Friday, April 12, 2024

Grade ones to be given competence tests before graduating to grade two-Phiri



General Education Minister, John Phiri says grade ones will be given competence tests before graduating to grade two.

Dr Phiri says the measure has been introduced to prevent the practice where children were being pushed to higher grades even without knowing how to read and write.

He said this in Solwezi where he he holding several meetings.

Dr Phiri says this is why the government has introduced the use of local languages from Grade 1 to 4.

And Dr Phiri has bemoaned the low passing rate of children in the North-Western province.

Meanwhile,government has stepped up the printing and distribution of education materials to schools.

The materials are in conformity with the revised curriculum.

And General Education Minister, John Phiri, has challenged technical secondary schools in the country to take advantage of the revised curriculum and produce technical staff that the country needs.

Dr Phiri says the country lacks technical expertise because of the way the education system has been run hence technical secondary schools have a critical role to play in producing the technical staff that the country needs.

He was speaking in Solwezi yesterday at Solwezi Technical Secondary School (SOLTECH).

Dr Phiri said school administrators should not use the lack of materials as an excuse for failure to implement the revised curriculum.

He said teachers should do their best in ensuring that the revised curriculum is implemented.

And SOLTECH head teacher, Given Mugwagwa, said the lack of workshops and adequate tools are hindering the effective learning and teaching of subjects under the vocational career pathway.


  1. A waste of children’s time. Let the children go to school unhindered and without intimidating them with tests at this very early stage.

    • Indeed a waste of kids’ time @ Gundixy! The minister would have been more sensible to suggest introduction of pre Grade 1 reception class in all schools and/or encouraging more nursery schools with probably a government tailored syllabus with some level of assistance to and competences by those establishing such facilities. After all it would also expand the employment base in the education sector! His suggestion is akin the Grades 7 and 9 examinations that leave some pupils behind or deny them an education altogether.

    • Some of you are plain I.d.i.o.t.s. I remember being in class with people who could barely read or understand a thing the teacher was saying. It’s obviously a problem in Zambia that some students move through grade 1 to grade 7 without understanding the basics or knowing how to read. This pretty much dooms their academic eyes. Giving a 6-7 year old (standard age of a grade 1 student) exams that evaluate their assimilation of information will not traumatize them. This may actually help by having parents teach and train their young children so they ensure that they are ready to move forward. This is Zambia we’re talking about, not America. Our education system is very much in it’s infancy compared to the West. Take of those America-tinted glasses and be rational.

  2. This man and his penchant for experiments. Then he tells teachers not complain about equipment but use kitchen utensils for apparatus.
    Come on doc you are better than the other DR without a G12.

  3. This is the hallmark of someone that has no plan for improving education and has resorted to throwing whatever he can against the wall hoping that something will stick. Grade one is still trying to find their feet. Some of these kids are not even sure they know what they know. Allow them to gain some confidence before you start labeling them as failure so early in life. This is nonsense!

  4. This is the stupidest thing I have read from a minister all year, the year this far hehehe. Let the children learn unhindered as some one above said.

    • @Nzelu, ala kumwesu ku zambia bwafya, that’s why fwebambi tatwakabwelelemo mukonta umulilo nembwa waiting for the dark to go mukwita utunama mumpanga. Ba Minister with that thinking and yet in Grade seven he didn’t pass to go to grade Eight, he repeated twice pa grade nine same twice until his father had to buy his place for tenth grade, and pa grade twelve he had 54 points he couldn’t go to any college not even Trade school would accept him.

  5. !in Dr Congo a grade one has 12 subjects to learn and sit three exams a year at the end of scholar year if he cannot gather 60% of the total points, he has to repeat the grade,! the system is in force since the 1940 up to date!

  6. the minister cannot dream of such a thing and then announce it. these are issues to do with policy, implementation etc. I’m sure educators had an input in this, or did they not? I wish we could hear from the teachers

  7. This kind if mentality is what keeps ZAMBIA behind, how can a child be given an exam to graduate for second Grade, if Medicall schools in other countries are cutting on the time you have to be in school before you can graduate. In some developed countries Grade Seven, Nine and Twelve do not write an exam to move to the next grade. In the USA every child who gets to grade twelve, go to the University. ZAMBIA will never move with this kind of thinking.

    • No wonder the average Asian or African student outperforms the American student. Exams are an important tool to foster learning and healthy competition. Why do you think there are so many exams in a semester in college? Imwe fyonse ni the West this, the West that. You’re talking about a Western educational system that has been around for over three centuries. The Zambian system is barely a century old. Yes the Zambian educational system needs some tweaking, but if you think it needs to go the route of the U.S middle school/ high school system, then you need a reality check.

  8. Koma this is ma rubb.ish … and you call these chaps ati visionary leaders. What a piece of! Stop wasting our future leaders’ time.

  9. Great news…..Most Zambian school kids are so pathetic to a point where they cant even say there own names confidently when asked by a stranger..They simply cant reason like they you would expect a fresh kid would…

    • There is no such a thing as a Dull person, we only have slow learners, and they are the ones that need extra help. I’m sure this man has got kids at private schools, he should find out what help slow learners are given in private schools, in developed countries slow learners are given one to one attention, if this guy really studied education he wouldn’t have been suggesting this I wounder where he got this idea from.

  10. At a School called St. Francis of Assissi in Makeni area, competence tests are a norm for all grades. Are there schools where pupils just sail through? If so , the head of that school is not worthy his/her salt. Should it take the minister to pronounce that such is a necessity?

  11. When we tell you this idiiots have wrong priorities for this country, this is what we mean. Please let children be as such and let them be free from pressure at an early age. This call is very unwelcome and must be thrown away immediately. The existing system provides for the preparation of children bit by bit and we have seen an increase in grade seven children passing to grade eight. We just need to support the existing system and no need to subject children to this idiocy Mr minister! How said to be considered a grade failure when you are just a baby!

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