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Background of education in Zambia

By mwanamoola Apr 21, 2014 410 Words
Educational System in Zambia How it developed since independence on the 24th of October 1964 Background Zambia attained her political independence from Britain on 24th October 1964. Up to that point, 75 years later of colonial administration, provision of education in the country was mainly in the hands of missionaries. Had it not been for the missionaries, primary and secondary education could have 129

delayed much longer coming to Zambia than was the case. So Zambia owes a great deal from the early missionaries for its educational system. The mis- sionaries laid the foundation on which Zambia continued to build. Discuss- ing educational development in Zambia without mentioning the missionar- ies is incomplete. However, the role of missionaries in development of Zambia is not the scope of this paper; but it could well be a subject for an- other paper. For now the subject is “Educational System in Zambia: How it developed since Independence in 1964.” Discussion of this subject will be confined to primary and secondary educa- tion from 1964 to 1976. 1976 marked the end of the Second National De- velopment Plan (SNDP) in a series of four plans. [Emergency, Transitional, First and Second National Development Plans.] At independence there were already two education systems running parallel on racial lines. There was the European education and African education. The former included Asians and Coloured. The European schools were well funded, provided with good learning facilities, and sufficiently staffed with qualified teachers. African schools, on the other hand were pathetic- ally neglected in many respects. They were poorly funded, staffed with ill qualified teachers, under staffed and with poor learning facilities. The result was Africans education lagged behind in development. It was the respons- ibility of the new African government to integrate the two systems of edu- cation for effective delivery to Africans. In 75 years of colonial administration, Northern Rhodesia, as Zambia was called before independence, it produced about “100 African university graduates, a bare 1500 Zambians with school certificate and only 6000 ju- nior secondary education”1 So much so that at independence Zambia faced a critical shortage of manpower for its development. Setting the pace for expansion of educational facilities in Zambia Kenneth Kaunda2 said: “Expanding our Secondary School Education and paying greater attention to the requirements of university education, in order to produce qualified personnel… and help establish sound administrative cadres for upper and middle grades in government, commerce and in- dustry, agriculture extension schemes and public works, for which good education is a must – has no substitute.”

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