Bwana Mkubwa PF member of parliament Dr Jonas Chanda says lack of secondary school learning facilities in his constituency has led to rampant alcohol and drug abuse, as well as transactional sex and criminal activities among the youths.

In an interview, Dr Chanda said it was totally unacceptable and frustrating for his urban constituency to have only one secondary school, against a high youth population.

“We have a population of over 150,000 people, but there is only one government high school – Caritas Secondary School in Ndeke township. All other schools in Mushili (Twikatane, Kansengu, Bonano), Kaloko (Twalubuka), Chichele, Munkulungwe (Katondo), Kantolomba and Kavu (Yengwe) only go up grade 7 or grade 9 levels, a tragic situation that makes many pupils to drop out of school and resort to beer drinking, drug abuse, transactional sex, crime and other social vices,” Dr Chanda said.

He complained that of the four constituencies in Ndola, Bwana Mkubwa was the least developed in terms of infrastructure, including education, health, roads, water and sanitation.

“Over the past one year I have closely engaged Minister of General Education Dr [Dennis] Wanchinga and his Permanent Secretary Mr Tukombe to help upgrade basic schools into senior secondary schools, and for the Ministry to assist in construction of new secondary schools in the constituency, but nothing is coming,” complained Dr Chanda.

“If Zambia was to achieve rapid economic development in the 21st century, key investments have to be made in the education sector and all basic schools must be upgraded into high schools. There should be no place for basic education. What is needed is for all young people to have an opportunity to get into secondary school, colleges and universities. This is the only way the country can produce a highly skilled labour force to develop the economy.”