indication that the Government has failed in its responsibility to provide education. When you look at the standards of community schools, you will notice that they leave much to be desired. Some of these community schools do not even have a curriculum. Teachers teach whatever they feel they should teach. In this era and age, you do not expect people to teach things like, “uyu ni Kabala” and “Seka ni mbwa.” How are you going to apply that kind of knowledge in these modern and technologically advanced days? These are the things that we were taught in the …

Mr Speaker: Order!


You need to translate what you have said.


 Dr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, that means this is Kalaba and Seka is a dog.


As leaders, I think it is high time we all sat down together to address this issue. As the Opposition and those in Government, we really need to come up with a solution to this problem of not having quality schools, especially in rural areas. In some rural areas, there are small grass- thatched classrooms where you find Grades 1, 2, 3 and so on and so forth, together. One teacher teaches all of them from Grades 1 to 5 in the same classroom. When the teacher starts teaching Grade 5s or Grade 2s, the Grade 1s get confused. How can we allow such a situation fifty-four years after Independence, Mr Speaker?


I think this whole thing of community schools to me is a disaster which must be stopped. Yes, it can be of help to some extent in some communities where people are serious, but in certain places, it is just a question of keeping up appearances that there is a school. The whole idea is for the people in poor communities to cut their distances from school. In the olden days, we used to start school at seven years old. Today, however, I think Grade 1s are as young as four years old. Do we expect a four-year old child to walk 100 km to access a Government school?


Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister needs to come up with a policy on this matter. If we want to continue with community schools, can we, please, call for a national indaba where we can brainstorm and come up with a way to do these things better. We should not continue doing things haphazardly. There are no standards in these schools. Even the grants that the Government gives out are not standardised. Schools do not get the same grants. You will find that one schools receives K25,000 a month, another K100,000 or K12,000 and so on and so forth.


Mr Mubika: Other nothing at all.


Dr Kambwili: Yes, some schools receive nothing at all. I think it is our responsibility as leaders to accept that fifty-four years after Independence, we have failed to give our people in the rural areas the education that they deserve. It is not just about community schools. Even the regular schools have a problem. You find that pupils from Grade 1 to 9 use the same 1 x 3 classroom. How possible is it that there can be quality education there? Instead of children learning for about five or six hours in a day, they learn for one hour thirty minutes. They knock off early to give the room to other pupils.


Mr Speaker, in the rainy season, these community schools do not operate at full capacity. If there are about twenty pupils, you will find that, maybe, only five report for school because the infrastructure where they learn from leaks like no body’s business. Some classrooms do not even have roofs on them. Things are being done in a haphazard manner. I think all of us as leaders should be ashamed of our current situation without coming up with any solutions. From next year, we should not accept this state of affairs to continue. Hon. Minister, I implore you to call for a national indaba. Let us resolve these issues so that we can create learning spaces for our people.


Mr Speaker, for every 5 sq. km, there must be a school because the age at which people are starting school now has reduced. There is absolutely no way we should expect small children, who are in Grade 8, who are now about twelve or thirteen years old in rural areas to go for weekly boarding without their parents. Imagine a ka little girl, thirteen-years old, away from the parents at a weekly boarding facility, cooking and washing for herself. It cannot just work. That is why there are too many early marriages. There are too many drop outs from school. We must accept that we have failed as leaders. I am calling upon this crop of leaders in this House today to stick together and work together. Let us have an indaba, resolve this problem once and for all so that we can leave a legacy that, at least, when we were leaders, we changed the access to education.


Mr Speaker, in my view, I do not support the existence of community schools although, to some extent, they are helping. However, I think it is a wrong way of doing things because the teaching in these schools is not regulated. If, maybe, twelve children in a community school sit for Grade 7 examinations, only one would pass, or even zero. What are we doing? There is no foundation. They do not even follow the syllabus, like I said. They just teach what comes in their minds because most of them are Grade 9 drop outs from the same schools where there were no quality teachers. They also start imparting the low quality knowledge into the other smaller children and the poverty cycle will just continue until Jesus comes. So, I think, by and large, this is not an issue which should be partisan. This is not an issue over which we have to point fingers and play the blame game. All of us, collectively, have to come together and sort out this problem of education, more especially in rural areas.


Mr Speaker, I support the Motion. I think the Chairperson of your Committee and his people did a commendable job.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Speaker, thank you. I would like to add one word to support the Motion which is on the Floor of the House. My words will focus on the state of the community schools.


Sir, from 1964 to 2018, things should have improved. However, it is the opposite. We know that there are some common adages like “Water is life” and “The key to life is education.” Yes, but to what extent?


Sir, the beginning of the creation of community schools should have indicated the beginning of sleeping in the Government. It should have indicated the lack of concern for the vulnerable communities. It should have indicated the lack of interest to service the far-flung rural areas. It should have also indicated that those who were in the rural areas, who had nothing, were second class citizens of this country, and so, they did not deserve the rightful education service. So many things should have been indicated by the beginning of the creation of community schools. Maybe, some community schools in the outlying rural areas are the way the hon. Members for Kaputa and Roan have described them. Maybe, their community schools could even be better than ours. The only thing which identifies some schools is, maybe, their grass-thatched structures. Whatever the report has highlighted could even be far worse.


Sir, what quality assurance is there? Which District Education Board Secretary (DEBS) or Senior Education Standards Officer (SESO) has ever visited a community school? There is no transport accorded to the DEBS’ office to enable the DESO to visit and check on the quality of the education services being offered in the community schools.


Mr Speaker, there is also some controversy. The Teaching Council of Zambia  –



Mr Speaker: Order on the left!


Mr Miyutu: The rule is that every teacher in Zambia must be registered with the Teaching Council of Zambia. Let us look at these community schools. Which teachers are servicing the community schools? They are drop outs who left school in Grade 12 and Grade 9. However, because they have the zeal or desire to help their communities, they work in these schools. Are they able to acquire practicing certificates? No, they are not. Therefore, what do we expect? Are we expecting quality education? The answer is no. The Government should read this report if it wants the rural areas to flourish.


Mr Speaker, last week, we read a report concerning youths. The Executive was reminded that it is every youth’s right to have their potential tapped. That was just last week. So, I am requesting the Executive to look at this report. The Ministry of General Education should especially look at this report. If community schools are to help this country, the hand of the hon. Minister should intervene. There is no financial support which is provided. Further, there are no learning requisites supplied to community schools. Communities have to fetch these very important requisites for themselves for teaching to take place. The community schools have to do a lot of things for themselves, but the examination will still come from the Examinations Council of Zambia (ECZ). How do we expect somebody who has not been taught properly by a school dropout to pass and go to Grade 10? There are no boarding facilities. I think what the hon. Members have stated here is the truth. I request the hon. Minister to seriously look into the issues affecting the operations of the community schools.


   Sir, when the Patriotic Front (PF) Government came into power in 2011, it promised us that all the community schools would be under the charge and responsibility of the Government. That is what the PF stated in 2011. That was also stated in the speech presented to this House during the official opening ceremony.


Sir, how many schools have been adopted by the Government? In Kalabo, I can only point at two. From 2011 to date, only two schools have been adopted in Kalabo. Other than that, only two teachers have been allocated to the two schools. That translates into one teacher per school. Can you imagine that?


Mr Speaker, the people are waiting for a service from the Government. They really want to see these schools functioning properly. The distances in the rural areas are too much. We have no minibuses to use. These areas do not even have roads and not all the people have ox-carts. Our children have to trek distances as long as 10 km to 15 km. What do you expect? The community is looking up to the Government. Let us take care of the community schools so that the rural areas can also have learned people. The Government should service the schools with books and teachers. The community looks at me as if I am the provider of teachers, salaries and all the requisites, but who am I? Hon. Minister, the people are waiting.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity. I should also thank your Committee for taking an interest in community schools. Community schools, especially in rural areas, are quite important. I am happy that the current hon. Minister of General Education takes a keen interest in the state of schools. However, I would like to urge him to go deeper into the places where community schools are found.


Sir, the community schools are serving us a great deal in the rural parts of the country. The reason for this is simple. It is because the parents, at the moment, cannot afford the fees that are charged in the Government schools. The poor men and women in rural areas prefer to take their children to the community schools. The communities are readily available to construct the schools. It is the responsibility of the Government to take a keen interest in helping the parents who are ready to put up schools. We have heard on several occasions about the rural areas recording poor results. The reason is simple. We have neglected the grassroots. A person like me, who was born before Independence, saw how the Government used to establish schools deep in the rural areas where some of us were found. The population has increased, yet the number of schools has remained the same. At that time, we were less than one million, but today, the population is almost sixteen million. There is no expansion in size of the schools, hence, the need by these parents to take the initiative. Their initiative needs to be enhanced by the Ministry of General Education taking a keen interest in the affairs of the community schools.


