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Adults return to school with excellent results

October 8, 2016

Over 800 adults, including grandparents, have returned to school through Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) sponsorship in Zambia’s mining town of Chililabombwe.

The adults, who are aged between 30 and 56, are pursuing high school studies under an adult literacy programme intended to empower the beneficiaries who dropped out of school for various reasons during their teenage.

The adult literacy programme was initially tailored as a once-off event to empower adults with writing and reading proficiency during Zambia’s 50th independence anniversary in 2014, but was extended following a big demand.

The literacy programme produced excellent results with 97% of the 813 adults who enrolled in the 2015 national grade seven examinations passing to proceed to high school. The outcome prompted KCM to extend financial support to the Ministry of Education for paying teachers additional allowances to take up grade 8 adult classes.

William Munthali, 48, Anne Chola, 56, and 41-year old Getrude Kapalu were among the adults who sat for the examinations scoring 783 marks, 713 marks and 741 marks, respectively out of 900 total marks. Mr. Munthali was the second best achiever in the composite district results for Chililabombwe, a more northerly town where KCM operates its flagship Konkola deep mine.

Mr. Munthali has been offered one of KCM top-10 bursaries for high achievers in Chililabombwe district. The company seeks to continue working with the government to promote universal education for all by 2030.

Mr Munthali plans to be a teacher while Ms Getrude Kapalu seeks to study electronics. Ms Anne Chola, who obtained 713 marks, craves to be the first ever adult over half a century age in Chililabombwe to become an agriculturist.

The adult literacy programme is part of KCM’s support to education. The company runs two schools with over 2,200 pupils. The KCM schools offer classes from pre-school (foundation level) to A-levels. Scholarships are offered to 15 top performers from these schools to study at universities abroad. In addition, each year KCM provides scholarships to 40 students in government schools.