By CHARITY MOONGA -
OPPOSITION Members of Parliament on Wednesday evening took Government to task over the change in the education curriculum and the use of local languages as a medium of instruction in schools.
Presenting the report of the committee on education, science and technology Lukulu East MMD MP Christopher Kalila said there was no legal framework to support the change of the educational system in Zambia.
Dr Kalila urged Government to amend the Education Act and the Education Policy if it were to change the education system in Zambia.
He explained that most basic schools had no laboratories to accommodate their upgrade into secondary schools and the available teachers had no skills to progress into secondary schools.
He called for the increase in the number of secondary schools throughout the country.
Dr Kalila said the introduction of local languages with a restriction to only seven local languages was difficult to implement and would affect areas in North Western Province.
Seconding the motion, Bwacha PF MP Sydney Mushanga bemoaned the high number of school girl pregnancies in Western Province and attributed the vice to inadequate boarding places in schools hence the need for more secondary schools in the area.
Bweengwa UPND MP Highvie Hamududu said Zambia was witnessing a lost generation with children being reduced to fishermen in some areas because of lack of school facilities.
He said the problem had been exacerbated by Government abolishing basic schools.
He said the introduction of local languages had led to teachers asking for transfers to go to their provinces of origin and that there were no materials prepared to effect the change.
Mwandi MMD MP Michael Kaingu said the change in the curriculum and the introduction of local languages would exert more pressure on the treasury.
Lubansenshi independent MP Patrick Mucheleka said the upgrade of schools from basic to secondary had negatively affected his area because out of 100 schools, the area only had three secondary schools so children were now not able to proceed to secondary school.
Kaputa PF MP Maxus Ngonga said quality education was for every child and urged Government not to delay on infrastructure development so that children could be absorbed in schools.
Earlier, speaker of the national assembly Patrick Matibini cautioned Home Affairs Deputy Minister Stephen Kampyongo for using unparliamentary words.
Mr Kampyongo used the words “shut up” at opposition MPs that were passing running commentaries as he was debating. He later withdrew the words.