FQM-FUNDED SCHOOL BRINGS EDUCATION CLOSER
The mining firm believes that quality education is the most sustainable tool that empowers communities towards national development
KALUMBILA, ZAMBIA – Children will have easier access to school, improving their attendance rates and education outcomes, thanks to construction of the new Mukila Wantambu Community School in Senior Chief Musele’s chiefdom in Kalumbila District of North-Western Province. The facility, built by First Quantum Minerals at a cost of K708,000, was handed over to the Ministry of General Education at a ceremony last week.
The new school was built is part of the mining firm’s education development programme aimed at providing access to quality education in communities surrounding its mining operations. Speaking during the handover ceremony, FQM’s Sentinel Mine assistant general manager Gordon White said the new school would lessen challenges that the community faced in terms of long distances, which has led to high dropouts and absenteeism by pupils around communities near the mine. “As a partner in development, First Quantum Minerals believes that quality education is the most sustainable tool that empowers communities towards national development. We support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals on quality education. “Through our sustainability programmes, we also believe in supplementing Government efforts to improve service provision and provide quality education by training of teachers, provision of scholarships, learning aids and infrastructure.” said Mr White. He said that good education infrastructure and improved education standards can have a profound impact on student performance. In the last four years the mine has supported education programmes including construction of a classroom block at Wanyiwa Basic School in Shinengene; construction of a new kitchen with a dining area at Jiundu Secondary School, fencing of the girls’ dormitory and VIP toilets for better sanitation; construction of a classroom block, toilets and three teachers houses at Kisasa School; and a classroom block and three teachers’ houses at Musele school.
FQM also donated 273 Zedupads to four schools (Musele, Kalumbila North, Wanyiwa and Kankozhi) to improve numeracy and literacy for learners, and continued to provide capacity-building for teachers through training workshops for all the 20 schools around the mining area. FQM’s girl child empowerment programme has supported 705 girls from grades four to twelve in Kalumbila and Solwezi district, to ensure they stay in school. Education, health, employment and overall prosperity – everything begins with a proper education. For a mining company like FQM, helping to create strong, well-managed communities is both a social responsibility and a business imperative.