Some pupils of Lusaka Primary School Arthur Wina
File: Some pupils of Lusaka Primary School Arthur Wina
National Action for Quality Education (NAQEZ) Executive Director Aaron Chansa has expressed his divergent view concerning the planned transfer of all primary schools in Zambia to local authorities.

Mr. Chansa said in a telephone interview with Pan African Radio today the 5th April, 2017 that the concept of devolving education to councils is good but Zambia is not yet ready to undergo such a process.

He noted that almost all Local Authorities in Zambia are overwhelmed with huge administrative and financial constraints which have made them to be very incompetent as well as lacking the sense of urgency in service provision.

Mr. Chansa stated that in most cases the Zambian Councils have failed to provide just basic services to residents, adding that the transfer of all primary schools to local authorities would be a risky administrative experiment.

He has since urged the Ministry of Education to be extremely cautious on this exercise as it has the potential to destabilize the few gains the sector has so far scored.

The NAQEZ Executive Director further advised the Ministry of Education to clearly explain how it intends to devolve this very important service, and the exact roles officers in the Ministry of Education and those from local Government will be playing because their explanation would help to dispel the apprehension currently obtaining among teachers and other stakeholders.

“In most cases the Zambian Councils have failed to provide just basic services to residents” Mr. Chansa said

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59 COMMENTS

    • It’s the right thing to do.

      Happens in U.K. And council will be accountable.

      Thanks

      BB2014,16

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    • PF Mayor and councilors like Tasila to run schools, sounds like crime against humanity.
      PF government is now becoming a trategy.

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    • Local govts must be in charge of their local school and work with the community in enhancing their children’s education. It’s called responsibility! Zambians are too used to spoon feeding, grow up!

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    • Comparing UK councils with Zambian councils is like comparing tomato with oranges and saying which one is a better fruit?

      Before we go any further let us look at the successes of our councils and then say to ourselves, ‘since councils have done so well in all these areas then putting schools under them will score just as well’

      But alas these councils have disappointed everyone everywhere from service delivery to land management, to everything, so if all about councils is black how then do you expect that if you place schools under them they will be white?

      Is it just a feeling, or dream or a careful study has been carried out?

      Even if it means trying out something, it first must make sense in the theoretical model before acting on it. This thinking is the same one that…

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    • Even if it means trying out something, it first must make sense in the theoretical model before acting on it. This thinking is the same one that started computer exams in secondary schools before acquiring computers.

      You started a driving school using a wheelbarrow, or put in charge of training a guy who has had accidents each time he drives a car.

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    • @Mushota:
      You are not the only one living in England – so what you are saying is total crap! It is happening in England because the whole political and administrative system in Britain is decentralised – and the Zambian Governance system is totally decentralised. I worked for the UK Treasury Dept (together with a Ms Lorraine Nkuwa) and I have first hand experience of the Annual Budget Disbursement formula for 4 British countries i.e. England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales – and of course they are all different!! E.g. Education up to University in Scotland is free and there are no tuition fees at all whereas there are tuition fees in England and Wales!!
      Mushota, can you tell me PF Lungu’s Budget disbursement formula for Southern, Eastern, Muchinga and North Western provinces -…

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    • – the answer is there NONE and Lungu just gives money as he wishes.
      Now just imagine the chaos that will follow when he devolves schools to councils without devolving the budget – PF is just a bunch of lunatics! If they want to devolve schools, then they need to start with devolving the Budget (money) first otherwise the id,iots will just cause total chaos!!

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    • @Mushota, you are a dull b!tch, that’s what you are. Sometimes its best you keep your d!ck sucking mouth shut you little skunk. You have no idea what problems, let alone corrupt those people in local councils are. Kids education is at stake here, but your cluelessness is getting out of hand. Maybe you should stick to sucking white boy’s d!ck there in the UK and let us adults discuss real issues here.

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    • People are too quick to condemn even what they do not understand. At district level primary schools are manged by DEBS offices. In the coming reforms DEBS office will be user councils. So how will Tey fail to perform. Resistance to change is noreal, but please give decentralisation a chance.

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    • I can’t imagine those rural councils running schools! This will be the worst disaster to hit Mother Zambia.

