Education in Zambia

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The interior of a rural Zambian primary school

Lower education in Zambia is divided into three levels; primary, junior secondary and upper secondary. Higher education is very limited and centred on the six universities of Zambia: University of Zambia, Copperbelt University, Zambia Open University, Cavendish University, Zambia Adventist University and Northrise University.

Lower education[edit]

Schooling usually falls into three levels:

  • Primary, grades one to seven
  • Junior Secondary, grades eight and nine
  • Upper Secondary, grades ten to twelve

So-called "basic schools" teach years one to nine, as year nine is considered to be a decent level of schooling for the majority of children. However, schooling is only free up to year seven and most children drop out then.

Private, Government and community schools exist in Zambia. Education is difficult for the government of Zambia to provide because of the very small tax base of the economy. On top of this tax on Zambian citizens is increasing. Without money to buy equipment schools must operate with limited resources. Due to these impoverished schools, students are not receiving the help that they need. Additionally,74% of Zambian children are not continuing their education in Middle or High Schools.

The private school system began largely as a result of Christian mission efforts during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Private schools operate under either the British or American way of schooling.One of the most famous private schools is the Roman Catholic-run St Mary's Seminary in Eastern Province. The majority of the Zambia population are very poor and cannot afford the education for their children.

From my personal experience of Zambian private schools and talking to trainee teachers at Mufulira teacher training college, I found that teachers do not desire to teach in private schools. The majority of teachers at private schools seem to lack enthusiasm for the job. The trainee teachers told me this was due to the lack of benefits and pay they get from working in private schools. However, government schools are desired by teachers as they provide better pay and more benefits. For example, many teachers at government schools are part of the ZNUTS (Zambian National Union of Teachers).

As mentioned previously, government schools are the most popular for teachers. Also they are over subscribed with pupils do to the education being free. However, each pupil can only their last year once. If they fail this year then the pupils family have to pay for them to retake the year. Therefore, many pupils do not even gain qualifications from attending school.

Community schools are run by the community and the teachers work there voluntarily unless these schools are sponsored by charities.

Support from charities[edit]

Cecily's Fund is one of the supporters of education in Zambia, funding the school courses of over 11,000 children (as of June 2010).[1] The charity also fully funds Bwafano Community School in Lusaka.[2]

Camfed supports girls and young women in Zambia.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ CAF helps Cecily's Fund to support children orphaned by AIDS, Charities Aid Foundation. Retrieved 2010-06-08.
  2. ^ Cecily's Fund: What We Do. Retrieved 2010-06-08.

External links[edit]


Mulungushi University in [Kabwe]

  • mukuba university(kitwe)
  • nkruma university(kabwe)