The Zambia National Education Coalition is saddened that according to the Africa Union Concept note, on the Day of the African Child, Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for more than half of the world’s out-of-school children (34 million) while girls account for 54 per cent of the out-of-school population.
The Coalition has shared this concern as Zambia joins the rest of the world in commemorating the Day of an African Child which is observed every 16th of June under the theme “Leave No Child Behind for Africa’s Development”.
This day serves to commemorate the black students in Soweto, South Africa who were injured and died due to their brave action in defence of their rights to education.
Coalition Acting Executive Director Ivy Mutwale is concerned that despite progress made in realizing children’s rights to non-discrimination and to improve gender equality, the gap in access to education based on gender persists.
Children with disabilities are a significant portion of out-of-school children. Additionally, according to the 2016 Zambia Education Statistical Bulletin 752,701 children are out of school.
Mutwale said it is important to ensure that children that are out of school are brought back to school.
She said that it is also important that learning and teaching materials as well as infrastructure are sufficient and inclusive so that differently abled children also have access to equitable quality education both in the urban and rural areas.
ZANEC urges government, parents, guardians, teachers, and all stakeholders to set up their efforts in bringing up children in conducive environments and ensuring that they access quality education in order to safe guard their future.