Monday, June 24, 2024

Educational and Cultural problems cannot be isolated from our overall socio-economic situation


By Fred M’membe President of the Socialist Party

Underdevelopment is, among other things, lack of learning and lack of the possibility to learn. It is not only how many cannot read and write. It is also how many cannot read or write, or pass on to higher levels of education, due to the lack of teachers, schools and the minimum conditions beyond those most elementary for subsistence. That is why our dramatic educational and cultural problems cannot be isolated from our overall socio-economic situation.

A characteristic of illiteracy is that it is greater in our rural than in urban areas, and among women than among men.

It is not by chance, however, that the geographic and social distribution of illiteracy is almost the same as that of poverty. Illiterates are, as a rule, also the poorest, the most poorly fed, the least healthy, the most disadvantaged and exploited. The illiteracy figures reveal the frustrated development of human capacities and potential; the limitations on the individual as a human being and as part of a community; exploitation and ignorance as to a better future; the dramatic social effects of underdevelopment; loss of national identity; social and economic backwardness.

Many of our children today lack schools or the means and possibilities to attend school.

The rational behind this reality and its cause is the situation of poverty that forces them to drop out of school, the distances that have to be covered to get to school and the deplorable material conditions of many of the schools.

Another factor to be borne in mind is the insufficient training of teaching staff and the lack of ways and means to remedy this insufficiency, which has its effect on the limited and poor quality teaching provided. To add to an already gloomy situation, there is the number of university graduates that are lost every year due to the brain drain of the major capitalist powers.

It is imperative to stress another aspect that hampers our efforts in the pursuit of education and cultural development. Imperialist mass media are continuously, sometimes subtly and sometimes openly, carrying out a process of ideological and cultural penetration aimed at eroding our cultural identities, creating habits and patterns of conduct foreign to the needs of our people, belittling and deforming our people’s cultures in their own eyes.

This, of course, has no bearing on the flow of ideas or on the legitimate exchange of the products of their cultures among peoples. These very mass media are working to create a consumerist image devoid of all rationality and are trying to impose mesmerising illusions on our people as absolute truths. An enormous percentage of the television programmes broadcast today in our country come from developed capitalist countries.


  1. Fred, if you running mad LT is not the best place for your therapy. Chainama even though stigmatized offers very good mental health services there is the best place for you to go. In this article you sound a like the Pentecostal pastor who tells hungry church members that you are hungry because God has not blessed you because you are sinners. After the sermon the pastor collects offerings from the hungry and leaves them even more hungry instead of providing food as a temporarily solution. Then teach the hungry congregates a permanent way to provide for them selves. The gay Mmembe just like his red brother HH has provided the “whys” and not the “how”. This is typical armchair critic mentality

  2. Ministry of Education and Culture. An education without cultural values breeds educated morons and there are in abundance here. They’d rather pay homage to the Queen of England and promulgate english values as opposed to our own. What kind of a people are they?

  3. Fred join the university dons and teach. Get out of politics because nobody is listening to you. Go and stimulate freshers.

  4. Fred, your editorials in The Post were always far too long – and you haven’t learned anything since! Nobody ever gets to the finish of your articles!

  5. Leave Freddie alone, u jst lazy to read ad moreover reading culture in Zambia is very low.
    Keep it up, we read ad support u, it’s jst a matter of time, u’ll be President.

  6. ” It is not only how many cannot read and write. It is also how many cannot read or write, or pass… “The biggest tragedy is to have dinasours in your midst who still believe that they are still very relevant when they are just noise makers. Fred Mmembe is in denial, he does not want to accept that he needs to move on and do something that makes sense to him and his family.

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