By Ernest Mwape-Some parents in Mpika district in the Northern Province have not allowed their children to write grade seven examination this year because of caterpillar gathering from the bush.
Sources at Mpika district education offices revealed today that parents in most schools in the outskirt of the district have refused their children from sitting for this year’s grade seven examinations because they have taken them in the bush to collect caterpillar locally known as fishimu.
Sources who could not disclose the affected schools and the number of pupils that have missed grade seven examinations this year said reports reaching the district education offices indicate that many schools in far flung areas were affected and added that data was being compiled by schools.
The sources further disclosed that pupils in non – examination classes have been withdrawn from school because their parents want to help them with the collection of the worms.
“Almost all the non – examination classes have virtually closed because parents have taken their children in the caterpillar breeding grounds to gather them,” stated the sources.
The caterpillar breeding grounds in the district are found in Chiefs Kopa, Chikwanda, Luchembe and Mpepo.
Caterpillar is a nutritious seasonal relish which is rich in protein and is gathered at this time of the season in the Northern Province.
Efforts to get a comment from Mpika district education board secretary, Evelyn Matandiko proved futile as she was reportedly busy.