Mr Speaker, it is unfortunate that when a person has eaten too much and is full, he does not think about those who are hungry. Since most people can afford to take their children to schools outside this country, they cannot even remember that there are some individuals who are suffering in Zambia. For instance, in the North-Western Province in particular, the schools are far from some communities. Further, there are no teachers in the regular schools. I will give an example of Ikeleng’i where the total establishment for teachers should be 449. Unfortunately, Ikeleng’i is struggling with 210 teachers. Some of the teachers who are sent to the schools just report and then go back to where they are from. If we cannot staff the regular schools with teachers, what about community schools? One wonders how the Government can train so many teachers yet it is failing to recruit them. They are there. All the colleges are producing teachers. It is unlike the Ministry of Health which recruits all the trained nurses. However, the Ministry of General Education is only recruiting about seven or twelve teachers against so many schools in some areas. That does not make any sense.


Sir, it is surprising that this Government had to entice a councillor to resign from his position because he had done a course in teaching. He resigned so he could be recruited as a teacher. The poor man did just that. That is the beginning of corruption, which we are fighting. The Government is enticing people by telling them that in order for them to be recruited, they must join the Patriotic Front (PF). That is a wrong formula which the PF is applying. The District Education Board Secretary (DEBS) Office is unable to go into these schools because it does not have transport. Even if it had transport, it would not patronise the schools because there is no money which comes from the Central Government to assist it to do its job. Some schools are very far from the Boma where the DEBS is found. There is no help that comes from the hon. Minister’s Office. Can you imagine having a teacher-pupil ratio of one teacher to one hundred and fifty-eight pupils? We already have trained teachers in the country. All that is needed is to find a formula to employ them. The inadequacy of resources cannot be taken as a satisfactory excuse because there will not be a time when funds will be sufficient.


Mr Speaker, the Government needs to have initiative. Education is key. It is an investment for any country that is serious. Look at Nigeria, which educates its people. When you educate your people, you reduce poverty indirectly. Unfortunately, in this country, you only mind about your own families and not the other people in the rural areas. Places like the North-Western Province, ...



  Mr Speaker: Order!


The consultations both on the left and right are rather loud. Hon. Member for Ikeleng’i, you may continue.


Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, in the North-Western Province, God gave us a lot of resources such as water and minerals, but if you looked at the infrastructure and where the wealth of the country is coming from, you would cry. You have a school with only one classroom block whose roof was blown off. The Government is failing to provide iron sheets. One iron sheet costs K78. The Government has money and capacity to finance by-elections which it is creating from time to time.


Sir, just as the hon. Member for Roan said, the provision of education should be sought after by all the children. You never know where the next leader will come from. We are growing old. It is education that is our future.


The hon. Minister of General Education should go to every part of this country to see what is happening in the rural parts. He should go to Kalabo, Chama and Lundazi. He should not only go to the PF strongholds. He should go to other areas, especially where money is coming from. Those books you are distributing with portraits instead of buying – We used to receive books in primary and secondary schools in the past.


We heard that there would be no recruitment for some ministries, but education and health were given an exception. However, we have not seen any improvement at all in the staffing levels in the education sector. The teachers who have been heaped in towns are needed in rural areas. The Government should create an incentive for people to go into rural areas like the Ministry of Health has done. It should create a good incentive to attract teachers to rural areas.


Mr Speaker, there are no houses in rural areas. The Government has not been building houses or increasing classroom space. There are schools which the Government approved many years ago but, up to date nothing has happened with regard to their construction. What are they waiting for? The Government always says it has inadequate resources. It seems there will never be a time when the Government will come and say that it has sufficient resources to do projects. The Government should start planning today.


These community schools are not common in towns because Government and private schools are available with enough teachers. However, the community schools are essential in rural areas. The initiative is very good, but nobody is thinking about it seriously anymore. If the Government has no capacity, it should hire me to be a consultant so I can help it to manage the community schools. We need them.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima: I, as Member of Parliament for my area, provides iron sheets to schools. My colleague from Mwinilunga does the same. We do not do this for campaign purposes, but instead to help our people. How long can we continue to do this?


The Government has been getting taxpayers money and not PF money. That money should be distributed equitably to every corner of the country. The Government is failing just to buy iron sheets for K100,000, yet it can buy a fire tender for US$1 million. They must be ashamed.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima: To me, this report is key. We need teachers who have not been employed to be employed as assistants before they get substantive positions. At least, take them to primary schools and community schools. The report is most welcome to me.


Mr Speaker, there are no fees charged in community schools. That is why they are becoming very attractive. What we need is for the Government to plan for the initial stages. We talked about nurseries, community schools and regular schools. What is the Government doing about them? We want the hon. Minister to come and issue a ministerial statement. The hon. Minister told us that he is studying the situation regarding the distribution of teachers, but has not come back to us. We have been waiting.


Sir, at least, the hon. Minister talks with passion about schools. However, we want him to be proactive. He should move from one place to another. The hon. Minister should also talk to the hon. Minister of Finance to release money to the Ministry of General Education on time because that is our real investment. If we cannot talk about education seriously then I do not know where we are headed. We shall not be in these offices forever. We should look to a bright future. We should look to a future that is promising. That future should not only be bright for those who are born in town, from hon. Members of Parliament or people who are working. We should look seriously at the plight of the underprivileged people.


Mr Speaker, I personally support this Motion as it, at least, supports the poor people of Zambia.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi): Mr Speaker, I must mention right from the outset, the people of Lupososhi support the Motion which has been ably moved by the mover.


Sir, on page 21 of your report, your Committee raised an issue which attracted my attention and this has to do with the diet at the Mwembeshi Correctional Facility. According to your Committee, this particular diet was formulated in the colonial era. This is worrying. I think the hon. Minister of Home Affairs, who is charged with the responsibility of looking after the correctional services, should be aware that this particular issue requires a holistic review. A new diet needs to be developed and implemented as quickly as possible so that we can look after the inmates properly.


Further, there is the also the issue of these circumstantial children who are born while their parents are in incarceration. I think we need to do a benchmarking exercise. There should be certain countries within the global village that know how to look after the children who are born while their mothers are in prison. This issue must be looked at holistically from the perspective of the human rights charter so that we can give the children who are born in prison a life that they will be happy about.


Mr Speaker, community schools are an essential component of the education system because the number of children who require school places has actually grown. What has happened is that there have been a number of people who have migrated from one area to another in search of greener pastures or other issues to do with day-to-day life. As a result of that, the policy that dictates that schools should be 5 km apart seems not be working because there are more settlement places which have been created. Therefore, we need more schools. Community schools are a good gesture because they encourage the buy in of the community in the education system.  


Sir, the community is very keen to be part and parcel of the construction of infrastructure. What is lacking is the support and formal recognition of the community schools. This is coupled with the fact that the existing primary schools are also not properly staffed. Sadly, even the teachers who have accepted to work in the rural areas are complaining because the housing there is not habitable enough. Worse still, most of them have had their housing allowance scrapped off on the understanding that the communities have constructed houses, which are made of mud and poles for them. According to the teachers, the houses do not meet the required standards of accommodation. Therefore, they are crying that their housing allowance be reinstated.


Mr Speaker, let me now talk about the financing aspect. The Committee’s report states that the K3,000 that is expected to flow to the community schools is too small. Even when it is funded, it does not go to the various community schools, but instead ends up at the District Education Board Secretary’s Office which uses it. My appeal is that this funding be revised so that we can see it reaching the community schools. In fact, they can involve experts in finance so that they can work out the modalities.


Sir, with those very few words, I thank you.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Chonya (Kafue): Mr Speaker, I thank you for this opportunity to add my voice to a subject which is very close to my heart. I want to start by thanking the Committee for doing a good job on the report and bringing out a number of pertinent issues –


Mr Speaker: Order!


Business was suspended from 1640 hours until 1700 hours.




Ms Chonya: Madam Speaker, I was saying that this subject on education is very close to my heart because I am reminded of one great leader, Nelson Mandela, who once said that it is through education that even a child from a very poor family can become a President of a great nation. Some of the poor and vulnerable children are found in community schools. So, when we do not do the right thing for them, it means that their future is doomed. My president, Hakainde says that education is a great equaliser which needs much attention.


