Thursday, 2 February 2017

Dilapidated Kamakonde Primary School Gets Relief From MP

Workers digging the foundation at Kamakonde School
By Paul Shalala

It is their plight which was highlighted last week on this blog, which has brought this change.

Pupils were captured sitting on the floor while learning, in their ill ventilated room that passed for a classroom.

But now, the 19 year old structure at Kamakonde Primary School in Kitwe will soon be razed down.

A new classroom block is being built.

The area Member of Parliament Alexander Chiteme who visited the school last week was touched.

“In my constituency, I will not accept to have such schools for our children. We shall bring down that structure and build a new one and I will finance it,” said Mr Chiteme at the time.

True to his words, workers from his construction firm have today hit the ground to construct a new classroom block.

When asked how much he is spending on the works, Mr Chiteme, a wealthy but youthful businessman, said he had pumped in K80,000.

The old classroom block at Kamakonde Primary School
A check at the site by this blogger found workers from Dream Light Enterprises had already dug a foundation for a three classroom block.

“We are digging the foundation and in the coming days we will cast concrete. So far, the boss has instructed us to construct a building to house three classes,” said Penias Banda, a construction supervisor at the site.

And the residents are happy because their children will now learn in a more conducive environment.

Last year when government noticed the challenges the school was facing, it took over management and changed it from a community school and built a new classroom block which is being used by the grades five, six and seven. 

For the school authorities, the construction of an additional classroom block is a relief.

“We are happy that the Honourable Member of Parliament has fulfilled his promise. When he made those comments last week, we thought he would not do it but today we have seen the works,” said Kamakonde Primary School Headteacher Hillary Muyoba.
Pupils seating on the floor while in class at Kamakonde School

Kamakonde Primary School has 700 pupils.

400 of these use the old structure which has no desks.

The school runs seven grades and pupils take turns in sharing the four classrooms.

Only 10 teachers man the school which was set up by the community in 1998.

The school is located in Kamakonde area in the western part of Kitwe, Zambia’s second largest city.

Last week, this blogger broke the story of the pupils who learn while seated on the floor due to lack of desks.

The story also highlighted the success by 13 year old Agness Nkomeshya who got 711 marks in her grade seven results and is now enrolled at Chimwemwe Secondary School.

Agness used to sit on the floor in the same dilapidated classroom which is about to be brought down.

The story has since led to this intervention by the lawmaker.

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