Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Establish library services in all schools, Syakalima urges PEOs in Zambia

Hon. Douglas M. Syakalima
Minister of Education, Zambia
Speaking when he officially launched the commemorations of the National Library Week under the theme, “connect with your library”, Minister of Education, Hon. Douglas M. Syakalima has urged Provincial Education Officers (PEO) to ensure that library services exist in all schools and ensure that professionally trained librarians are employed to manage the school libraries. 

The Minister said that the ministry is also desirous to see to it that a National Library which will have a Bibliographic Control Service is established and that a National Library and the Bill and Policy are actualised.

He noted that libraries play a fundamental role in the development of society as the utility of libraries goes far beyond its basic function as the custodian of information but has a significant role to play in educating citizens.

“Libraries are at the heart of our cities, towns, schools and campuses, providing critical resources, programs and expertise that add value to the communities,” Mr Syakalima said.

The minister added that a library is an equalizer among citizens of different statuses in a community, school or nation at large. He said that the haves and have-nots all find solace in a library to share the resources available as such he notes that a library is a promoter of equity in the communities, we live in. He observed that when a community is well informed, it results in development that in turn will aggregate into national development.

To enhance literacy levels, Mr Syakalima said that the ministry has promoted the establishment of classroom libraries amongst early graders, given out a number of books as well as trained various teacher librarians, provincial and district educationists, in the establishment and management of the classroom and school libraries.

The ministry is also working with the Ministry of Home Affairs in establishing libraries in all correctional facilities countrywide. This will provide an opportunity for inmates to study and sit for examinations and read for leisure as they serve their sentences.

The Minister lauded all the partners that have been supporting the agenda of libraries in the country such as the Library and Information Association of Zambia (LIAZ), UNICEF, Book Aid International, Beit Trust, Lubuto Library Partners and among others.

“As we celebrate library week, let us reflect on how best we can support the library service as communities connecting with our libraries. for the library to function to the desired capacity, it calls for concerted efforts from all stakeholders” he emphasised. 

Zambia celebrated the National Library Week Commemorations 2022 from 13 – 17 June 2022 in selected designated locations around the country while the official launch took place at Civic Centre, Kabwe, Central Province.

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