GIRLS in Gwembe have become vulnerable to sexual abuse because of the long distances they have to travel to and from school with boys through bush paths, Gwembe Constituency MP Malungo Chisangano has said.
Ms. Chisangano lamented that there were not enough school facilities in her Constituency and that some pupils, particularly girls, travelled long distances to school.
She said the situation has resulted in girls being sexually abused by boys along the way.
“Generally, there are few schools and in most cases pupils travel long distances to school, making it difficult for them to concentrate on learning because they are usually tired. Another worrying part is that the girl child is now vulnerable to sexual abuse because of these long distances. The boys take advantage of girls along the way and sexually abuse them,” Ms. Chisangano said.
Ms. Chisangano also noted that the few schools in the area were in a deplorable state.
She charged that the schools were not electrified and had no safe drinking water.
“The schools are not electrified contributing to very poor water supply to the schools leading to poor sanitation.
“This also affects the teaching of computer lessons,” she said.
Ms. Chisangano further observed that most of the schools lacked learning resources such as books and computers among others.
“There are few learning resources. For example, the ratio is 1 text book to 45 pupils in some school.s This means that only the teacher has a copy. Another example is, two computers for 48 pupils. This is a very sad situation,” she said.
The law maker has since appealed to Government to address these challenges as soon as possible.
She stated that education was key to a bright future and that children in Gwembe had a right to better education just like other children in other parts of the country.
“We need better schools that are electrified with adequate water supply, teaching materials, including computers for secondary schools and manpower. This should be taken serious by Government.
“Our children, especially the girl child, are being deprived of their right to education because of these challenges. We also want our children to enjoy better education services just like other children in different parts of the country,” she said.