Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education Acting Permanent Secretary, Owen Mgemezulu, has disclosed that there has been remarkable progress towards the goal of the universal education for children in the country with generally over 90 per cent net enrollment as of 2013.
Mr Mgemezulu said this in Lusaka today during a media breakfast for commemorating the Day of the African Child (DAC) under the theme “A child friendly, quality, free and compulsory education for all children”.
Mr Mgemezulu said the DAC presents an opportunity for government and all stakeholders to reflect on issues affecting children in the region.
He said this is an opportune moment for all stakeholders to take stock of the progress made and the outstanding challenges towards the full realization of the rights of children in the region as embraced by the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC).
He said African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child provides for the right of every child to education, including the duty of state parties to provide free and compulsory basic education.
Mr Mgemezulu said the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child further recognizes the need for special measures for the education of female, gifted and disadvantaged children, as well as equal access to education for all sections of the community.
He said this provision is unique to the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and provides a basis for the recognition of the distinct educational needs of certain groups of children.
Speaking earlier, United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) Country Representative, Hamid Ibrahim, noted that advocacy on the quality of education for the girl child must be emphasised.
Dr Ibrahim said the department of education in the country should work closely with the Ministry of Finance in order to improve on the funding of girls education.