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Alba Iulia
Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Zambia’s education curriculum is rigid- Education PS

Zambia’s education curriculum is rigid- Education PS

File:Minister of State for Diaspora and International Development and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland Ciaran Cannon (L) showing Sefula Secondary School Pupils where Ireland is found on the World Map

General Education Permanent Secretary Jobbicks Kalumba says the country’s current education curriculum is rigid and not favorable to the career needs of Zambians.

Dr. Kalumba said most subjects offered are not compatible with what the pupils want to do in future.He said there is urgent need to transform the curriculum to ensure it becomes relevant to career paths of children.

Dr. Kalumba said the educational reforms being implemented are meant to improve education standards and that the PF government has pro poor policies. He stated that reduction in school fees will ensure all Zambians have access to education.

And Dr. Kalumba has challenged school managers who think the reduction in school fees will negatively impact the quality of education to leave and pave way for educationists who are willing to develop the sector.

He was speaking when he addressed teachers from various schools in Eastern province who gathered at Chipata Day Secondary school.

Paramount chief Mpezeni of the Ngoni people commended government for paying attention to salaries for teachers.The traditional leader said this when Dr. Kalumba paid a courtesy call on him at his palace in Chipata.He said the move will motivate more Zambians to pursue teaching as a career.


  1. The country’s education system should result in the creation of industries and jobs.Modernisation and industrialisation should become our national strategic intent. The challenge is then to make sure we develop a national capability for this to happen.National capability lies in our education system and its design. Education has to be of the correct design, if it has to be fit for purpose. Additionally, this can also happen when our education and its underlying philosophy are sound. Our education has to work hard for us, it must produce industry for us and must create jobs for us.

    • Mr P.S. with all due respect a child cannot decide what they want to do with the rest of their lives in secondary school so making them specialize as sciences or humanities for example is a non starter. As boundaries between disciplines narrow down it’s important to have a 360 degree education at least upto grade 12. As many of us have realized interests change as one matures and gains more exposure in society. That will be putting the kids in strait-jackets. There are just a few subjects that I think are not relevant anymore, that is the so called computer studies, literature in english (which can be integrated with english language altogether), syllabus D math(replace with addma completely), religious education and home economics. As for the technical subjects, I think they give the…

    • When you don’t have a vision of what you want this is what happens…you change ministers and people start thinking, I mean where was this PS Jobbicks Kalumba….look at Rwanda they sent a Satellite to space for educational purposes; they know what will be marketable in the future… do you see these incompetent morons like Lazy Lungu doing such they would rather use the funds to procure a Gulf Stream or give the money to Chilufya to open an inflated priced hospital so he can pocket change.

    • @middle kingdom, I always wanted to be in Telecoms and Engineering and here i am
      The rate of computer illiteracy among adults if threatenly high in Zambia, if you ask someone to put the URL in the address bar, chapwa they lost No wonder even Master degree holders are swindled by a simple click here kind of hack. that said its great computer studies has finally been integrated.

  2. Then why does the same education system produce very poor entrepreneurship class of Zambians? Regionally we can’t compete.

  3. We unfortunately adopted a Western education approach which was initially intended to produce a subservient African. But even after independence we clang to that model, and instead we ended up with a learner who would graduate to be dependent on the (political) System. Until we develop an educational system that Totally Liberates the mind and potential of a Zambian- we will continue in circles. And until we have a political system that is willing to let it’s citizens freely think and speak, educational reforms will continue failing.

    • Marcus Aurelius: I disagree a bit. The colonial education system designed to produce a subservient colonial subject ddnt expose Blacks to science and Maths as in the Bantu education system in South Africa. I hope u are aware that the belief that science and maths were beyond the intellect of blacks was widespread among whites. The maths and science Zambians learn is the same as wht the British are learning. What is backward about that?

  4. You are very right. We making our own education system so unattainable by Zambians. Look at the UK (Cambridge and Edexcel) theirs is a simple straight forward curriculum and it makes them excel.

