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New School Year Means New Opportunities - RB Tells Zambian Youth

posted Jan 7, 2011, 6:06 AM by Sam Mbale   [ updated Jan 7, 2011, 6:09 AM ]

, Republic of ZambiaJanuary 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- His Excellency, Mr. Rupiah Banda, President of the Republic ofZambia, has heralded next week's start of a new school year by addressing Zambia's young people.

This year is the International Year of Youth and President Banda is determined to use it as a platform to call for businesses, employers, teachers and parents to help in his drive to help Zambian youth realise their potential. Zambia's own National Youth Day on 12th March, 2011 will not only be a celebration of achievements but also a call for Zambians, young and old, to work together to maximise the opportunities available to young people.

President Banda has put education and youth development at the heart of his government's initiatives, aimed at building tomorrow's Zambia. In 2009, 2,543 new classrooms were constructed; 2,500 new teachers were recruited in 2010, taking the total number of new teachers under president Banda's administration to 12,500.

A total number of 306, 708 candidates sat for Grade 7 examinations last year, with 258, 102 candidates qualifying to Grade 8, representing a progression rate of 84.15 percent compared to 71.48 percent in 2009.The 2010 pass rate is the highest transition increase in the last 20 years at this level and is the highest progression rate recorded in the country.

This is a result of President Banda's determination to put in place policies that ensure that quality education is availed to every Zambian.

Last year saw 2,000 young Zambians receive training in youth resource centres, while the Get-Ahead entrepreneurial training was used by 1,000 young people, nearly 700 of whom have since gone on to establish their own business.

In his recent State of the Nation speech, President Banda pledged to complete 45 high schools and 42 basic schools in 2011 and to build on his programme to open eight new trades training institutes to provide tertiary education to more school leavers.

President Banda said: "As we celebrate the start of a new school year, I urge all Zambian young people to help in our quest to build a stronger Zambia. You are our future. By taking advantage of your schooling, participating in sporting activities and playing a role in your local community, you can give something back to your parents and grandparents who have worked tirelessly for a peaceful, stable and prosperous Zambia."

SOURCE State House Lusaka, Republic of Zambia