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    • NO! NO! NO!
      THE SCHEME WORKS IN THE UK BECAUSE OF THE CONSISTENT AND PROPER FUNDING OF LOCAL COUNCILS. IN ZAMBIA THERE IS BUDGETING ONLY ON PAPER BUT IN ACTUAL FACT THERE IS NO CORRESPONDENCE WITH THE ACTUAL FUNDING.
      PLEASE STOP IT. THE COUNCILS CAN’T EVEN COLLECT GARBAGE.

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    • Mushota – just shut up and stop talking rubbish all your life ! You are nothing but an ignorant fool. Obviously you do not live in Zambia and have NO IDEA WHAT HAPPENS HERE AND HOW THE COUNCILS ARE RUN !
      JUST SHUT UP !

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    • I fail to understand why Lusaka Times hasn’t blocked Mushota, they blocked me before. Mushota writes vile and offensive things. LT pls block that biatch.

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  1. First time I hear about this. Any source document on the matter? I know local councils elsewhere in the world run educational establishments and I think ours should aspire to do so.

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    • This is how the ZNBC sale rumour started, next you will hear the minister laughing at the question and rubbishing it. After 3 weeks the same minister will announce its a done deal.

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  2. Councils who cant even collect garbage in their own back yards? Can they run anything??? NO!

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  3. idea is to produce perceived educated citizens ,yet unable to grasp basic principles of life ,a society which will be easier to manipulate by politicians over simple chitenge and t-shirts .From the quality of teachers up to management of education system , you realize that all is wrong. You can have that embacile- Professor thing masquerading as minister or mp whatever shes called managing education sector . Shifting the whole primary sector tothe already broken Councils is like allowing the education bleed to death. Watch that!

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  4. PF Govt is some special kind of STUP1D.

    Every day there’s one STUP1D decision made. It’s like they have a BIG BAG of STUP1D ideas which they dish out 1 every day.

    Councils who can’t even pick garbage at their own gates will now be determining the future of our kids.

    What type of STUP1D is PF?

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    • Ba Maloza, just one question: When do you think the BIG BAG will eventually be emptied? You have really nailed it…!

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  5. Comparing UK councils with Zambian councils is like comparing tomato with oranges and saying which one is a better fruit?

    Before we go any further let us look at the successes of our councils and then say to ourselves, ‘since councils have done so well in all these areas then putting schools under them will score just as well’

    But alas these councils have disappointed everyone everywhere from service delivery to land management, to everything, so if all about councils is black how then do you expect that if you place schools under them they will be white?

    Is it just a feeling, or dream or a careful study has been carried out?

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    • Even if it means trying out something, it first must make sense in the theoretical model before acting on it. This thinking is the same one that started computer exams in secondary schools before acquiring computers.

      You started a driving school using a wheelbarrow, or put in charge of training a guy who has had accidents each time he drives a car.

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  6. I am not sure this is a good idea. I agree with Mr Chansa. First let the Councils demonstrate capability before giving them more responsibility.

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  7. This brings relief to Zambians to hear new PF developments programs of dysfunctional councils to manage our education system. Well done PF, lets hear more plans how the national deficit can be reduced.

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  8. I think it would be a good move since rural schools will not have headaches of running to Lusaka each time there is a disaster in their area. They will simply go to the Council which I understand Councils will now be heavily funded through the Ministry of Local Government by the Government. I think it is worthy trying.

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    • @MMD cadre,

      Heavily funded hey, my foot! Not in Zambia. Schools will be run by cadres now. PF is creating opportunities for its cadres. Simple.

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  9. Has someone stopped thinking. We are not yet ready for such. Please when you are in your meetings lean to discuss sense

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  10. @Jay Jay and @ Peace for Zambia you are thinking guys and I agree with two of you: 1. Example of Kitwe City Council has failed even to mend roads they put amaloba in Independence avenue, and failed to run a zoo, how will they run Schools. They cant even buys hard blooms for street sweepers U.K is so an advanced Country where we even go to beg for money and food and you compare your self to them. 2. Ba MP what is your job? Don’t look at things going wrong and you keep quite Just because you are PF. Look at your brothers and sisters who are poor and speak for them. Councils will be increasing fees all the time till all poor people will be no more. Thanks

