Govt. calls for concerted efforts in bettering the education sector

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Government has urged stakeholders in the education sector to work together in order to address the poor education delivery system and other problems which the sector faces.

Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education John Phiri said the Patriotic Front (PF) government was determined to improve the education sector as outlined its party manifesto.

Dr. Phiri said the current educational system where grade seven pupils in over 9, 000 primary schools are competing for limited school places in about 640 secondary schools was a recipe for the high levels of examination malpractices.

He was speaking at the inaugural three days national head teachers’ conference in Lusaka today.

He has since implored head teachers to start identifying basic schools that were centrally located so that government can upgrade them into full fledged secondary schools starting next year.

This is in a bid to increase pupils’ access to secondary school education.

Dr. Phiri explained that government intends to upgrade some basic schools into full fledged secondary schools alongside the ongoing construction of new secondary schools across the country.

He noted that the current educational system does not absorb all eligible pupils to progress to the next level of education due to its pyramidal nature hence eliminating potential pupils at every level of education.

And National Head Teachers Association of Zambia (NHTAZ) chairperson, Patrick Chewe said head teachers were better placed to offer solutions in the education sector.

Mr. Chewe said head teachers will use their role as agents of social change to assist government in realising its educational policies.

Meanwhile, Examinations Council of Zambia (ECZ) Director Michael Chilala said the council has introduced attractive incentives aimed at retaining examination setters and markers.

Mr. Chilala said the incentives were aimed at retaining examination setters and markers who had left the system due to non payment of allowances.

He said the move will assist the council in ensuring that component people handle examination process and reduce on complaints from the members of the public.

The conference has attracted 600 head teachers from all the 10 provinces who will discuss strategies that can help the ministry improve its academic performance.