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Is Education a right? Part 1 -by:Gabriel Kwanja 22/03/2010

Is Education a right? Part 1 -by:Gabriel Kwanja 22/03/2010

August 16
12:26 2018

By:Gabriel Kwanja 22/03/2010


Gabriel Kwanja at Anglican Cathedral of the Holy Cross 13 July 2010

Education is a right indeed. An interest that should be recognized and is protected by law. This right should be enjoyed by everyone of this world regardless of background or creed. Education should go beyond sex, tribe, race, colour and class in society. It is supposed to bury the difference between the poor and rich.

 Education has stages and different areas of interest; certainly every stage and area of study are very important and should be treated with equal importance in development. The Marxist believes that a strong base will support a good structure and a good structure holds a firm roof. Pre-schools, primary and secondary schools, colleges and university are all important in releasing a good productive society. When this right to education is treated with the importances it deserves only then will our dreams become reality.

In our days three, four decades ago we used to step on each other’s foot with sons and daughters of Shi mine, Teachers, Messengers, Doctors, lawyers, Managing Director and Ministers and we had no fear, but respected each others. In grade one (1) we were given warm welcome by school administers, all materials we needed to use for us to learn were donated to us freely, flip charts, pads on where we were to learn how to write our names, exercise book ranging from those for drawings, hand writing, English, local language, mathematics, pencils and rubbers name them. When we filled our books we took them to our class teachers to sign for us to have new ones. This was an indication that the government and other stakeholders were very concerned with our education standard in this country.

Gabriel Kwanja

They is a big difference between a privilege and a right to education and this is our experience today. A privilege is a particular advantage enjoyed by a person or group of people that is not enjoyed by all. The power or force of a privilege is against or above the law. Education now best separates the rich in society and the poor. This is a created situation because policies are not being implemented accordingly by the government, ministry and certain individual who are tasked to do so. Chapter 134 which is the Education Act in section 4(2) states that, ‘in the exercise and performance of all powers and duties conferred and imposed on him by this Act, the Minister shall have regard to the general principle that, so far as is compatible with the provision of efficient instruction and training and the avoidance of unreasonable public expenditure, pupils are to be educated in accordance with the wishes of their parents”. For me every parent wants the best for their children and the only way in such a case is to harmonize the standards. It should not just be an issue that somebody has an opportunity to go to school, but getting the best out of schools on a leveled playing field not based on circumstances of the parents or guardians.

The United Nations Declarations on Child Rights of 1959 in Principle 7 states that, ‘The Child is entitled to receive education, which shall be free and compulsory, at least in the elementary stages. He shall be given an education which will promote his general culture and enable him, on a basis of equal opportunity, to develop his abilities, his individual judgment, and his sense of moral and social responsibility, and to become a useful member of society. The best interests of the child shall be the guiding principle of those responsible for his education and guidance; that responsibility lies in the first place with his parents’.

Zambian Children Youung People and Women in Development ZCYPWD logo

Generally in Africa and Zambia in particular we are still faced with problems of school drop outs because of financial problems occasioned differently, lack of paying employment or lack of employment, Orphans lacking sponsorship, child labour because nobody is able to pay for the child, so children are forced to get jobs to start earning for themselves and Children enter early marriages because of no money to go to school. These are among the injustices that are unspoken of, what we must not forget is that our better tomorrow lays in our work today and should be built today.

Zambian Children Young People and Women in Development (ZCYPWD) April 6th 2015 pix by Derrick Sinjela

Way before government schools were better than private schools which is the opposite today. The goodness with a right, be that we water down our rights because of lack of understanding is that it gives somebody a duty to perform on our behalf. And we have a right to constant remind them of what we want, what they are supposed to do us in return bless us with information and consult us if what we get is what we want and deserve. School Inspectors do they still exist?  In the past these were motivators, tough if things were not in order and are sanctioned by the Education Act to enter any premise to check on the standards of schools which do or do not meet operating requirements whether private or public and revoke licenses,    recommend upgrade or closure if standards are not met. The ministry needs to help raise education standards in Zambia. We see a lot of house schools and schools that don’t deceive to operate under normal circumstance. Grade twelve ‘O’ level certificate holders teaching senior secondary school, this is unacceptable.

William Chilufya with children

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) on enhancing road safety


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