Zambia National Education Coalition (ZANEC) is saddened by the gassing incident that happened at Buyantanshi Technical School in Nchanga North Mine in Chingola District of the Copperbelt Province on Tuesday 28th September 2021. As a Coalition, we condemn this act in the strongest terms and we would like the Ministry of Education to work with the Police in investigating this matter and ensure that necessary measures are put in place to secure the safety of our learners. We would like government to ensure that the gassing of learners and members of the public that happened in 2019 and 2020 does not continue in 2021. As we may recall, the past gassing incidences caused a lot of fear in our learners thereby disrupting learning in schools. It is our hope that this time around the perpetrators of the gassing will be identified and dealt with accordingly.
Furthermore, it is important to note that learners have already been adversely affected by the impact of the COVID 19 pandemic on education which has led to the premature closure of schools. Therefore, learners are still in the process of catching up on the lost learning time and the country cannot afford to lose more learning time due to gassing. As a result, we would like to call upon all school managements across the country to put in place measures to ensure that their learners are protected from any harm including gassing.
Finally, it is ZANEC’s hope that management at Buyantanshi Technical School will provide counselling services to all the affected learners in order to enable them recover from the trauma and continue with their normal life and learning. We wish all the 219 pupils that were affected a quick recovery.