President Edgar Lungu says there is need to expose Zambians to improved education and skills development to enable them to effectively respond to social and economic development challenges.
President Lungu said the education sector plays a critical role in human capital development as the availability of a skillful workforce is a catalyst to having higher productivity, reducing poverty and attracts investment.
The head of state was speaking in a speech read on his behalf by Acting-President Inonge Wina at the opening ceremony of the Zambia Research and Education Networks (ZAMREN) conference.
“Human development involves the expansion of human freedom, vision and healthy and creative lives and actively participate in seeking equitable and sustainable development,” she said.
He added that the fact that people are both beneficiaries and drivers of human development calls for the need to improve human capacities so as to bring about economic development.
The Head of State said the initiative requires that people are educated through both formal and non-formal skills development enable them to respond to social economic development.
He further reiterated government’s commitment to improving access, equity, quality and efficiency in the education systems across all levels.
And president Lungu said government has structured an integrated approach to enhance development through the implementation of the Seventh National Development Plan (SNDP).
“The SNDP identified strategies for enhancing the education sector, namely enhance access to quality, equitable and inclusive education, skills training, enhance private sector participation and continuous review of the curriculum and enhancing the role of schience, technology and innovation,” the president added.
He highlighted that the Patriotic Front (PF) led government has managed to introduce early childhood education for all Zambians regardless of their economic status.
The president added that government has managed to motivate teachers and rehabilitate dilapidated schools as a result creating a long-term solution to ending poverty and illiteracy.
He also pointed that the PF led government has managed to increase expenditure on infrastructure, teaching resources revised the school curriculum to accommodate practical subjects to facilitate clear career path.
He also called on the private sector to set facilities to enhance the quality of education in avenues such as research and development.
Meanwhile, General Education Minister David Mabumba expressed dismay on the low position Zambia’s education systems have continued to occupy as revealed in the International Comparative Benchmarking Analysis despite vast investments.
Mr. Mabumba stressed that the conference is earmarked to look at how the education sector can be transformed in its entirety.
He also noted that involvement of various stakeholders can help to focus on governance, organizational arrangement and financing models that are appropriate to deliver the education system desirable for Zambia.
Mainga Munsanje is a self-motivated writer, media practitioner and marketer, currently a fourth year student in Media and Communications Studies under the Department of Media and Communications at The University of Zambia. Also Chief Editor for Lusaka Star Entertainment News.