BUSINESS

PUPILS SHINE AS ZAMBEEF UPGRADES SCHOOLS

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New secondary school in the pipeline

Hon. Gabriel Namulambe, MP and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, opens the new classroom block at Mpongwe, flanked by Chieftainess Lesa and Zambeef Head of Corporate and Public Affairs

Hon. Gabriel Namulambe, MP and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, opens the new classroom block at Mpongwe, flanked by Chieftainess Lesa and Zambeef Head of Corporate and Public Affairs

Zambeef Products has stepped up its support to improve standards in rural schools, setting schoolchildren on the path to brighter futures.

Mpongwe Member of Parliament  and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Gabriel Namulambe was on hand this week (March 24) to handover a new classroom block built by the company at Chawama Primary School, watched by Chieftainess Lesa, local dignitaries, members of the community, company representatives and excited schoolchildren.

“One of the problems faced by our growing population is the availability of school places. This is why I am so very happy to stand here today to witnesses the response to this crucial need that Zambeef took on this urgent task to work with Government by constructing of this classroom block. We want our children to access education and we all know this will in the long-run allow them to find their own path to success,” said Hon. Namulambe.

The move comes amid news that pupils at schools supported by the company exceled in the latest Grade 7 and 9 examinations, with results demonstrating the benefits of private sector commitment to education.

In addition to the new Grade 8 classroom block for Chawama School at Mwanga, the company will add a further block for Grade 9 students for next year, and has unveiled plans to upgrade its flagship Mpongwe Farm School from primary to secondary status following impressive results last year by students.

“Before this construction, the school catered for children up to Grade 7 only, after which children had to go to other schools father from Mwanga village, at great cost to their parents, explained Head of Environment, Health and Safety, Jones Kayawe, who has been co-ordinating the project. “Happy, well-educated children are the starting point for Zambeef’s vision of build a nation of fulfilled citizens who are able to improve the well-being of their families and the wider community.”

Indeed, education is a central focus of Zambeef’s strategy of helping to build the nation, in line with government policy and the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.

The company has also set up a school within Mpongwe Farm that teaches 330 pupils from Grades 1 to 9 under the stewardship of head teacher Phillip Nzunga and his 13 staff.

Zambeef is now looking at expanding that school to secondary level and bring in eight new teachers as well as building classrooms, a laboratory and library.

The schools Grade 7 and 9 results for 2013 were some of the best in Mpongwe District and warranted a commendation from the District Education Board inspectors, especially for 2013 Grade 7 results, said Zambeef Group head of Human resources Guy Changole.

Some 27 pupils sat for Grade 7 examinations in 2013 at the Mpongwe Farm School. More than half – 56 percent – were girls, who also accounted for 60 percent of the high-end marks. All but one pupil passed for graduation to High School giving the school a 96.3 percent pass rate.

Nineteen students – 70 percent of the class – were selected by the Ministry of Education and offered places at government secondary schools because of the good marks obtained. All but three declined the offer, however, preferring to stay on at the Zambeef school to start secondary education at Grade 8 level.

Some 26 pupils sat Grade 9 Examinations Council of Zambia examinations, with 21 receiving full certificate at junior secondary level and qualifying to enter senior secondary school or high school grades – an 81 percent pass rate. All the ten girls who sat the exams qualified for Grade 10 and five of them were among the top ten pupils with the high marks in the class.