Monday, March 10, 2014

Sata's dreams for our children
By Editor
Fri 06 Dec. 2013, 14:00 CAT

President Michael Sata says he doesn't want to see any child who doesn't go to school in Zambia during his presidency.

This is a commitment that deserves great esteem and applause. However, this is not a small commitment; it is a complex and gigantic commitment. And it needs to be immediately followed with appropriate government policies and programmes.

Modern man can't live without education and healthcare. The law of natural selection ensured that only the fittest primitive men survived. Modern man must get the most from the land, for life can no longer be dependent on nature and the environment. Education is needed for one to be able to meaningfully harness nature.

Literacy is accepted as a prerequisite for modern social life. Thus, there should be equal opportunity for all in this country to attain complete literacy.

A society which values its future affords the highest priority to providing education for all its young people. As it is commonly put: "Young people are the future of the nation."

Education on an increased basis is necessary if our people, our children are to increase their knowledge and love of God, to become enlightened citizens, and, in this modern world especially, to be equipped with those skills by means of which they may acquire a reasonable degree of material wealth and at the same time contribute to the good of the community.
Illiteracy is one of the principal causes of poverty and lack of development. It cannot be said that we have succeeded in promoting the creative potential of our citizens while there remains a large-scale problem of illiteracy in our society.
We have hard work ahead. With the current high levels of illiteracy, there can be no resting for any of our leaders and all of us as citizens of this country until we lift all our people out of illiteracy and ignorance. There can be no resting for any of us until the pledge that Michael has made to ensure that there is no child who doesn't go to school in our country is redeemed.
Children are the most valuable citizens in any society and the greatest of our treasures. Our children must no longer be threatened with the scourge of ignorance.
The value of everything we are doing today will and must be measured by how much it moves our children away from ignorance and illiteracy; it must be measured by the happiness and the welfare of our children. The children who don't go to school, who spend their time on the streets when they should be in school are testimony to an unfinished job, the job Michael wants finished during his presidency. There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way in which it treats its children, it educates them and prepares them for the future. The true character of a society is revealed in how it treats its children, how it cares for its children and educates them.
Any good leader must be moved by seeing a child who should be in school not going to school. There has to be compulsory education up to grade nine or twelve. Each child has a right to education, and this right should be recognised and protected. We must take care of our children and show concern for their growth and development. Young people have to go to school - they need education.
And moreover, education is a major factor for social change. We will not have development for all until we have integral education for all. And lack of equal education opportunities lies at the base of the unjust social structures in our country. Everything must be done to ensure that every child goes to school, so that education is within the reach of all.
It may appear an impossibility to have no child who doesn't attend school before the end of Michael's presidency. Yes, there are challenges in achieving this but there is nothing impossible about achieving it. It is a dream that can, with effort, be turned into reality.
Moreover, it is worthwhile for Michael and all of us to keep on dreaming of a better nation in our present conditions and circumstances. We have no alternative. We must continue dreaming, with the hope that the better nation will become a reality - as it will, if we keep on struggling against the undesirable and for the desirable. We should never renounce our dreams, our utopia. Struggling for utopia means, in part, building it. We should never forget that today's reality was yesterday's dreams and that today's dreams will be tomorrow's reality. We have seen many of the dreams of the past, a great part of our utopias, become reality. And, since we have seen this, we have the right to keep on dreaming of things that will become reality someday in our country. If we don't think this way, we would have to stop struggling, for the only logical conclusion would be to abandon struggling for anything we desire or against anything we detest. And we think that a progressive person, a revolutionary never abandons the struggle for a better society, just as they never stop dreaming. So Michael should keep on dreaming about a nation without a single child not going to school because this will one day become a reality.

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