Madam Speaker, I am looking forward to a time when even in the education sector, we are going to emphasise the multi-sectoral response, so to say, the way the hon. Minister of Health emphasises it for his sector. I am looking forward to a time when all other ministries will help to support their colleague in the education sector with more resources by ensuring that they are more prudent in what they do.


Madam Speaker, you are aware of an international commitment that, at least, 20 per cent of the National Budget should be allocated to education. It is sad to note that under the Patriotic Front (PF) Government, we seem to be losing the gains which the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government had scored because we had reached the 20 per cent threshold. In this year’s National Budget, there was a drop in the allocation to the education sector. When we talk about the allocation, you are aware that not all of the funds are released to support education at its various levels. The report says that currently, the funds rarely reach the administrative offices at the district or province. It is even worse at public school level.


Madam Speaker, if the situation is like this in public schools, it can only mean that it is even worse in the community schools which we are discussing today. Like some colleagues have already stated and as acknowledged by the report, community schools help to bridge the gap in education provision because there are very few schools. Of course, the community schools are faced with a number of challenges which have been ably highlighted by your Committee in its report. From my experience and knowledge, I cannot stand here to advocate for the abolition of community schools because I know that they are helping many children who would have been out of school to access education. Some of the concerns which my colleagues highlighted included the bad performance of the pupils. Yes, some community schools are not doing well, but I can also make reference to some research that has been done on the performance of community schools where it was found out that these schools compete favourably with regular Government schools.


Madam Speaker, in my constituency, I have a unique experience at one community school called Makangwe in Malundu Ward, which has now been given Government teachers. It was interesting to note that in the year before last, the Grade 7 examination results pass rate dropped. I was studying the performance of the pupils at the school. The pupils at the school had been doing well. However, in this particular year, there was a sudden drop in the Grade 7 examination results pass rate. When I tried to inquire why there was a drop in the pass rate, I learnt that in that particular year, the Government trained teachers had been deployed to the school while the community school teachers were left out. This was quite striking. I am making this point in order to console my colleagues who may think that the community schools do not offer good services. I have said earlier that the community schools are helping to bridge the education gap.


Madam Speaker, last week when we were looking at the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Bill, I urged the Government to look into creating partnerships with locals and not just the big corporations. The running of community schools is one avenue through which the Government must strengthen its partnerships with the communities because in this particular case, the community members mobilise themselves to undertake a task which should have been ordinarily undertaken by the Government. Whenever the Government has failed to do the needful, the people have put up the infrastructure for the community schools. Once that is done, the Government should move in to deploy teachers and help to meet other requirements. In terms of adhering to the operational guidelines for community schools which were formulated by the Government in consultation with the communities, there is poor adherence to the operational guidelines which leads to community schools performing very badly because the Government fails to honour its obligation as spelt out in the guidelines.


Madam Speaker, let me now talk about the multi-sectoral approach, which I mentioned earlier. A multi-sectoral approach to education, in my view, would mean different ministries becoming more prudent in their expenditure of resources. Somebody gave an example of the K42 million which was spent on fire tenders. If the ministry responsible for the procurement of the fire tenders did not have an appetite to spend money to that level, one can just imagine how many schools would have been built from that kind of money. Many schools would be built and the needs we are talking about here would have been addressed.


Madam Speaker, with regard to the School Feeding Programme, the initiative can be supported by sound agriculture systems. In any case, the parents support the community schools by making in kind donations through bags of maize. If the agriculture sector is not performing well, it means that it becomes difficult for our poor communities who depend on agriculture produce to actually pay the school teachers. The partnership that I am emphasising here should enable the Government to support communities by giving them the teachers that they need. This can lessen the burden on the parents who would have already mobilised some kind of infrastructure, where their children can have some decent shelter as they access their education.


Madam Speaker, unfortunately, even today, you can still find community schools that are operating under trees. One wonders how the Government can think of putting up a road that will cost up to K1.2 billion per kilometre when such things continue happening. Using the multi-sectoral response that I am talking about, those in Government are able to identify what needs to be prioritised in the economy. Among all these things, education stands out as a very key priority. If this Government could deploy the trained teachers who are being cried for in the community schools, that would create job opportunities for the many teachers out there, who remain stranded because the Government school system has failed to absorb them. I am sure if the Government deployed these teachers, it would even gain political mileage which it is so desperate for because it would have created the much-needed jobs.


Mr Chisopa: On a point of order, Madam Speaker.


Ms Chonya: Madam Speaker, I am, this afternoon, appealing to the Government that is in the ruling seat today …


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Kafue. Please take your seat.


I am trying to avoid disturbing the flow of the debate. Is the point of order compelling, hon. Member?


Mr Chisopa: Yes, it is.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Alright, a point of order is raised.


Mr Chisopa: Madam Speaker, the nation is listening to the debates which are going on in this House. It is misleading for the hon. Member of Parliament who is debating very well to say that the Government has awarded a contract for the construction of roads at K1.2 billion per kilometre.


Madam Speaker, is the hon. Member in order to mislead the nation that this Government which is working so hard to improve the lives of the people of this country has awarded contracts for the construction of roads at K1.2 billion per kilometre?


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member for Kafue, I just want to remind you that one of our rules is that we must be factual in our debates. Unless we have evidence, we should not talk about issues especially to do with amounts of money.




Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member for Kafue, can I have your attention.


Unless you have evidence to substantiate your claim, you must withdraw your statement. Since I do not think that at this stage, you have the evidence, I urge you to withdraw the reference to the amount of K1.2 billion and then continue with your debate. In that regard, hon. Member for Mkushi South, the hon. Member for Kafue is certainly out of order.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!


Hon. Member, start by withdrawing your earlier statement before you continue with your debate.


Ms Chonya: Madam Speaker, in withdrawing my statement, I want to make further clarifications …


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!


Just withdraw your statement, hon. Member for Kafue and simply continue with your debate.


Ms Chonya: Madam Speaker, I have withdrawn the statement.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: All right, please, continue with your debate.


Ms Chonya: Madam Speaker, in fact, what I meant to say is: How could the Government imagine undertaking a road construction project for K1.2 billion per kilometre?” I did not actually say that they have signed that contract. We know that there was the issue …




Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member for Kafue, I think you have been in this House for one-and-a-half years. Thus, I am sure that you know the rules. I have just ruled that you were out of order. I have also ruled that you must withdraw that particular reference to an amount of money for which you have no evidence to substantiate. Just do that and proceed with your debate. We still have a number of Members who wish to debate.


Ms Chonya: Madam Speaker, I thank you for your guidance. I will withdraw that statement …


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Chonya: … so that we can make some progress. Without mentioning that figure, I wish to continue talking about the multi-sectorial approach. I believe that since the Government is one entity, the ministries should be able to be sympathetic with each other in terms of where the biggest needs are. Everywhere, world over, education remains a key priority because this is the sector that gives us the doctors in health and all the other professionals whom we require to run the economy.


Madam Speaker, in that same spirit, therefore, I would also expect the people who are part of the governance related institutions and, indeed, the political parties, especially those who are in the Ruling Party to be sympathetic to the aspirations of the different ministries. For instance, they can do that by not causing unnecessary by-elections and buying off councillors so that we end up spending a lot of money that would have otherwise gone to education.


Mr Chilangwa: On a point of order, Madam Speaker.


Ms Chonya: Madam Speaker, when we are not sensitive …


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Kafue. Please, take your seat.


Hon. Minister for Luapula Province, take your seat as well.


Hon. Minister for Luapula Province, you will have an opportunity to debate this Motion. Just indicate and I will certainly give you an opportunity to debate. Allow the hon. Member for Kafue to conclude her debate without disturbing her.


Hon. Member for Kafue, continue with your debate.


Ms Chonya: Madam Speaker, thank you for your protection. In fact, I am just about to conclude. I would like to appeal to my colleagues to help the Ministry of General Education to achieve its vision of providing education for all. If we over borrow and start servicing many debts, we will be left with limited finances to support social sectors like education. This is the point I wanted to make. However, I recognise and commend the commitment of the hon. Minister of General Education because I know that he is very passionate about providing education. I am particularly acknowledging his commitment after he responded to my cries for the completion of Chikupi Secondary School. There has been some progress now because the hon. Minister has intervened.


