The problem of street kids has been growing in Zambia at alarming proportions. It has reached such levels that it has now become a time bomb in terms of child delinquency, robberies, prostitution and other vices that go with the lacking of education and parental care among the youths of this great nation. In a bid to counter the situation, the government in 2004 decided to set up two pioneer youth skills training centers at ZNS Kitwe and ZNS Chiwoko respectively. The first intake of 119 youth (all boys) were taken on at ZNS Chiwoko in 2005. Later in the year 2007, another group of 435 street kids (again all boys) were taken on again at ZNS Chiwoko. That was after the first intake had successfully graduated. In order not to leave out the girl child, ZNS Kitwe also opened up the centre to the training with 119 youths (all girls) in March of 2007. The course duration has been revised from the initial twelve (12) months to eighteen (18) months.
Considering that the youths were of varying educational backgrounds ranging from those that had never set a foot in a classroom to those that had completed Grade 12,that posed a serious challenge to the instructors who had the task of bringing the youths to the same level of understanding instructions. This they achieved by first teaching basic subjects like mathematics and the English language before getting started with the actual skills course. That assisted to raise the level of understanding of basic principles and simple calculations that went with the course. The other challenge that the instructors faced was that of changing the street mentality of lawlessness to that of good character and discipline. This they managed to achieve through parade drills and other routines which required them to observe timings and respecting the authority by appointing among themselves on rotational basis leaders to lead others. All in all, the programme is well intended and the disadvantaged youths of our society stand to benefit...
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