Education in Zambia

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Lower education in Zambia is divided into three levels; primary, junior, secondary and upper secondary. Higher education in Zambia has improved in the recent years due to the increase of private universities and colleges.The country now has the following universities University of Zambia, Copperbelt University, Zambia Open University, Cavendish University, Zambia Adventist University, Northrise University, University of Lusaka, Lusaka Apex Medical University, Copperston University College, African University, Information and Communication University, Mulungushi University, Kwame Nkrumah University of Education and there are various Health training Institutes offering Diplomas in clinical medicine, Registered Nursing.

Primary and secondary education

Primary Education in Zambia is the foundation of every one who gets into school, going from grade 1 - 7 with students then expected to pass the exams set by the Examination Council of Zambia at the end of the grade 7 school year. Primary schools are spread in all parts of the country. Zambia has more than 75 Districts. Primary schools are owned by the government, the private sector and communities are found everywhere in the country.

The majority of Zambian pupils attend government schools, which are nominally free for Grades 1-7, although parents may have to pay 'contributions' or buy uniforms from the school.

Community schools are run by the community and the teachers work there voluntarily or for small stipends, unless these schools are sponsored by charities. Some community schools charge significant fees and resemble low-end private schools, but most are very cheap and cater to pupils for whom the local government school is too far away or imposes unaffordable costs such as uniforms.

With the exception of a few top private schools, Zambian schools are chronically under-resourced and educational standards extremely low.

Schooling falls into the following levels:

  • Primary, grades 1-7
  • Basic, grades 8-9
  • Secondary, grades 10-12

Upon completion of primary school, you either get directly into a secondary school (Secondary schools offers education from grade 8-12), unfortunately there are area inZambia that have no secondary schools, efforts have been made and they have established basic schools. Traditionally, grades 8-9 were part of secondary schooling, but these are often now taught in upgraded primary schools, known as "basic schools". This allows pupils unable to access secondary school to continue their schooling up to Grade 9, and provides primary schools with additional income (as government schools are allowed to charge fees to Upper Basic pupils).. In the rural areas, some pupils move long distances to access primary education and this has been a disadvantage in the fight to educating the future generation.

Education system

The Education system in Zambia is that of three levels:

Primary level

  • Grade 1 to 7.
  • Education at this Level is free at all government schools. (National exam.)

Junior or Secondary

  • Grade 8 to 9.
  • Fee paying and national exam at Grade 9.

Senior Secondary

  • Grade 10 to 12.
  • Fee paying and final national exam at Grade 12.
  • Education system GCSE.

Higher education

In Zambia, there are three universities and several technical schools that provide higher education. The Ministry of Science Technology and Vocational Training (MSTVT) in Zambia was also developed in 1992 to foster growth in technological fields. Educational opportunities beyond secondary school are limited in Zambia. After secondary school, most students study at the various colleges, around the country. Normally they all select students on the basis of ability; competition for places is intense.

The introduction of fees in the late 1990s has made university level education inaccessible for some, although the government does provide state bursaries. Copperbelt University opened in the late 1980s, taking over most of the former Zambia Institute of Technology site in Kitwe. There are also several teacher training colleges offering two-year training programmes, while missionary hospitals around the country offer internationally acceptable training for nurses. Several Christian schools offer seminary-level training.

There are three main universities and several others:

Additional Centres of Higher Education:

Support from charities

Many charities support schools and pupils in Zambia to complete their education. Brighter Futures Zambia cover the fees of orphan and vulnerable children in Monze, Southern Province. Impact Network operates 10 schools in Zambia's Eastern Province using an innovative e-learning model.[1] Cecily's Fund funds the school courses of over 11,000 children (as of June 2010).[2] The charity also fully funds Bwafano Community School in Lusaka.[3] Other charities include Camfed and Bakashana who support young women and girls in Zambia to complete school. The Sun-spring Charity School offers almost free education to disadvantaged children in Ng’ombe township just outside Lusaka.[4]

See also



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  2. CAF helps Cecily's Fund to support children orphaned by AIDS, Charities Aid Foundation. Retrieved 2010-06-08.
  3. Cecily's Fund: What We Do. Retrieved 2010-06-08.
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External links