Hardships in Zambia’s School System

By Tenagne Mekonnen, Africa Regional Communication Manager

The road to education is hard, rocky and bumpy in Zambia. There are overcrowded classrooms, a shortage of materials, long walks to school and often not enough food.

Zambian children with mothers

John and Gracious, pictured with their mothers.

Flocks of children, age 8 and older, walk more than a mile each way to school every day, sometimes without having eaten breakfast. Some have no shoes, and their school may not have fresh water when they get there. Access to education is the right of every child, but poverty creates many obstacles to school attendance in Zambia and other countries that ChildFund serves. 

ChildFund strives to make the journey to school easier by working with the Zambian government to build standardized facilities that include libraries, labs, restrooms and learning materials. Sometimes we help provide shoes and uniforms too.

John and Gracious, two Zambian children, say they are happy just to be in school, even though it’s sometimes difficult to walk there. Their mothers now work for a small business that allows Gracious, 11, and John, 9, to attend school. They hope one day that there will be a school in their own community or a means of transportation other than their own feet.

Zambian community leaders at school

Community leaders meet at a new school.

5 Responses to Hardships in Zambia’s School System

  • i first thank God 4 thiz great program.okey i work in a water and sanitation company but i have a passion in kids and when we go to the field we alot of vunrable children who need medical attention education and alot more.i wl b glad to help in anyway any place as volunter.thanx

    • Thanks for your kind words and your concern for children. We do not currently have a field volunteer program, but we very much appreciate your willingness to serve and hope you will find a way to do that.

  • I believe that school is the second home of children, it is a shelter where they can learn things that will help them develop as they grow. The value of education reduces ignorance. It is the most important investment that every person can have that will free them to poverty. But, I do hope that the government will help enrich literacy in every community.

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  • I endure them to keep it up though difficult but the future is bright for them with education.

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