MINISTER of Education Douglas Syakalima says the stalling of school projects under the previous administration has resulted in girls falling pregnant.
Responding to a question in parliament by Lufwanyama member of parliament Kenny Siachisumo who wanted to find out why the construction of the Lufuma boarding school in Lufwanyama had stalled, Tuesday, Syakalima said it was due to financial constraints, adding that over 100 boarding schools were in a similar state, which was a concern.
“Madam Speaker, let me take advantage of this question to answer a countrywide problem. This secondary school project commenced in 2013. Now 2013 up to today is quite a long time. Now we have a problem in the country, Madam Speaker. When I have been travelling the breadth of this country, Madam Speaker, just to check on projects of these secondary schools, I have found out that there are 115 boarding secondary schools which have stalled for over years,” he said.
“We are talking about the whole country and if it is average, in every district there must be a stalled secondary school. Some of them over the past seven years, some of them over the past 10 years, some of them five years, some of the four years. It’s a sorry site. Our colleagues used to say that there is unprecedented development. It’s an eye sore.”
He said as a result of the stalled projects, girls ended up falling pregnant.
“What annoys one is that once these projects started stalling, it means that a girl child started renting in nearby compounds or villages. In one of the districts I found out that about 78 girl children were pregnant which our colleagues were saying was unprecedented. In one other district, I found 21 surrounding those same stalled projects. Another 111 girl children were pregnant around that stalled project. So I sympathize with Lupuma but you must sympathise for the whole country,” said Syakalima
“Sometimes we used to think that our colleagues used to tell the truth, ‘unprecedented development’. There was nothing across the breath of this country. So we are not trying to put together how we shall make sure that these projects are completed so that we save that child. When you look at those children, for me I would say I have lost a doctor here, I have lost an engineer here, I have lost a pilot because of this behaviour. This is not an isolated case, there is a problem in this country.”