MIDWIVES ASKED TO IMPART KNOWLEDGE
By Rosemary Katamba - Lusaka
ZAMBIAN traditionists or ''Bana Chimbusa'' have been urged to impart
the vast knowledge about girl- children to teachers to help girls
overcome cultural obstacles that impede their advancement in education
A teacher at the Banani Secondary School, in Chisamba Nancy Oloro,
said instead of restricting their teachings to those who have reached
puberty, and concentrating on sex education during the girl's
confinement, the 'Bana Chimbusa' should have enormous knowledge on
girls' behaviour which they could share with school authorities which
could help the teachers in their work to mould the girls into
Ms Oloro said,'' the elderly women have information on the behaviour
of girls, which if shared with those of us who are still young, could
help us in our work since we spend most of our time with the girls at
She said 'Bana-Chimbusa' wait until the girl has reached puberty and
concentrate more on sex and yet they have a lot of information besides
sex education which could be imparted to young girls before they matured
to help them grow up into better citizens.
''So the duties of Bana-Chimbusa should not be restricted to elderly
women but to the young women since they deal with girls especially in
Ms Oloro, who was a participant to a one day bahaii organised
workshop on the education of the girl child said cultural obstacles
hindering girls to advance in education were numberous because the
african society still treated boys better than girls and yet the role
women play in society is very important.
''Society would rather educate a boy in preference to a girl. This is
one obstacle which should be removed if girls are to advance in
education,'' she said.
The seminar was a follow- up to the inauguration of the Banani
Secondary School for girls, run by the Bahaii faith.
Participants looked at a number of issues including the importance of
moral education,'' its place in the school curriculum today.
The participants felt career guidance in schools should be
re-inforced to give the girls confidence in their work.
As a way of making society support the girls in their advancement,
school authorities could invite outstanding men and women to talk to
them on gender issues and on their work. This will encourage them to
plan their careers.
''This will help build gender awareness in students. Another way is
to use popular theatre, where students can be involved and hold inter
school competitions and later national competitions to promote gender
balances,'' she said.
The participants also looked at ways of assisting female students to
develop a broader vision of education and the role of women in today's
Ms Oloro said women and men should work together as partners in
development because no country could develop without the involvement of
The participants also discussed ''promoting partnership between the
voluntary sector, private and government'' which Ms Oloro said was
crucial to the development of the education system in Zambia ''these
should be seen as one and not as separate entities because they are all
for one purpose. The improvement of education in the country.''
She said all organisations dealing or interested in the education of
girls such as UNICEF, FAWEZA and government should pull resources if
education for girls is to advance in the African region.
At Banani school, various clubs have been formed in which girls are
involved. The school which has 114 girl pupils has a 93 percent Zambian
enrolment while the rest comes from eight countries.
''Since the girls come from different backgrounds, we teach them to
appreciate their cultures as well as those of their friends. We teach
them to live together as a family and appreciate each other's culture
because this is the only way they can learn about other cultures".
On religion, Ms Oloro said, the girls learn world religion - they
explore other beliefs and not only the bahaii faith.
©Copyright 1996, Zambia Today
Page last updated/revised 112599
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