Madam Speaker, I am also concerned that many schools have remained incomplete. For over five to ten years, a number of schools are still incomplete. This does not show a very clear commitment by the PF Government when it comes to matters of education in comparison with how the MMD Government performed. The MMD Government initiated the programme of building schools. The PF Government has failed to build on that momentum. It is bringing in AVIC International Zambia arrangements, maybe, for immediate gains instead of looking at the long-term gains that accrue from education.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Chanda (Bwana Mkubwa): Madam Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to add my voice, on behalf of the people of Bwana Mkubwa Constituency, to the debate on the Committee’s report.


From the outset, I would like to educate certain people who may not have read the report. The Committee did excellent work. According to its report, the emergence of community schools in the 1990s was a consequence of unmet needs by conventional or private schools. There was a mismatch between what was required and the actual number of conventional and private schools. People could not access the schools either due to distance or other reasons. Therefore, community schools mushroomed in the 1990s long before the Patriotic Front (PF) Government came into power.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Chanda: Actually, community schools are a symptom of the failure of previous governments to match the provision of infrastructure to the growth of the population. If previous governments had been building schools as the population was growing, we would not have had community schools that we are talking about. Therefore, the PF Government is doing a  commendable job …


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Chanda: … by constructing schools all over to address the historical imbalances. I would urge hon. Members to go and read extensively.


Madam Speaker, the Committee did the great work of highlighting the three key pillars of any good or functional education system. On the quantitative expansion of education, community schools have enabled many people to access education and we are very grateful for that. However, with regard to the qualitative part, they have volunteer teachers, a lack of a curriculum and a lot other challenges. Therefore, while we are doing well on the quantitative part, we may not be doing well on the qualitative part.


Like the Committee indicated, education is a universal right just like health. When we talk about universal rights, health and education take the top rank. Like I have said, we should not look at community schools as a permanent solution. They are a temporary solution and stop-gap measure. When one is injured, he will come to the Casualty Ward. To stop the bleeding, as a medical doctor, I will put a bandage and tie the wound. However, the permanent solution will be to stitch the wound. The problem we seem to have is that we treat temporary remedies as permanent solutions.


The PF Manifesto is very clear that the Government shall phase out basic education and move towards a fully fledged Government-run public education system. I would urge the ministry to have a very aggressive upgrading system through which we could be monitoring the progress of the community schools. A very good example in Bwana Mkubwa Constituency of an ungraded school which is doing very well is Caritas Secondary School in Ndeke Township. The Catholic Church and community members of Ndeke constructed this school. It started as a small community school. Later on, the Government took over the running of the school. Last year, Caritas Secondary School had the best Grade 12 results in Ndola District among all the Government schools. Therefore, we would like to continue seeing how community schools are achieving excellence after being transitioned into public schools. This is doable. 


Madam Speaker, for the purpose of not being misquoted, I will refer to part of the first paragraph on page 3 of the report.


Mrs Phiri: Ema doctor aya!


Dr Chanda: It reads:


“… in light of the Government’s challenges in providing universal access to education, community schools have played a greater role in providing education in places where there are no Government schools.”


 In Bwana Mkubwa Constituency, we actually have Government schools. However, as the hon. Minister knows, they only go up to Grades 7 and 9. Therefore, community schools are a very important part of Bwana Mkubwa Constituency and we need about thirty of them. This is because when children finish Grade 7, they go to community schools. This is why I am emphasising on the need to upgrade primary and basic schools. As long as we do not upgrade them, community schools will mushroom all over thereby compromising on quality.


Madam Speaker, yesterday, while I was in Ndola, I met some teachers of community schools because I wanted to come and contribute much more effectively instead of just rumbling in the Chamber. They told me that when I come to Parliament ─


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member, withdraw the word ‘rumbling’.


Dr Chanda: Madam Speaker, I was referring to “The Rumble in the Jungle”. You remember the Mohammed Ali fight.




Madam First Deputy Speaker: Just withdraw it.


Dr Chanda: I withdraw the word and replace it with having a scattered debate.




Dr Chanda: Actually, we need to listen to the people who run the community schools. They told me, as a representative, to come and highlight the challenges that community schools face on a daily basis. Firstly, like we have heard, they lack appropriate infrastructure and resources. Secondly, they lack learning and teaching materials. Joyous Community School in Mushili provides education to vulnerable children. When I went to donate the books which were given to us by His Excellency President Edgar Lungu to this school, I was very shocked because the pupils basically had no exercise books. Most of them are orphans and cannot afford to buy books. They were so appreciative of what the President did.


Madam Speaker, thirdly, the Ministry of General Education seems to be giving the revised curriculum only to Government schools and not community schools. The teachers in community schools complained about this. Fourthly, the teachers in community schools go for work for months without getting any allowance. They are actually very demotivated because they do not know when they will get paid. The fifth challenge is the lack of continuity in the learners. Other than most of the children at community schools not having uniforms and exercise books, their guardians withdraw them from school at any time to go and sell tomatoes at the markets or work somewhere. Therefore, there is a lack of continuity in the learners.


Regardless of all the challenges that I have raised, the paradox or big shocker according to the Committee’s findings on page 7 of the report concerns the pass rate. The report reads:


“With regard to the pass rate, that the community schools had continued to register good progress and in some cases, had performed better than public schools notwithstanding the resource inadequacies.”


  What is surprising is that despite the challenges that the community schools face, they are outperforming Government schools. How do the Government schools which are funded and have teachers on the payroll get outperformed by community schools where teachers who are volunteers do not get paid and do not have teaching materials? This is the symptom of a broken down public education system. We cannot have a situation where a public school is being beaten by a community school which is in the lower level of the education system with regard to the performance of the learners.


Madam Speaker, this brings me to another point which I will link to the performance of pupils in Government schools when compared to those in the community schools. In November, last year, we had a crisis in this country whereby the Teaching Council of Zambia told us that over 700 teachers had forged certificates. The Minister of General Education then gave us a statement on the Floor of this House that all the teachers in question had been cut off from the payroll, dismissed and would be referred for prosecution. I may have missed the news, but I have not heard of any teacher who has been prosecuted after having been discovered to have had forged certificates. That is where the problem is. If we are going to have teachers with forged certificates teaching our children, they will give them a forged education with forged results. Then what are we going to have? Mediocrity is what we are going to have. That is why we have exam leakages because a teacher with a forged certificate can only achieve excellence by leaking an exam since he has to prove that he is good enough.


For this reason, I urge the hon. Minister of General Education, probably with the Minister of Home Affairs and all the relevant bodies, to prosecute the teachers with forged certificates. We actually need a report.


Madam Speaker, without mentioning names, we have had cases whereby very high ranking public officials in this country have been prosecuted for the forgery of academic certificates. Even though I am a medical doctor and not a lawyer, what I read in law tells me that using forged papers is obtaining pecuniary advantage using false pretences. According to the Penal Code, it would be a crime which would be investigated if I got a job as a teacher using a certificate made by someone at ‘Matero University’.


I urge the hon. Minister of General Education to take up where his predecessor left off. He should have those teachers prosecuted. If we do not prosecute them, we shall be perpetuating the culture where mediocrity is the order of the day.


Madam Speaker, in conclusion, I want to reiterate the key solutions that we need to have in place. Firstly, we need to have an aggressive upgrade of the community schools. We say that Zambia has a universal primary education system, but we read in the report that the net enrolment rate stands at 39 per cent. I was very shocked. If we are going to have the net enrolment at 39 per cent, what is happening to the other 61 per cent who are dropping out of school at the early ages of between six and nine? They are not accessing education. Resources allowing, I would like to urge the hon. Minister of General Education to think about universal secondary school education. Ghana has gone that route.


With our youthful population, I think we can guarantee education and health. That is why we brought the National Health Insurance Bill here. We should also have a universal education policy so that the two sectors, health and education are moving together. That is the way to secure the future of Zambia.


Thirdly, we should encourage public schools to have performance based contracts. Our teachers, apart from forging certificates, are not monitored. When I went to Caritas Convent School, which is one of the best schools in Ndola, I was told by the teachers there that they do not receive any extra incentives. During the same time, I went to another school, Yengwe Basic School in Kang’onga in Bwana Mkubwa, which is one of the worst performing schools in Ndola. I found a deputy headmaster at the school who was accused of squandering money. When I went to report him to the police, I was told that he had been promoted. He was promoted to be headmaster at a bigger school so that he goes and fails more students there. So, can we get our systems right.


These performance based contracts should not only be in the education sector, but also across all the public sectors. This is the only way we shall hold people accountable. Without that, we shall continue singing about mediocrity every year.


Madam Speaker, the most important source of competitive advantage for any nation on earth is the human resource. So, we should be serious about education because it produces our human resource. The quality of the human capital matters. It determines how we are going to compete globally.


