FROM rags to riches- this can be said of Lupani community school, which was just a thatched mud and grass school but now has been transformed into a modern school.

The US$250,000 worth school constructed by African Wildlife Foundation was recently opened. It consists of six classrooms, some offices and five three bedroomed teachers' houses.

Kazungula's Sikaunzwe ward councillor Edmark Ilyamupu said the school would directly benefit the people of Chief Sekute's area as it would help reduce the illiteracy levels which characterise the area's people.

He further on said the community wanted to create an environment where children would attain emotional support as they interact with each other and help them as Zambians acquire quality education.
And Kazungula district commissioner Albert Chifita urged the pupils and the community at large to look after the school and guard it against vandals.

Chifita appealed to the district education board secretary to send qualified teachers that would be of use to the school.

"The community should not allow vandalism, we have 'hotels' where we send people that vandalise things, and there they will be having one meal a day. We want this school to be a nursery for Hillcrest technical high schooland Kazungua high school to produce professors in all fields so that the vision of AWF is realised," said Chifita.

And a former pupil at the then mud and grass thatched school Jorum Mwiinde, who is also former Livingstone mayor, urged the pupils to concentrate on education and aim higher in life.
"If I could do it, then anyone can make it. It was difficult walking 10 kilometers, now pupils just have to walk a few kilometers," said Mwiinde.

Meanwhile, deputy chief Sekute has thanked AWF for the school and further revealed that an NGO would soon be opening a girls' boarding school in the area.

"Though they (people) always say I want to sell land… I want education. If we can have education, one day the President will come from this chiefdom. Those that want to stay in the past, let them stay like that," he said.

 He also requested government to strengthen the law against early marriages as a way of encouraging more girl children to be in school.