• People are not aware of these opportunities.
• Some constituencies have not done a good job to try and sensitize people.
• It is not government’s strong point to sensitize people.
Zambia National Education Coalition (ZANEC) has attributed non-utilization of the bursary component under Constituency Development Fund (CDF) in 26 Constituencies to lack of awareness of the initiative.
Speaking in an interview with Money FM News, ZANEC Executive Director George Hamusunga noted that some constituencies have not done much to sensitize people on the bursary support.
Mr. Hamusunga stated that there was need for leaders to partner with Civil Society Organizations in the constituencies to help in informing people about the opportunity that learners can tap into.
He further noted that there is a high chance that the 26 constituencies that did not utilize the CDF bursary component in 2022 are rural communities, and they may have not sensitized the people to ensure that the demand side is aware of this opportunity and learners are able to start demanding to get the bursaries.
“That is something that we did realize quite a long time ago, and we have been discussing with Members of Parliament around the need to popularize this opportunity within the local communities to ensure that the learners can take advantage of the bursary support that is being given through the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).”
“So the issue really is that people are not aware of these opportunities. Some constituencies have not done a good job to try and sensitize people and unfortunately it is not government’s strong point to sensitize people. So the lack of information is something that has been a problem in most of the constituencies,” Mr. Hamusunga stated.
Mr. Hamusunga further said it is the organization’s hope that CDF will have a component of awareness of the opportunities that exit so that people can take advantage of the resources to enable vulnerable learners continue with their education.
“We are hoping that this CDF Fund will have a component of awareness of the opportunities that exit so that people can be taking advantage of this. Otherwise, it’s the same elite who get to know about these opportunities and the vulnerable people are not getting to know because they are in rural areas.”
“So for us we feel that if we do not enhance the awareness, then we will increase the inequalities, where the people who will be getting these bursaries are those from well to do families because their parents are well informed,” he added.
In his recent address on progress made in the application of the national values and principles, President Hakainde Hichilema disclosed that130 constituencies supported 11,422 vulnerable pupils in boarding secondary schools with boarding bursaries, while 26 constituencies did not utilize this component.