education1 education11 In Zambia, education is regarded as a basic human right and considered vital to development. Not only does education empower people, but it gives them the knowledge and skills to broaden their economic and social opportunities. The Zambian government recognizes the role of education in poverty reduction and is making serious efforts to improve and reform the education sector. Zambia is on its way to achieving the Millennium Development Goal of universal primary education. The Zambian Government has developed a national policy which is the key guiding tool in ensuring access to quality education at all delivery points in the system. The country’s education system is liberalised and decentralised in accordance with the democratic principles.


In introducing a liberalised education system, the government has created an enabling environment for partners to come on board. It has encouraged and strengthened partnerships in education development. In promoting this participation, the government has created conditions which allow the human, financial and other resources under the control of private and voluntary agencies, communities and religious bodies to be channeled without hindrance into the education system.

Private education institutions are recognised and accorded the autonomy due to them. Remarkable strides have been at basic education where enrollment has reached 50/50 for both girls and boys. The increase in enrollment has helped the Government to meet the Millennium Development Goal on universal primary education for all.

By 2013, Zambia had eight thousand eight hundred and one, basic schools (8,801) with the enrollment of three million, five hundred and twenty four (3,526.324). There were six hundred and eighty three secondary schools (683) with an enrollment of two hundred and ninety two thousand and twelve (292,012).

The Policy of liberalisation allowed privately owned basic and secondary schools. However, policy development remains at Ministry of Education, Headquarters and all schools; both government and private adhere to these policies.


The formal education system is 9-3-4. Nine years of basic education, three years of high school education and four of university to first degree level. The goal is that every child in Zambia has access to nine years of good quality education. When Zambia got its independence, the country had no university. The first university was opened after independence which was the University Of Zambia.

Now we are in the knowledge economy and higher education has become the primary determinant of development and the good policies of the Patriotic Front government. Zambia has five (5) government universities and seventeen (17) private universities.

The government has further planned to build universities in each province. This has already been implemented. The university in Muchinga known as Robert Kapasa Makasa has taken off and infrastructure construction is in its advanced stage. In the teaching service, the least qualification now is Diploma in Education. Training is now three years to obtain a diploma.

There has been in-service training for teachers who had certificates in teaching. All have been upgrading themselves. Continuous professional development programmes have been recommended and are already in use so that teachers keep abreast with current information and styles.