Transport challenges cripple UTH special school


OVER one hundred disabled children are unable to attend school at the UTH Special School because the school bus, their only means of transport, has broken down.

Senior school teacher Victoria Banda said the school bus has been down since last term and most of the children have been negatively affected as they depended on it to attend class.

She said some of the children’s conditions were severe and could not be tolerated on public transport while some came from vulnerable families which could not afford private transport from home to school and back.

“Some of our children come from as far as Zingalume and Chainda, and some parents cannot afford to bring them by private transport, which has forced them out of school following the breakdown of our school bus.

“We have about 260 children in total but currently less than 100 children come to school after the bus developed a fault and was said to be a write-off,” she said.

Ms Banda explained that some teachers have been making house-calls in an effort to try and keep in touch with the learners to avoid falling out in inter-personal relations they have so far developed between them.

She said teachers of children with learning disabilities had a responsibility to keep in close relations with the children to help them in their development, and being out of school would affect the progress in classwork and other extra skills they could have so far acquired, adding that “it was unfortunate that the children could not attend school because there was no transport to bring them in their conditions”.

She was speaking on the sidelines of a donation by MTN Zambia in partnership with Huawei Zambia when they delivered 10 computers to four schools towards the development of the newly introduced ITC programme in the education curriculum.

Yesterday, about 50 pupils were host to a visiting team from MTN and Huawei during a donation of 10 computers to four schools including the UTH special school.

The donation was aimed at enhancing ICT learning in schools like the UTH special school which did not have computers for learners.

Other schools that benefited from the donation included Matero’s Kizito Basic School in Lusaka, St Columbus Secondary School and Chadiza Day Secondary School.

MTN brand and segment senior manager Amanda Chipungu said her organisation was passionate about investing in education, and their partnership with Huawei has made possible the US$5000 worth donation of computers of the 10 computers.

“MTN spent over K600 000 on the establishment of two libraries, books donations, teacher training in ICT and other Community Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives so far.

“It is our hope that our donation will positively impact the learners at Kizito Basic School, UTH Special School (hearing impaired and multi-disciplinary Centre), St Columbus Secondary School of Lukulu and Chadiza Day Secondary School,” she said.

And Huawei account director Roy Luo said the gesture was to help connect learners to the rest of the world through technology.

And school head teacher, Elina Phiri thanked the two companies for the gesture that it would lift the school’s profile by improving the learning of ICT at the school.