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  11. pf is running away from their failures in education policy,next election they will blame the councils for failure to run the primary education system.Before we all chose our political parties,we are zambians.my birth certificate states ,zambian and NO POLITICAL party provision,stands to be corrected maybe things have changed under pf WHO KNOWS

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  12. Bwafya maningi. What is the motive behind the move? Zed councils are a disaster and adding this responsibility sure.
    Filempelo mwenso nganalolesha future ya Zambia. I pit the president because the word clueless seems to be a reality. Is this not RBz idea in which he wanted to sale schools together with Dora.
    Councils are even failing to run car parks,toilets,collect garbage etc

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  13. Most councils in Zambia are very broke and very corrupt to the core. They will end up selling all text books , chalk on the street. They cant manage themselves and have over employed their relatives and you expect them to run the school??? joke…………………a job done by one person in private sector , needs 10 council employees to do the same job .Very poor performers who are good at meetings and zero performance .waste of time and resources

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  14. Let the councils run a few schools, say 2 schools per district for 3-5 years, as a pilot project, and see how they do it. I however have reservations on this, knowing quite well what our councils are made of.

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  15. Its good idea but should not be rushed but done in a phased approach starting with pilot

    1. Identify local and municipal councils the so called doing well in service delivery and so called good adminstration but the question is how do we qualify the so good.
    2. Develop new structures and recruit staff.
    3. Develop clear guidelines stipulating roles and responsibilities.
    4. Build capacity in the selected council’s.
    5. Allocate some pre and primary school to them to manage.
    5. Create professional authority to monitor and supervise them
    6. Fund the councils and audit them maybe it may work.

    But implementing this in the current form of the councils will be total disaster and all the gains in the sector will be reversed.

    Let’s not forget that ministry of health facilities will…

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  16. I feel so sorry for Teachers who Have worked many years and expect to get their so called Pension .It will be a disaster and wailing and gnashing of Teeth for these patriots .Ma council sure !

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  17. Do the pensions for the teachers transfer to the councils to pay. Will Council pay wages. If GRZ cannot pay wages how will the councils
    If they go to councils which ministry do the come under.
    Reads like an attempt at a form of socialism as are many of the actions of the current . If i am not mistaken this is how the chinese system operated under chairman MAO

    This is an absolute disaster

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  18. It’s simple logic & reasoning.
    The councils have all failed with their current tasks & mandates.

    What more adding an extra task – it will be serious disaster!!

    But we told you – voting for PF was sucide!

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  19. PF are popular with Reversals and very soon they may just realise they never really undertook a serious analysis of this set up. They did so with mine Taxes, the Constitution, Disaster Stadium and many more things we may not be aware of. After the damage they will revert back to the well thought old system.
    For God’s sake if you can’t perfect current systems how do you experiment with complex ones? Do you want counselors to Loot the School Fees? PF you have failed going by visible indicators, just give up. Big Brains like the late Levy Patrick Mwanawasa(MHSRIP) did what we call STAR; Stop, Think, Act Review and it showed-HUGE SUCCESS! I don’t think this makes sense with the present GOVT. PF is probably comfortable with what we call MBWA; Management By Walking Around, i.e ‘Management…

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    • By Walking Around, i.e ‘Management By Flying Around’. Since it is an experiment, we will wait for the ‘laboratory’ results.

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  20. Mushota is right that is the structure in the Uk but loads of work went into establishing the system

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  21. Piloting can help here. Government needs to target a few purposefully selected primary schools to conduct the experiment. If it is a resounding success, then by all means roll it out to Phase One. When Phase One is also a resounding success, then again by all means roll it out to Phase II until the whole country is covered. From a distance, it seems that the existing arrangement is doing quite well. The main challenge is funding, curriculum development and teacher training.

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  22. It is always laughable when people in what seems to be authority issue such statements. Fellow compatriots, I have always and will again say it, Zambia is a mediocre country! The person who has raised these fears and all those voicing out should have done so when the Constitution Amendment Act No. 2 was assented to. Under Part IX of the cited Constitution Amendment, to be specific Articles 147 and 148 read together with the Annex A, you will find that the transfer of schools, clinics, electricity provision, road usage fees (misonko) etc to the local authority is provided for.

