Southern Province Minister Edify Hamukale says upgrading of the basic school at Katombora Reformatory, to a secondary school will help enhance security at the institution, as lads will no longer need to go outside Kazungula District for their secondary education.
Dr Hamukale said having a secondary school would also help to curb discrimination of juveniles by teachers and pupils which was prevalent in the past, when they had to go to other schools for their secondary education.
The Provincial Minister commended the Ministry of General Education for supplementing the efforts of the Zambia Correctional Service by upgrading the school from basic to secondary level.
Dr Hamukale said this in a speech read for him by Southern Province Permanent Secretary, Joyce Nsamba in Kazungula , at the conversion ceremony of Katombora Reformatory Basic to a secondary school.
He further said, as indicated in the Patriotic Front Manifesto, human capital development through education and skills training was instrumental for the transformation of the country.
“This is particularly so, given the global competitiveness, rapid advancements in technology and sustained demands for high productivity and performance. This does not leave lads behind as they are also part of our society,” he said.
Dr Hamukale reiterated that upgrade of the school would address the security and distance situation.
“It is therefore, our desire to ensure that you receive the best education whilst serving your sentences. It is my hope that you will use your time in this school with a lot of productivity,” he said.
And Zambia Correctional Service (ZCS), Commissioner General Chisela Chileshe called on the traditional leadership to support government as it delivered development to the area.
Dr . Chileshe said the support of the traditional leadership was needed if government projects in the area were to be actualized.
He said government had provided a lot of support to Katombora Reformatory School to ease their transport and other challenges.
Mr. Chileshe further said plans were underway to build specialized rooms at the school such as science laboratories and to turn the school into a boarding school in the near future.
And Home Affairs Permanent Secretary Masiye Banda said government was committed to reform the juveniles at the institution.
Mr. Banda said government also intended to decentralize reformatory schools so as to make the reform process of the lads more effective.
He said moving young people, who committed crimes to places that were far from their homes, had a negative impact on them as they were separated from their families for long periods.
Mr. Banda said it was in the interest of the juveniles to serve their sentences in places that were near their homes, so they did not get detached from their families.
And Southern Province Acting Provincial Education Officer Peggy Chilema said the school would not just benefit the lads, but the community as well.
Ms Chilema said specialised rooms such as science laboratories, home economics unit would soon be constructed at the school and teachers would be deployed to enhance manpower.