First Quantum Minerals (FQM) says Zambia needs an education system driven by innovation, creativity and integrity to build the country’s human capital and achieve its various development goals.

In an interview, Kansanshi Foundations Head of Education Dr Onward Mandebvu said Zambia needed an education system driven by innovation, creativity and integrity as opposed to the current content-driven one, adding that perpetual under-funding of education contributed to poor quality of education in the country.

He also appealed for meaningful funding to the education sector in Zambia as it is a critical component in the development agenda of any country.

“We have no meaningful resources in primary schools, no text books, inadequate classrooms, teachers of low quality in both content and methodology, and an education system that examines more for remembering than thinking and creativity. These issues have to change if the nation is going to build on development aspirations of sound human capital. Zambia will not get high-quality education if we continue to do what we’ve always done,” Dr Mandebvu said on the side-lines of a first-ever three-day National Education Conference co-hosted by the Ministries of Higher Education and General Education, and Envoys Zambia in Lusaka.

He observed that Zambia did not have a national education system best suited to the realisation of a middle-income country by 2030.

“FQM has become a key player in the delivery of education in Zambia by contributing towards quality education. FQM is the only major private sector company represented in the education conference. We’re supporting this conference by giving an employer’s view of the education we need if the private sector is going to play its key role in checking the nation’s key development aspiration. As FQM, our ‘war cry’ is: ‘we’re bolder, we’re smarter, we’re driven together’,” Dr Mandebvu said, who also called for an end to sponsorship of students who take teaching as the last resort after failing to meet the grade for other training pursuits.

And he stressed that sponsoring of students to teacher training colleges or universities who have failed to go into other fields and are taking teaching as a profession of last choice should not be encouraged.

“…If we continue to do that, we won’t get an education that drives transformation. It’s not a new phenomenon but if we continue along that route, we won’t transform, develop and be part of global competitive world,” observed Dr Mandebvu.

– Story courtesy of SUMA SYSTEMS.