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  23. EVEN DISTRICT MEDICAL OFFICERS WILL FALL UNDER THE COUNCILS AND WILL BE CALLED DIRECTORS OF HEALTH. THEY WILL BE AT PAR WITH THE DIRECTORS OF WORKS AT THE COUNCILS WHO HAVE CRAFTS CERTIFICATE IN BRICK LAYING. THESE COUNCILS DO NOT HAVE THE FINANCIAL CAPACITY TO EMPLOY QUALIFIED PERSONNEL. EVEN THE UNWUALIFIED PEOPLE THEY EMPLOY HAVE NOT BEEN PAID SALARIES FOR 8 MONTHS.

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  24. continued….

    I wrote an article where I lamented that as a country we are affixed and look at the constitution from the political and to some extent civil rights prisms only ignoring the economic part of time. I raised issues then as to the incompetence of Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, RATSA, ZESCO and the local authorities as they had not said anything on the impact of the amendment on their operations going forward. Todate, there is no plan as to how ZESCO, RATSA and Ministry of Health will hand over those functions as per constitution. At least Ministry of Education has started. As I say and will continue saying it, Zambia the mediocre country!

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  25. Schools in rural areas suffer enough – They do not get enough funding from the government as it is – Imagine what will happen if the council takes over the running of the schools- It will be a total disaster ! Councils fail to even do basic services in rural areas….OUR CHILDRENS LIVES ARE AT STAKE HERE ! WE MUST NOT LET THIS HAPPEN TO OUR CHILDREN !

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  26. I will read later. But PF is a joker.The councils are failing to keep cities clean, how can they run schools

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  27. The exercise require abolishing of provincial administration and creating strong district administration centres, get all provincial staff to districts and transfer health and education responsibilities to local councils. The costs associated with the centralised structure can creat revenue and income for poor councils. Councils will have a strong balance sheet from assets(building and infrastructure) from Ministry of education and ministry of health, this could be good for our country.

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  28. Leaders of interest groups must acquaint themselves with applicable polices before making comments. This is party of the decentralization policy and it’s not only teachers that will be transferred but nurses and all other staff including judiciary. The Provincial Minister is now the head of govt at provincial level, there’s nothing like going to Lusaka to have papers signed. Provinces will now be funded according to their GDP, except for special projects. This is why ECL is telling each province to identify project that will add value to their economic status. Later no province will be allowed to be a parasite on others, some have so since Welensky days. So don’t underrate Bowman Lusambo, he’s a very big boss

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  29. This is an old story of over 20 years. Previous administrations have failed to make a move. In Africa, only Mali has tried to some extend. For Zambian case, the Ministry of Education is well managed (in comparison to other ministries) at the district level. I would suggest that the DEBS office should take over the functions of the local authorities. Lol

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  30. RIGHT NOW THERE IS CONFUSION. DISTRICT HEADS OF DEPARTMENTS DO NOT KNOW WHO TO REPORT TO. TO THE DC OR TO THE COUNCIL SECRETARY? WEEKLY REPORTS ARE ALSO BEING SENT TO THE COUNCIL SECRETARIES WHO DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU ARE REPORTING ABOUT. IT IS NOT CLEAR. HOW WILL THESE COUNCILS BE FUNDED? THE COUNCILS HAVE HUGE DEBTS. NOW LETS SAY FUNDS ARE SENT TO THE COUNCIL SECRETARY TO SHARE BETWEEN HEALTH, EDUCATION, FORESTRY, AGRICULTURE, VETERINARY ETC, HOW IS HE GOING TO DECIDE WHO TO GIVE WHAT? ALREADY PEOPLE CLAIM THAT HEALTH RECEIVES MORE FUNDING THAN OTHER MINISTRIES IN A DISTRICT, DONT YOU THINK THAT DEPARTMENTS SUCH AS HEALTH WILL TERRIBLY SUFFER UNDER SUCH AN ARRANGEMENT. THERE WILL BE NO OUT REACH ACTIVITIES TO CONDUCT IMMUNIZATIONS ETC. AND THE COUNCIL SECRETARY MAY WANT TO SPEND THE…

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  31. DEBS are already a great success so nothing changes eexcept that the Councils will just fine tune the schools to the local agendas. The police should be next in order to give the Councils some muscles and hence the ability to deal with local situations such as street vending traffic etc.

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