ZESCO SPENDS OVER K40 BILLION ON EDUCATION IN SIAVONGA
ZESCO has spent over K 40 billion, to rehabilitate and upgrade Siavonga High School in Siavonga District.
With a population of about 98 thousand, Siavonga only has four High Schools, 33 basic schools and 9 community schools which are all day schools, with limited infrastructure.
One of these schools is Siavonga High School originally constructed by Kariba North Bank Company Limited in 1999.
In 2001, the Kariba North Bank Company Limited (KNB) was integrated into ZESCO, making the power utility firm to take over Kariba North Bank Power Station and all associated responsibilities to the community of Siavonga which included Siavonga High School.
Siavonga High School is located in Siavonga District where ZESCO generates electricity and it is the utility’s desire to plough back the profits to benefit the general population of Siavonga.
As part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), ZESCO embarked on the rehabilitation and upgrading of Siavonga High School into an Ultra Modern Boarding High School.
Lack of boarding facilities coupled with limited infrastructure for education is what compelled ZESCO to take a proactive role to upgrade Siavonga Day High school.
The rehabilitation works which are being carried out by Sino Hydro Corporation commenced on 1st September 2011 following the signing of the memorandum of understanding between ZESCO and the Ministry of Education during which the two parties agreed to upgrade Siavonga Day High School to start offering boarding facilities.
Recently, ZESCO Managing Director Mr. Cyprian Chitundu did a spot check of the rehabilitation works at Siavonga High School.
Mr. Chitundu who was accompanied by some members of his management team expressed happiness at the progress made so far.
He said it was ZESCO’s desire to improve the quality of education of pupils in rural areas.
“ZESCO is a big organisation and when we do projects of this magnitude, we have a duty to the community. We want to do things well, Mr. Chitundu said. We want to make sure the school is very good, our children can learn and must be able to have the same facilities that the students in Lusaka have, they are going to have computers, good labs and acquire the same skills”.
Mr. Chitundu said ZESCO will hand over the school to the Government through the Ministry of Education who are competent to run the school, upon completion in February 2013.
Minister of Lands, Energy and Water Development, Hon Christopher Yaluma who also toured the rehabilitation works commended ZESCO for the initiative to upgrade the school.
“What you have done to put up this school in Siavonga will go a long way in improving the education standards in Zambia. Part of our poor grades we get at form 5 is merely arising from poor education facilities in the country. The kids are affected, they are learning in poor deplorable situations which don’t entice them to put an effort in their studies but something like this will encourage hard work”. Hon. Yaluma said.
Hon Yaluma also added that the infrastructure ZESCO has put in place will motivate and improve the culture in the students to learn and commit themselves to study in order to yield high results.
“I know ZESCO initiated this, I would say, you did a very good job, without your initiative what we are seeing here couldn’t have been... you went an extra mile. This will be something for Siavonga to appreciate for a long time to come”, he said.
And School Deputy Head Teacher Mr. Mukelabai Kalungu thanked ZESCO for the gesture and said the construction of the Boarding High School had come at the right time when the school faced a lot of challenges.
“The impact will be massive with coming of this boarding school; we are going to have full custody of these children 24/7 for three months implying that the rules and regulations that the school is going to put in place will actually be enforced on these children”, Mr. Kalungu said.
Mr. Kalungu said with the construction of boarding facilities, the school will have more time to impart the relevant knowledge, attitude and skills to the pupils which will ultimately translate into good results.
Once completed Siavonga Boarding High School will be the first of its kind in the district with a boarding infrastructure, a well stocked library, 3 computer laboratories, a modern Kitchen and dining hall, hostels for both girls and boys with a capacity of 500 each, modern recreation facilities and 13 houses for teachers.
It is ZESCO’s belief that investing in education is critical to securing a future of Zambia’s youth by empowering them to be productive citizens.