Madam Speaker, with these few words, I wish to thank you.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiinga: You were all over my brother! All over!




Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): I thank you, Madam Speaker, for this opportunity to also make some remarks to the debate which is on the Floor of the House.


As others have said, community schools are important because in many cases, they cover the genuine gaps for places in the country where there are no education services. I think somebody from Kaputa indicated that in certain places, the nearest school is 30 km away. I can also confirm that in Liuwa, there are places where you can walk in between schools for a distance of 20 to 25 km. It is in such places where the community schools are playing an important role.


Madam Speaker, let me specifically talk about Liuwa. In Liuwa, up to the end of last year, the number of community schools was eleven and these are as follows: Londe; Munyanya; Lukondondo; Kashebana; Litole; Mutunda; Litapya; Kashengwana; Sivemi; Imalyo; and Sikunde. Now, community schools just like other schools tend to be in areas where there are polling stations. There are forty-six polling stations in Liuwa out of which eleven are serviced by community schools. Roughly, therefore, we can say that 25 per cent of Liuwa is serviced by community schools. In other words, it is only 75 per cent of the area which is serviced by Government schools. This clearly shows that the Government is not reaching each and every corner of the country in terms of providing for education.


I said that there were eleven community schools in Liuwa, last year. Three community schools have since been upgraded to Government ones. The question is: How did the three schools become Government ones? How did they graduate from being community schools? The answer is very simple. The small Constituency Development Fund (CDF) that we normally collect is the one that was used to build schools in three places. In the meantime, over the past five years, I cannot remember of any school which the Government, through the Office of the District Educational Board Secretary, has constructed in the area. The structures of the three schools which have been upgraded were constructed using the CDF. Arising from this, and since this ministry is not adequately funded, I think it is a timely occasion to remind our colleagues in the Treasury to release the CDF on time. It is CDF that has remained the only source of funding for building classroom blocks or schools. When the CDF is not released, everything comes to a standstill.


Mr Ng’onga: Hear, hear!


Dr Musokotwane: As things stand, the children who have to walk 20 to 30 km to get to a school are being condemned to a life with no future. So, I hope that the hon. Minister will use his good influence on the Treasury and the rest of his colleagues to have the CDF released. The work of the Ministry of General Education benefits a lot from the CDF.


Madam Speaker, I also want to comment on the graduation of community schools to Government schools. I am afraid it sounds good on paper and by word of mouth, but in reality, the challenges still remain.


First of all, when the classroom blocks were completed, it took, at least, two years in certain cases, for the Government to appoint teachers to go to the schools. This surprised us a lot. If the classroom is there, why should the Government take two years to deploy teachers to the schools? Even as we speak today, there are still community schools which are graduating to Government schools which have no teachers.


Hon. Opposition Member: Yes!


Dr Musokotwane: So, what is happening?  Why is this country failing to hire teachers? Why has the education management system broken down in this country such that teachers are heaping themselves in Boma areas such as Lusaka, Kitwe or Ndola, yet there are no teachers in the rural parts of Liuwa? This simply shows that the education and management systems have broken down. I would like to appeal to the hon. Minster to do something. This is not just about the quantum of teachers, but also about the fact that the systems have broken down.


Madam Speaker, the Government is failing to tell teachers to move to other schools like it used to do when we were primary school pupils in the 1960s. During our time, no teacher could refuse to go to a place because if that happened, it meant that was the end of the job. Today, that is not the case. The Government should ensure that teachers are posted to community schools which are being constructed.


Madam Speaker, I was presently surprised to hear my colleague who just spoke before me state that the quality of teaching in community schools in his area is good that some of them even surpass some of the Government schools in terms of the performance of the pupils. Most of us who come from rural constituencies do not agree with him. I would like to ask my hon. Colleagues from rural constituencies who think that the teachers from community schools are better to raise up their hands


Hon. UPND Members: Nothing!


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!


Hon. Member, you are not supposed to engage your colleagues …




Madam First Deputy Speaker: … in that manner. Debate through me.


Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, oh, I see. I was trying to enrage them so that –The truth of the matter is that the quality of education in community schools is poor. It is almost next to nothing. One of the community schools which I can immediately think of in my constituency has Grades 1 to 5, but only has one unqualified teacher. Hon. Minister, what kind of magic would make one untrained teacher produce good results compared to any other school in Zambia? It is impossible. So, amongst the constraints which are there, it would help this country if we could do something to ensure that the community schools have teachers.


Madam Speaker, the other issue which I find totally shocking in this country is that communities are told to pay salaries for volunteer teachers. In my area, each volunteer teacher demands something like K600 per month. How can we tell the villagers who are the poorest of the poor in Zambia to donate K600 to pay a teacher?  If there was anybody who should be asked to donate money to pay salaries for teachers, I would suggest residents from Ndola in Bwana Mkubwa, Luanshya, Kabwe or Lusaka. We are doing a total disservice to our country by asking the poor villagers in Liuwa to contribute K600 per month to pay a teacher’s salary.


Madam Speaker, I would like to suggest that the idea of telling villagers to be pay teachers while people in Lusaka and other places do not pay teachers is not good. What kind of fairness is that?


Mr Mabumba indicated assent.


Dr Musokotwane: I can see that the hon. Minister is nodding his head. So, I am speaking to the converted. I, therefore, believe that after this, he is going to make sure that Liuwa Constituency is going to receive teachers to teach our children.


Madam Speaker, as I wind up, let me make some recommendations. Firstly, I would like to suggest that the Government takes over all the community schools with immediate effect.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Musokotwane: I say so because we have all agreed that the community schools serve an important purpose. We have all agreed that our small children are too young to be walking 20 to 25 km to get to a school. If we are all agreed that community schools have a very important function, why is the Government hesitating in taking over their running? What other services is the Government providing to the people in the villages other than education? My recommendation is that henceforth, the Government should take over the running of all the community schools with immediate effect.


Secondly, the Government should hire teachers of all the community schools in the country.


Princess Kucheka: Hear, hear!


Dr Musokotwane: Even if they are not trained, it is better to, at least, have some teachers who can teach the children how to read and solve arithmetic problems because what is happening now is really very unfortunate.


Princess Kucheka: Hear, hear!


Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, I would like to recommend that all the community school teachers be put on the Government’s payroll with immediate effect.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Musokotwane: Thirdly, I would like to recommend that the CDF must always be released without fail …


Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!


Dr Musokotwane: … every year. It must be increased and released without fail every year …


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Musokotwane: … because in so doing, we will be assured that the backlog …


Mr Lubinda pointed at Dr Musokotwane.


Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, Hon. Lubinda is pointing his finger at me.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: You have my protection, hon. Member for Liuwa.


Please, continue.




Dr Musokotwane: The cameras can prove that.


Madam Speaker, the CDF must be released every year without fail so that the backlog of classrooms, teachers’ houses and desks can be dismantled.


Madam Speaker, finally, I want to talk about school grants. The people running the schools in Liuwa Constituency informed me that the last time they received their grants was in 2014. This simply means that they have to buy dry cassava, sharpen it and then use it as chalk. Exercise books and blackboards are not available because these are the items which schools used to get using grants.


Madam Speaker, if we do not deal with the challenges faced by the community schools, it means that 25 per cent of our children will be left behind. It also means that we are honestly killing our country. There is no meaningful economic development, which we can talk about if we leave so many people behind. The economy of the future is about knowledge. It is not just about growing maize, tomatoes or potatoes.


Madam, the economy of the future is about being able to capitalise on human beings who have been empowered with knowledge. In the future, we are going to compete with desert countries like Israel to grow tomatoes or oranges. Since they have been imparted with knowledge or skills, they will be exporting tomatoes, cabbages and onions to the rest of the world including ourselves, yet they are from a desert like country. Therefore, if we leave so many people behind because we failing to give them education, I am afraid, there will be no economic development worth talking about. We shall only be regressing.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kafwaya (Lunte): Madam Speaker, I want to thank you most sincerely for the opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Motion on the Floor of the House, which was ably moved by the hon. Member for Lubansenshi, Hon. Mwamba and, of course, adequately seconded by Hon. Machila.


Madam Speaker, I would like to premise my contribution and support for this Motion on the importance of education. I think the hon. Member for Kafue ably illustrated that education is an equaliser. I can only add that education is a significant empowerment tool which any person can get because it is transferable. The hon. Member who was on the Floor just before me talked about the capitalisation of human beings. That is very important. Hon. Dr Chanda said that having an educated human resource is the basis for competiveness.


