LUSAKA, Zambia, AUG. 29, 2004 (Zenit.org).- In a pastoral letter the Catholic bishops of Zambia expressed their concern for the country’s school system due to the spread of AIDS.
The three-page document, as reported by Missionary Service News Agency last Friday, was presented to the press, the Ministry of Education and competent national authorities.
“The sickness is responsible for the growing absenteeism in the country’s school classrooms and the decrease in the number of teachers; it also affects the quality of teaching directly,” the Bishops alerted.
“The epidemic is, therefore, one of the main challenges that our country and its educational system must address,” the bishops emphasized.
The text also highlights the lack of financial resources and appeals to the Zambian government to “give real priority to education at all levels.”
The latest U.N. AIDS Program estimate is that 19 percent of the adult population of this African country is HIV positive.