THE story of young girls of Chiawa’s Sikoongo Secondary School in Chirundu district taking to illicit sex to make quick money for their personal use makes gloomy reading.

In fact, any parent of a child at secondary school will no doubt be petrified on learning of such activities, which are no different to working in a bar.

Yet it is a fact that pupils may be not only at Sikoongo, are selling their bodies for sex to fund their studies which is also like selling part of their soul.

Many still would contend that our generation has lost its decent compass when it thinks of funding education with sex.

It’s devastating that young school girls seem expected, and all too eager, to expose their bodies at the drop of a hat in a bid to make a quick buck.

It is equally disappointing that there are no secrets any more, that diffidence and subtlety seem to be a thing of the past.

We are more than sure that many young women who work in the sex industry to fund their studies take the view that “it’s my body, I can do what I want”.

That’s true, of course, but dipping yourself to being a body for sale is contradictory to empowering a girl-child.

Apart from that, there are also dangers of contracting deadly sexually transmitted diseases that may even lead to death in some instances.

So the report about some young girls of Sikoongo Secondary School in Chirundu engaging themselves in unhealthy sexual relationships to raise money to buy items like candles to help them study at night is not only disgusting but should be stopped with  the speed of a bullet.

Sikoongo Ward councillor Dickson Kalumanda said it was disheartening to see young girls loitering and engaging in unhealthy relationships to raise some money.

He said many such girls had opted to have boyfriends so that they could take the responsibility of satisfying their needs.

“It is very disheartening to see very young girls loitering and engaging in unhealthy relationships because they cannot afford to even buy a candle to study at night and opt to have boyfriends so that they may take up the responsibility and satisfy their needs,” said Mr Kalumanda.
Mr Kalumanda appealed to parents with pupils at the school who are staying in huts rented in villages to provide adequate upkeep groceries for their children especially girls so that they do not become destitute.

He said most pupils, especially from far villages, were renting small thatched houses near the school and others had sadly taken advantage of being alone to engage in bad activities and absconding classes.
Mr Kalumanda expressed worry that the school would continue to record very poor results because the school management and parents did not put more effort in the welfare of the pupils at the institution.

He said a productive school should be fruitful and record good results but to the contrary Sikoongo was performing badly.

Mr Kalumanda said most girls continued to drop out of school to engage in vices, resulting in their numbers dwindling at the school.

Meanwhile, Chirundu District Education Board secretary Veronica Mubanga said the district had no boarding school but Sikoongo Secondary School would soon be given boarding facilities.

Ms Mubanga assured parents that the school management would put more measures and efforts to discipline pupils that disobeyed school regulations.

Education is imperative to guaranteeing a better quality of life for all children and an improved world for all people.

But if girls are left behind, those goals can never be realised. In any country, Zambia included, educating girls yields remarkable social paybacks for the present generation and those to come.

A Ghanaian academician, Dr James Emman Kwegyir Aggrey, once said:  “If you educate a man you educate an individual but if you educate a woman you educate a whole nation.”

So the gobbledygook that is going on in Chiawa must be stopped no matter it takes because girl-child education is a premeditated development priority.

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