Madam Speaker, when we are making reference to community schools, I have in mind the ones in the constituency I am privileged to serve such as Kapalu, Kapoka, Kaposoli, Chilangwa, Songolo and many others. These schools are the ones which are faced with all of the issues that have been raised in your Committee’s report.


Madam Speaker, your Committee has observed some challenges for community schools such as poor infrastructure, human resource gaps, erratic financial support and failure to implement operational guidelines. Your Committee has gone further to take note of the Government’s roles in the management of community schools, among which are quality assurance, upgrading of community schools, financial support and the provision of teaching materials.


Madam Speaker, my sense is that a mere recognition of these issues may not be enough. We need to go a step further by establishing why these limitations exist. I think that somebody here claimed that the Government borrows too much to the extent that it is overburdened by the management of debt and cannot even focus on education. In this country, we have seen Governments which have not borrowed in the past. The Zambian people supported the Government towards the achievement of the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Completion Point. Where is the infrastructure which was built after the HIPC Completion Point was reached? There is nothing.




Mr Kafwaya: Madam Speaker, it is, therefore, important to understand where we are coming from. Why are we having these challenges? Challenges are arising because the population is growing and successive Governments have failed to match infrastructure development with the growing demand on the productive potential of our country. To take Hon. Dr Kambwili’s submission, it is important for the national leadership to recognise this and begin to move together in solving this national problem.


Ms Mulenga: Hear, hear!


Mr Kafwaya: Madam Speaker, it is a tragedy for Zambians to linking national development to political cycles. This country cannot continue to link development to political cycles. We have to make sure that we have a vision for the nation and not a sitting Government. The sad part is that the Administration of the late President Levy Mwanawasa gave us the Vision 2030. How can you have a national vision which is dated 2030? How far can you date a vision for the country?


Unfortunately, even the vision within the education sector, which was intended to achieve education for all, ended in 2015 with the end of the millennium development goals (MDGs). Today, we are making reference to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) No. 4, which talks about education. How does this speak to the vision which ended? Even the SDG No. 4 will end in 2030. How can you have a twenty-four year vision for education? Fifty-four years after Independence, we still have these challenges.


Madam Speaker, we need to professionalise the way we come up with national visions. We need to begin to think about professionalising our technocratic leadership so that our people are able to benefit from its professionalism. I just made reference to a dated vision. There are several other issues which are contained in that vision, which in my view disqualifies it from being called a vision because it has scenarios of the preferred success and baseline. This is the national vision which was launched by President Levy Mwanawasa. That is the basis of what we are discussing today. It ends in 2030. Where do we go from there? What will happen if this country can achieve the targets in the Vision 2030 before 2030? This is why I admire the Patriotic Front (PF).




Mr Kafwaya: I admire the PF because even when its President was asked about what his vision was, he said that he was taking over the organisation’s vision.




Mr Kafwaya: Madam Speaker, a presidential candidate should not have a vision when the organisation he/she leads already has one. If the candidate also has a vision, that will create confusion. This is a lack of understanding of simple, but important concepts. If we continue in this fashion of putting misunderstandings above critical thinking, then the country will be in serious trouble. If we continue saying that the Government should take over this and that without providing a solution in terms of where the finances will come from, then we are being hypocritical.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!


Withdraw that word.


Mr Mubika: You will be in trouble.


Mr Kafwaya: Madam Speaker, I withdraw that word. It is a lack of sincerity. When you need things, you have to mobilise funds. Most likely you will have to borrow. When the Government does that, you have people coming to the Floor of the House to complain that it is borrowing.


Madam Speaker, we need to be sincere because we are leaders. Sincerity is necessary for a leadership that is concerned about the people. We cannot keep politicking every day. There is a need to become serious so that the Zambian people can begin to benefit from our services.


Madam Speaker, community schools are very important in Lunte because they provide a service to the people who would otherwise not get the service. This is because infrastructure has not been developed in the places which I mentioned earlier for many years. The communities have taken an interest in trying to address the situation. It is clear in my mind that our communities need to be supported by our Government by improving and taking over the schools as we progress as a nation. As we grow the income of our country, we should also grow the expenditure by taking on board these structures.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Lufuma (Kabompo): Madam Speaker, thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this very important debate.


Madam Speaker, as everybody has said, and as everybody is aware, I think the importance of education does not need any further emphasis than has been given in your report. It is a very nice report. From the outset, I support it because it brings out very pertinent issues which I think the Government should pay attention to, and which, in the shortest time possible, should resolve because if that is not done, we cannot expect to be a country that will go into the middle income bracket. The middle income bracket, in terms of development, will only come forth if the Government is serious about education. Without education, you cannot expect to develop.


Madam Speaker, when the Patriotic Front (PF) came into the Government, it categorically promised the people of Zambia that it would take over all the community schools because its understanding was that these schools were serving no purpose at all. It even said that that they did not have infrastructure, materials and teachers to merit being called schools per se. So, the PF said that it would take over all the community schools. I think that was a fantastic idea. However, as usual, with the PF Government, it is promise after promise, and no action at all. There are many promises that we got such as more money in our pockets, less taxes and more employment. The promises have not come to pass. This is the same situation we find ourselves in with regard to the community schools.


Madam Speaker, the Government is indulging itself in what is called escapism. It is trying to escape from the responsibility of providing education to its citizens. The governments all over the world have the responsibility to provide social services which include education and health. However, unfortunately, with this Government, unless things change, it will continue indulging in escapism which is not acceptable. This should not be accepted by the Zambian people. It is very important that we set our priorities right. 


Madam Speaker, we have enough money. I have heard some hon. Members say that the community schools are not up to standard because we do not have enough money. No, we have enough money in this country. The problem is that we do not use the money prudently. Let me give you an example. Let me talk about the forty-two fire trucks, which cost US$1 million each. When you multiply US$42 million by approximately the rate of K10, you are going to get approximately K120 million. That is a lot of money.


Madam Speaker, on page 13 of the report, paragraph 2, the report  reads:


“Further, your Committee was informed that the maintenance of K3,000,000 in the 2018 budgetary allocation to support community schools highlighted the Government’s failure to motivate community school volunteer teachers. There were 2,480 community schools with 7,481 teachers in the country.”


Madam Speaker, K3 million divided by 2,480 community schools gives us K401 only. Only four K100 notes by 4 plus K1 give you K401. Honestly, how can you expect quality education, especially in the rural areas by providing K401 per community school for the whole year? That is pocket change, maybe, even for a kid going to kindergarten. You cannot expect good quality education when you put in an investment of K401 per community school for a whole year. That is not possible.


Madam Speaker, let me go back to the example I gave of the fire trucks. We spent K420 million on fire tenders which could have easily been used to supplement the budget of the community schools. When you divide K420 million by 2,480 community schools, you are going to have approximately K170,000 per school. That seems more plausible. If we used that money, for example, to, at least, fund these schools, with the participation of communities themselves, we could easily build 1 X 3 classroom blocks. That way, we can provide quality facilities for the pupils in the rural areas.


Further, if you took the US$288,000 that was spent on buying each of the fifty ambulances and converted it to Zambian Kwacha, you would get K288 million. Again, that is a lot of money which if divided amongst 2,480 community schools would translate into about K1.2 million per school. This could be used to provide materials for the schools. It could also be used to provide small allowances to the teachers. Right now, we are talking about poor communities in the rural areas, where poverty levels are as high as 60 per cent, being expected to support the payment of salaries to the teachers at community schools. I think that is highly unfair. If they do that, what is the Government there for? What is it there for if it cannot provide quality education? If those in the Government cannot provide quality education, it is better they leave the seats to those who can do a better job.


Madam Speaker, they know the party which can do a good job with the education system.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Lufuma: It is the UPND!


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Lufuma: United Party for National Development.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Lufuma: Let us take over. We know how to prioritise. We know where to get the money. We know how to fund the education sector. I can assure you that as soon as we start funding the sector, we will have better education. Better education means we will have better minds.  Better minds mean that we will have better capacity to undertake development.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!


Business was suspended from 1810 hours until 1830 hours.




Mr Lufuma: Madam Speaker, kindly allow me to correct the figures that I gave so that we are on the same page. Before business was suspended, I was talking about the forty-two fire tenders costing K1 million each and that if we multiplied that by ten, it would give us K420 million. If you divided that amount by the number of community schools as per your Committee’s report, which is 2,480 schools, you would get about K170,000. This could have been easily invested in the construction of 1 x 3 classroom blocks at community schools. That would have provided the necessary facilities to encourage quality education in the communities.


