Sometime last year in October I wrote an article entitled Zambia Teacher Education in a Mess
In the article I raised concern that the Government had decided to discontinue with the University of Zambia (UNZA) programme in preference to one being offered by the Examinations Council of Zambia (ECZ). One of my arguments was that the ECZ did not have the capacity to handle teacher education examinations, what with the many other national examinations ECZ was burdened with.
This is already proving to be true. Results for the 2015 first year promotion examinations which were conducted in November last year have not yet been released. Meanwhile teacher training colleges opened on 3rd January, 2016 as per calendar. In the meantime, no announcement or communication has been made to the students who are beginning to panic because three weeks of the term has been lost.
As things stand now, there is no guarantee that come Monday 25th January, second year students will be in class. So we are talking about a loss of one month. This is an indication of the worst case scenario that may be experienced this year when ECZ will have promotion examinations for first and second years.
My humble appeal to the Permanent Secretary at Ministry of General Education is to revisit this matter because the writing is on the wall. The problem in Zambia is that we tend to experiment with things that are obvious. My advice to the Ministry is that since a decision has been made to do away with UNZA, for now let each college administer promotion examinations and ECZ should only concentrate on administering the final examinations until such a time when ECZ will have the necessary structure and capacity. Let us not wait until the situation becomes a scandal.
By Eros Ilunga