Children from Neno have asked government to construct a district secondary school to motivate primary school learners to work hard.
They made the call during this year’s children’s parliament session in the district supported by Save the Children.
Speaking to journalists on Friday at the end of the deliberations, Neno District Children’s Parliament speaker Trifonia Kaduya said lack of a public secondary school in the district discouraged children from working hard in primary school.
She said: “Neno is the only district that has no secondary school. We want a boarding secondary school to absorb learners who pass with good grades in Primary School Leaving Certificate of Education examinations.
“Currently, most community day secondary schools do not offer boarding facilities which affects girls as they travel long distances to attend classes.”
On his part, Parliamentary Committee on Social and Community Affairs vice-chairperson Bernard Chitekwe acknowledged the children’s concerns, saying he will table them before his committee for discussions.
“However, my assurance is that government is constructing 250 secondary schools in the country and Neno is one of the districts to benefit from the initiative,” he said.
In an interview, Save the Children country director Kim Koch said they wanted to give children a platform to discuss their challenges.
“Duty-bearers were in attendance during the parliamentary session and I hope they have taken note of the children’s concerns,” she said.
The young parliamentarians, who did not meet last year due to Covid-19 restrictions, also deliberated on other motions, including child marriages and teen pregnancies as well as the effects of Covid-19 on people’s livelihoods in the district.