GOVERNMENT has today closed down Kafue Youth Resource for its unhealthy and unsanitary environment for learners.
A delegation of Government officials led by Permanent Secretaries Nicholas Phiri and Chileshe Kangwa from the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and Ministry of Youth, Arts and Sports respectively made an impromptu visit to the dilapidated and foul-stenched youth centre this morning.
The officials saw for themselves what several social media users had seen in a viral video showing the unhygienic living conditions at the institution.
The close to 20 students pursing different programmes at the centre, complained that besides the unhealthy environment and the lack of proper learning facilities, they were also not provided with proper meals.
The students said for the six months they had been at the centre, they could easily count with fingers on one hand how many times they had an interaction with lecturerers as their lessons were irregular.
Further, the students revealed that there been no provision of a place for them to sleep as the banker beds were using were made by their fellow students.
This is despite the students being sponsored by the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).
Gilbert Kunda, 23, pursing Auto Mechanics and Dorcas Sokonda, 30, studying Information and Communication Technology at the Centre both pleaded with government to relocate them to other trade centers in the country were they could be accommodated and offered the best education.
Addressing the students, PS Phiri judging from what they had seen, the only decision they could make was to close the institution.
Phiri affirmed government’s commitment to ensuring that youth’s are given equal opportunity to attain higher education and training through the CDF funds, therefore the existence of such training centers.
“We want you to continue highlighting were our weaknesses are and were we are failing, because if you don’t, we may not know were we are lacking. But may you follow your respective jurisdictions when doing so. You have the office of the council Secretary, if there is no response, you have the office of the District Commissioner, if you do not get your response, you have the Permanent Secretary. Reach out to someone and I promise you that we will respond in record time to resolve your issues,” Phiri assured.
And Kangwa, admitted that the situation is saddening and only proves that they are a lot of gaps needed to be filled by government. “we are here because you have a government that cares for you and listens to you. But first of all, I want to tell you that I am sorry on behalf of the government for the fact that you were inconvenienced since June with your education. We are concerned about your welfare.
He said the students shall be transferred to other institutions that are well equipped to service the training “It is only fair that with our Youth Resource Centers that already have Teveta accreditation, that are in good standing with local government, and in good standing with Technology and Science, us as a ministry, we will take it upon ourselves to give you the scholarships you will learn properly there and finish your courses and that is going to be our baby as government for inconveniencing you,” he said.
He added that CDF is a game changer to the youths, stating that in the past two years, government has graduated over 5,000 students who have acquired skills using the funds. Also he encouraged the students to practice their skills to entrepreneurship as their skills an enable them to be self employed, noting that the school shall be closed and not accommodate any more students until it’s building is completed.
And Dalitso Phiri, 19 an Auto mechanics first year student of, Chilanga thanked government for adhering to their plea and finding time to visit them and see their situation.
“Our only plea is to attain these skills. We do not only want to have papers as graduates, but to have the skills as well. And we are greatful that you have come to our aid,” she said.
Meanwhile, the center’s principle was not available to make a comment on the situation as the matter is still under investigations.
Story and pictures by Buumba Mwitumwa
Kalemba November 30, 2023