The goal of education is for humans to have knowledge on how nature works, and be able to improve their lives through judicious use of primeval resources. Zambia’s Education Sector has straddled two centuries, with more than five decades of experience, and all knowledge quality parameters have been subsumed into its education system as a sign of maturity. However, going by what is prevailing on the ground, the educated population is pervaded with nodding acquaintance; the antithesis of what is expected from enlightened ones. Without being pernickety, the sector is punching, way, below its weight. Therefore, ensconcing Zambians in free education without cutting this Gordian Knot; would be a misuse of resources, and that would be regarded as a sop to placate Zambians. Below is a cogent argument for a moot point raised.
Space Covered Vs Population Size
Zambia is covering a total area of 752,612 km2 and a home of 19 million(m) people. When compared with other countries, across the globe, in terms of area coverage and the population size, Zambia should be able to take care of itself without difficulties. Here is a comparison: Namibia (825,615km2; 2.6m), Rwanda (26,336km2; 13.6m),Japan (377,930km2; 125.5m), UK (242,900km2; 68.5m) and Haiti (27,750km2; 11.7m).
Remember, each country holds a unique position in the world; with adequate means to support and prolong the lives of its people. Agriculture, mining and tourism are the major primeval areas for Zambian economy. These are more than enough; provided we have steady hands at the tiller and the sieves are ready to sieve at various levels. If Zambia is juxtaposed with any of the above countries, in terms of well-being of its people, any contradistinction would be ascribed to what is been done to their environment as guided by what is known (individually and collectively); the touchstone of knowledge and entelechy.
Education System in Zambia
In Zambia, Education Sector is a confluence of public and private players, under the aegis of Ministry of Education. Generally, the sector is segmented into: Structured General Knowledge (SGK) and Structured Intervention (SI).
It is vital to apprehend the relationship that exists between General Environment (GE), Education Sector and the Industry. Here is how they relate: GE (provides fodder for SGK);SGK (provides fodder for SI);SI (provides fodder for Industry) and the Industry contrives, the much needed, solutions, in form of goods and services, for the GE. The above identified, critical control points, are interlinked and have a cascading effect; hence, the need for continuous monitoring and evaluation for improved results.
Hark back to Zambian situation, the key players have given Education Sector a cursory attention, and let it slide and atrophy. For instance, the curricula being used do not resonate with the needs of our Industry; hence, subpar goods and services. True to farm, our GE also provides addled fodder for SGK. Here we identified: culture, tradition and morals as a linchpin of GE and must be treated as sacrosanct. Effectively, Zambia has lost its identity because the linchpin has been subverted, and calling it a Christian nation is a misnomer. Here we see the GE influences: what comes out of Education Sector, Industry and ultimately what happens to itself.
Formally Educated but Unemployed
Intrinsically, the Education Sector is guided by policies. These policies must be anchored on basic principles upon which the outcome and impact of education are measured. The sector must be under the control of regulatory bodies for uniformity. The Zambian Education Sector; however, is a very different kettle of fish, in that:
– it has a gallimaufry of players; causing cacophony in the Industry. What is the essence of providing the sector with guarded portal of entry and that of exit, if it fails to preclude unwanted happenings?
– skullduggery is going on in the sector. The gas-lighted general public are made to pay for perfunctory services from the learning institutions; making the owners to become arrivistes, at the expense of our national integrity.
In effect, the regulatory bodies have failed to cause alignment in the sector. Consequently, dearth of creativity and innovation is a palpable impact of education, and this has militated against creation of genuine jobs. Hence, unemployment is rampant in our country.
Untenable Poverty Levels
In conclusion, an abject poverty that is subsisting in Zambia, is a cumulative effect of mismanagement of resources due to lack of knowledge. The entire population is basking in ignorance because of indolence and window dressing. Also paucity of sagacious leaders, at various levels, has redounded on citizens failing to work in concert towards a common goal.
Way Forward for Zambian Situation
Given a well corroborated argument, we exhort the government to hold free education undertaking in abeyance, for it has a bee in its bonnet. Here is our jentacular and herculean tasks:
– the curricula must be congruent with the needs of the industries.
– make adjustments in the sector; the cognoscenti must supplant the politically aligned minions, for the sake of progress.
– identify and rid the sector of perfidious players; guised as learning institutions.
– ensure the sacrosanctity of our social mores is conserved for the sake of true identity.
– ensure there is a monitoring and evaluation system for quality control and assurance.
As an odyssey of discovering, this article is aimed at making every well-meaning Zambian to be disenchanted with our current education system; it is responsible for strewing charlatans in our society.