  5. Dr. Kalumba said the educational reforms being implemented are meant to improve education standards and that the PF government has pro poor policies.
    Q: What policies, Sir?…
    Dr. Kalumba: Reduction in school fees will ensure all Zambians have access to education.
    Q: This is a good move, but can you tell us how the resultant gap in funding will be filled?
    Dr. Kalumba: School managers who think the reduction in school fees will negatively impact the quality of education must pave way for educationists who are willing to develop the sector.
    Q: Sir, what is the relationship between reduction in school fees and willingness to develop the sector?

  6. The PS shows exactly the opposite of what he is advocating for: People with critical minds. Why not ask those school managers why they think so and what their suggestions are for improving school and consequent learning outcomes. The PS’s statements are platitudes. Curricula are supposed to be rigid so outcomes are standardised. Until there is a change in how children learn whatever from places other than schools, we are operating in the same way as during the colonial period. I keep repeating my surprise anecdotal finding that the increased use of Nyanja in Zambia these days is due to the illiteracy of the majority of school graduates. Very, very few people under 40 speak or understand the official language of English. This is a tragedy.

  7. Dont blame the education system blame yourself.You need to learn how to teach yourselves.if the education system taught everybody how to make money, then who will work for others.Education just opens you mind, you got to teach yourself.

  8. Nam: Speaking English isn’t necessarily a sign of hbeing educated. Language is merely a medium of communication and communication shouldn’t be limited to only one language. Wht I obeject to is limiting learners to Nyanja only in a place like Lusaka. It’s not fair because it’s insulting to indigenous languages of Lusaka the Soli and Lenje. What language were these people learning in before Zambia came into being? Are you telling me they weren’t going to school? Why was this language taken out of the sch system? Does the Ministry of Education even know this?

  9. Further to my comment above, forcing people to learn in a language which is not theur cultural language erodes their self-esteem because language is a form of identity. Why should govt policy be aimed at eroding the self-esteem of some communities? Founding Catholic priests at Kasisi used to speak good Lenje, same at Chipembi in Chisamba. Why can’t our fellow Bantu language speakers with whom we share some words and even names learn it? This was part of the UNIP government policy of marginalization of some communities.

  10. ….I think they give the students who want to go into engineering a head start and that is what makes the Zambian education experience unique.

  11. It would be wrong if reform should aim at cutting down on the number of subjects from as early as preschool. Experience should have taught us that there’d really be nothing wrong for learners to be lumped with even as many as twelve subjects perhaps up to grade seven after which the scaling down and specialisation process should commence and be continued into the tertiary system.Such an approach would accord learners a broader understanding of the environment and more opportunities for subsequent career choices

    • Chileshe: There’s still no all-round schooling in state schools where learners are exposed to academic subjects, performing arts , science/ maths and sports (athletics, football, rugby, hockey ,lawn tennis etc) with school competitions to encourage passion. What Dr Kalumba is calling reforms is nowhere near the above.

  12. Wrong PS. Shooting himself in the foot. Curriculum developers will do likewise so long there is funding. But I am not certain if these goo.ns can fund the system to revolutionalise the way it works for the better. Talk of policies – which ones????? He has to outline such policies.
    Some f.oolish blogger here said we dont need computers studies – really in this era. These are the relevant subjects people talk about and someone should choose to remove the very relevant subject of our epoch.

  13. Words like rigid, unfavorable and incompatible must be put in context. Where is the strategic plan for education sector? Without strategic plan, then it is not possible to ascertain where the gaps are. There is always room for improvement in education, in education like in other sectors. Education has no beginning and education has no end. The issue of Quality Assurance must be approached from a technical perspective. New subjects can be introduced following consultation with stakeholders. The stakeholders include parents and guardians, youth, learners, educators. The human resource needs of the nation must be articulated in the strategic plan for education and in the National development Plan. It is wrong to abandon existing subjects and disciplines for the sake of it. At secondary…

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