Madam Speaker, I also used another example of the fifty ambulances which cost US$288,000. If you multiplied that by fifty, it would give you US$14.4 million and that translates to about K144 million. Further, if you divided that by the number of schools, which is 2,480, you would get about K58,000 per year. If we planned well, that money would be enough to provide the necessary quality education at primary school level, especially in the rural areas.


Madam Speaker, we all know that the foundation is very important. If we do not invest in the education foundation, then we should not expect quality graduates. This is why we have problems right now. We have graduates at Grade 9, Grade 12 and university level who are not baked. We have graduates who cannot even write a letter. They cannot even apply for a job. This never used to happen during the days of former President Dr Kaunda. In those days, we had no community schools. There were proper schools staffed with proper teachers. The result was a good education system with quality education. This is what we should emulate. Therefore, what the Patriotic Front (PF) Government is missing, essentially, is a lack of planning. It does not prioritise what should be done.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Lufuma: Madam Speaker, I find it completely senseless for us to invest US$42 million in fire tenders which are overturning everyday instead of investing that money towards quality education. As I said, quality education is essential. It translates into development. If you do not have quality education, please, do not expect better development, and because of that, you will go back to poverty. Therefore, it is a vicious cycle of poverty. We have a country that never develops because of our policies towards the community schools, which are a base for the education system.


Mr Speaker, I would like to urge the Government to either pull up its socks, find the money and put it into the education system, especially the community schools in rural areas, or simply scrap them off. They should be scrapped off because they serve no purpose. Unless the Government is ready to invest in these schools, it should simply scrap them off. Hon. Minister of General Education, if we will not change the way we do things, we will simply be wasting money.


Madam Speaker, I would like the hon. Minister to seriously consider paying the teachers in community schools. The Government should also seriously consider giving enough resources to the Office of the District Education Board Secretary (DEBS) to enable it to monitor the community schools as well as the other schools. When it receives enough money, the same office can ensure that schools have sufficient teaching materials. Failure to do that, bwana hon. Minister of General Education, you are better off scrapping off the community schools. That way, we shall only have Government schools. These schools should be given enough resources to ensure that they deliver quality education. I would like to end my contribution to this debate on community schools by encouraging the hon. Minister of General Education to up his game in terms of supporting community schools.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members will note that today is a very short day. We have to conclude this Motion by 1910 hours. I now move to the Executive.


I will start with the hon. Minister for Luapula Province. It seems that he is not in the House.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Madam First Deputy Speaker: I had promised him that I would give him an opportunity to speak. Since he is not in the House, I will allow the hon. Minister of Home Affairs to debate for two minutes as he has indicated.




Hon. Government Member: Hon. Kampyongo to speak for two minutes?




The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo): Madam Speaker, I will try to be as brief as I can. My debate on this report and the Motion ably moved by the Chairperson will deal with the issues that have been raised by your Committee regarding circumstantial children.


Madam Speaker, as the Committee has correctly explained, a circumstantial child is a child who either is born of a mother who is in our correctional facilities or that child that comes with its mother at the point of sentencing to our facilities. These are children who are usually below the age of four. It is circumstances that land these children in an environment that might not be conducive for an ordinary child who is entitled to basic human rights. The growth of a child depends on the environment they are in at the time of their upbringing.


Madam Chairperson, we have had a challenge in the sense that the facilities which we have, which are the prison facilities, are old. They were constructed before Independence. Therefore, most of the facilities which have been converted into prisons for the female offenders have been basic annexes to the main buildings of the correctional facilities. It would appear that there was an assumption that the females would not become offenders. Thus, the facilities for female prisoners were only established as an afterthought.


Madam Speaker, I am happy that your Committee has mentioned, through the mover and the seconder of the Motion, that they were able to visit the new correctional facilities that we as a responsible Government are putting up. This has been achieved for the first time in the history of this country. That is how a responsible Government responds to issues. In all the human rights reports, you will find the challenges of overcrowding or our children finding themselves in the correctional facilities with their mothers not having access to education and proper health facilities, being mentioned. These new facilities that we are developing are taking into account the needs of the circumstantial children. We are making sure that there are provisions for play parks because we are only allowed to look after children below four years after which the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare takes over.


With regard to access to education for circumstantial children, we are working with the Ministry of General Education, just as we are working with them to provide education for adult offenders. They have been able to provide the same curriculum that is provided to the ordinary citizens. We are collaborating with them to ensure that we focus on early childhood education which will be meant for circumstantial children.


Madam Speaker, going forward, this hardworking Government is working around the clock to ensure that the new prisons do not only provide modern facilities for offenders, but also take care of the needs of the circumstantial children. The current situation is most unfortunate.


As you know, the law is not selective. When people are being sentenced, the law does not look at the status which they are in. A woman who is expecting can be sentenced to prison a few months before giving birth. The law has got no exemptions. As a result of this, children find themselves in our facilities. It is the responsibility of the Government to take care of the circumstantial children, in as much as the old laws which we are working on do not provide for them.


  Madam Speaker, the Correctional Service Bill is in a draft form. It will come to this House where all the hon. Members, including those who are part of your Committee, will have a chance to make their input. We will make sure that all their concerns are provided for in the Bill before the Correctional Service Bill is operationalised. This will be a drastic shift from the way we have been looking after the offenders in prisons. We will move from punishment by incarceration to reformation.


Madam Speaker, this drastic shift will be actualised through the Bill which is in draft form. This is the Bill that will take care of all the concerns that your Committee has raised regarding circumstantial children. Otherwise, the honourable –




Mr Sing’ombe: You said two minutes.


Mr Kampyongo: I only know offenders, Madam Speaker, and they always –



Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, access to education is something that we have prioritised in the correctional facilities. The hon. Member for Katombola will be able to attest that the facility which we have in his constituency which looks after juvenile offenders has got a full education programme. You will be shocked that there are children there who are performing exceptionally well. The results of these children are encouraging. This clearly shows you that when we offer education to the offenders, they can turn out to be law-abiding citizens who will also contribute to the development of this nation.


Madam Speaker, I want to say that His Excellency the President of this Republic of Zambia is one person who is very concerned about the welfare of our inmates.


Hon. UPND Members: Question!


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, potential inmates are always a problem.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, we are committed, as the Government, to ensure that we address the challenges that the Committee has raised. In fact, we are already addressing some of the challenges. That is what a responsible Government is supposed to do. That is why I keep saying firmly here that the people of Zambia have not made a mistake for trusting this Government.


Hon. Opposition Members: Question!


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kampyongo: We have continued enjoying the people’s confidence because we are a responsive Government. That is why we keep winning, Madam Speaker. We are enjoying the people’s support who include the inmates.




Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, we shall continue teaching our colleagues on the left on how important it is to govern people properly so that they can stay where they are and just keep offering checks and balances. Over time, they will continue learning from us.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


The Minister of General Education (Mr Mabumba): Madam Speaker, I want to thank …


Mr Ngulube: Wind up debate.


Mr Mabumba: ... the mover and the seconder of the Motion together with my other colleagues who are too many to mention like Hon. Ng’onga, Hon. Dr Kambwili, Hon. Dr Musokotwane, Hon. Miyutu, Hon. Bwalya Chungu, Hon. Chonya, Hon. Lufuma …


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mabumba: … Hon. Dr Chanda…


Mr Livune: Question!


Mr Mabumba: … and Hon. Kafwaya, who have debated on the two key issues that are contained in the Motion.


Madam Speaker, before I go on to talk about what is contained in the report, let me respond to the concerns that have been raised by my colleagues. Let me give a picture which will demonstrate what the PF Government has been able to do since 2011. As much as we might want to lament or talk about the concerns, as a country, we should be able to celebrate some of the achievements that this Government has made over time when compared to what other Governments did.


Madam Speaker, today, in Zambia we are able to say that about 4.5 million children are in school. That is not a joke. In other countries, you cannot have such enrolment numbers. Today, we are talking about close to 9,000 primary schools throughout the country. If you went into some of the countries whose population levels are higher than Zambia, you would find that their primary schools have enrolment figures which are almost like ours here. This goes to demonstrate that over time, the Governments of this country have continued to make investments. The PF Government has not been an exception in that regard. It is trying to ensure that it is remembered by the Zambian people by the amount of investment that it is making in general infrastructure, but most importantly, in the education sector.


Madam Speaker, if you look at history, you will find that the education sector in Zambia has had a pyramidal structure. Since the Patriotic Front (PF) took over power in 2011, it has been able to start a gradual process of dealing with the pyramidal structure. This is why today, we can talk about the 115 secondary schools which are under construction and the 220 primary schools which were turned into day secondary schools in 2014. We are doing all this to deal with the pyramidal structure of our education system.


Madam Speaker, before the PF came into power, we never spoke about the early childhood education in this country. The PF Government began the journey of making early childhood education a part of the education reforms. Today, we can talk about the eight university projects which were not there before. So, colleagues, as much as we can lament or bring up concerns, we should also be able to share some of these achievements which the PF has attained within a very short period of time.


Madam Speaker, let me also talk about the community schools which have been discussed in your Committee’s report. I want to say that according to the numbers which have been provided in this report, we have 2,480 community schools against a total number of 8,823 primary schools in the Republic of Zambia. If you look at page 7 of your report, in terms of the performance of the community schools, like my colleague said, you will find that they are performing far much better than the public schools. That goes on to demonstrate that the community schools will continue to be an integral part of the Ministry of General Education.


Madam Speaker, the question should be: What is the problem statement about the community schools? The problem statement is what your Committee has highlighted in your report. We have the issues concerning quality assurance, adequate teachers, school materials and also, the financing of these community schools. These are the problems that we should be able to stick to rather than concentrating on issues such as the scrapping off of the community schools from our system as mentioned by some of my colleagues. The truth of the matter is that these issues will continue to be part of our system and we have to deal with them.


Madam Speaker, again, my colleagues should be able to recognise the fact that these community schools have a complex operational and legal structure. As the Government, we cannot go to a community school that is managed, for example, by a faith based organisation (FBO) and say, we are grabbing that school. For us to do that, we should reach a consensus with them. Where we have a consensus, we as the Government have committed ourselves to upgrade the schools.




Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order in the House.


Continue, hon. Minister.


Mr Mabumba: Madam Speaker, I was just trying to say that my hon. Colleagues should recognise the complex operational and legal structure of some of these community schools. For example, if a community school is owned by an FBO, we cannot just move in as the Government and grab it just because we want to upgrade it. There should be a consensus reached between the Government and the community. Where we have reached a consensus with the community, we have upgraded the schools. 


Madam Speaker, some of my hon. Colleagues were even testifying that community schools in their areas have been upgraded. Unfortunately, we have not been able to upgrade as many community schools as my colleagues would have wanted. What I want to assure my hon. Colleagues is that the Ministry of General Education is undergoing a number of reforms. The first one is in terms of policy and legislation. In your report, one of the weaknesses that has been identified is the issue of policy and legislation. I am happy to report to my colleagues that before the end of this month, we will validate the Education Policy as well as the Education Act of 2011. Many of the issues which have been highlighted in your report are going to be taken into account as we reform the education system.


Madam Speaker, based on what Hon. Muchima said, I indicated to this august House that the Ministry of General Education was going to undertake provincial education indabas. I am happy to report that at the ten provincial education indabas, we consulted various stakeholders such as parents, teachers and pupils and came to a conclusion on the 7th of June, 2018.


We have even requested for permission from Madam Clerk to have a workshop with hon. Members of Parliament so that we can consult them on how we can deal with the issues to do with teachers, teaching, learning materials, and school furniture. We will consult hon. Members of Parliament on these issues before this House goes on recess. We want to have a system that can be owned by everybody. As Minister of General Education, I do not want to talk about reforming the education sector when there is no ownership from my hon. Colleagues and the Zambian people. The things that my colleagues have been talking about affect the people at the grassroots. They are the ones who complain about not having teachers, school furniture and teaching materials.


Madam Speaker, on the basis of the limited budget ─ I am happy Hon. Muchima said that money will never be enough. However, the question is: What is it that we can achieve even in the context of a limited budget? We are of the view that the education reforms that we are proposing will firstly help us to contain public expenditure. Secondly, the savings that we are going to achieve will enable us to begin the gradual process of dealing with the many concerns that my colleagues raised such as the inadequate number of teachers in community schools. I totally share their concerns of some hon. Members who represent rural areas. However, as leaders, what is it that we need to do? I want to set a very strong legacy for President Edgar Lungu …


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mabumba: … as far as the education sector in this country is concerned. Like my colleagues adequately debated, there is no way we can transform this country if we do not have an education system to talk about. This is why Prof. Luo and I, well in advance ─  I am happy that Hon. D. Kambwili asked about when we will have a stakeholder indaba to talk about our education system in this country. All things being equal, probably next month, we are going to have an education conference in this country where some hon. Members of Parliament and the Zambian people will be called upon to define the sort of education system that they want in this country and how we can finance it. Attempts have been made, but I do not think that we have conclusively debated the type of education system that we need in this country even in the context of community schools and circumstantial children in our correctional facilities. I believe that the conference which we will have will give us an opportunity to talk about our education curriculum, quality assurance of the education system and how best we can finance it.


Madam Speaker, once this is done, we will set a legacy. When President Lungu and my colleagues retire, people will remember them for having transformed the education system in this country. What is important is to have the unity of purpose. We as the leadership cannot take the education system anywhere if we are not supported. We have begun consulting. We are yet to get the hon. Members of Parliament’ views as part of the broader consultation before we have the education conference. I am sure my colleagues will appreciate some of our proposals in terms of how we can transform the education system in the context of the many things that they have said.


Even without responding to everything which was said, I just want to assure my hon. Colleagues that the education reforms we are proposing on teacher recruitment and deployment will be a solution to the inadequate number of teachers that we have in our school system. The education reforms that we are proposing on school furniture will be a solution to some of the challenges that community schools face since they do not have school furniture. The reforms that we are proposing on teaching and learning materials will provide a solution to the inadequacy of  materials which community schools are experiencing.


 Madam Speaker, all I can say is that we are in this together. With everyone’s support, we can transform the education system in this country. I do not think that the situation is insurmountable. We are going to transform the system together. When all of us retire, people should remember that they had a leadership that regarded education in this country as number one. We cannot industralise without sorting out our education system.


Madam Speaker, I can assure my colleagues that they will hear from us in the ministry before we rise regarding the proposals that we have. I do not have sufficient time to mention all the proposals. For now, I will only urge the hon. Members to attend the meeting that we have requested through the Clerk of the National Assembly. It will give my colleagues an opportunity to hear from us. We shall also have a chance to get their views on how we can begin the journey of transforming our education system.


Madam Speaker, regarding the issues raised  by my colleagues who have debated this Motion, I may not be able to respond to all of them, but can still state that the answers lie in the education reforms which we are proposing. As Minister of General Education, I recognise the fact that the budget will never be enough without us re-engineering our processes. This is why we want to begin the process of re-engineering our procurement system in the ministry so that we can start making it possible for our expenditure to address the many challenges which my colleagues are facing in their constituencies.


With that said, Madam Speaker, I want to end by urging my colleagues that when that particular meeting is called, they should all come so that we can come up with a shared direction in terms of how we can change the education system in this country.


Madam Speaker, with regard to the children living in the correctional facilities, as my colleagues may be aware, the early childhood education provision was brought under the Ministry of General Education in 2013. From that time, we started providing infrastructure and recruiting teachers. Hon. Kampyongo and I are going to work collaboratively to see how we can improve infrastructure in the correctional facilities and be able to provide the teachers that we are talking about. However, all these things should be seen in the context of not accepting the status quo. If I, as Minister, am going to accept the status quo by saying that my colleagues who were there failed to do this and that, then I am not worth to be called a Minister.


Therefore, I would like assure my colleagues that we are together in these challenges and we will collectively deal with them.


I want to thank you, Madam Speaker, for this time you have given me and I want to also thank my colleagues who debated this particular Motion.


God bless everybody.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwamba: Madam Speaker, in winding up the debate, I would like to register my gratitude …


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwamba: … to the hon. Members for the passion which they have shown as they debated this Motion. These are: Hon. Ng’onga, Hon. Dr Kambwili, Hon. Miyutu; Hon. Bwalya Chungu; Hon. Muchima; Hon. Chonya; Hon. Dr Musokotwane; Hon. Kafwaya; Hon. Lufuma and the two hon. Ministers who have showed the desire to ensure that the challenges that were brought out in the report are addressed.


I thank you very much, Madam Speaker.


Mr Ng’onga: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwamba: Madam Speaker, I beg to move.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Question put and agreed to.




The Chief Whip and Acting Leader of Government Business in the House (Mr Chungu): Madam Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.


Question put and agreed to.




The House adjourned at 1904 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 5th July, 2018.