The EFA 2000 Assessment: Country Reports Homepage of the World Education Forum
   Zambia
Contents of country report Homepage of country reports Country reports listed alphabetically Country reports by region



Previous Page Next Page



Part II: Analytic Section

6. PROGRESS TOWARDS GOALS AND TARGETS

6.1 Early Childhood Care Education and Development (ECCED)

Early childhood education is very important because the first five years are the most formative of a child’s life. A vast amount of learning takes place during this time. The most common ECCED mode of provision in Zambia is the Pre-school and the discussion in this section will focus on it.

The number of ECCED centres increased by 11% from 300 in 1990 to 443 in 1995. Data on the number of centres since 1995 was not available but the trend was towards a growth in the number of centres. The main providers of the service were churches, councils, NGOs and private individuals.

The target of increasing the gross enrolment ratio of children in pre-school groups from 2% in 1990 to 25% by the year 2000 was ambitious. Indications from available data show that only 7.3% of the 3-6 year old children had attended some form of pre-school centre by 1998 as evident from table 6-1 and figures 6-1 and 6-2.

Table 6-1 Proportion of Grade 1 New Entrants with Pre-school Background 1998

  Proportion of Grade 1 new entrants with pre-school experience
Location   Number of Grade one Entrants Proportion of entrants with Pre-school experience Gender Parity

Zambia

Total (MF)

248,698

8.5

1.2

Male

126,260

7.7

 

Female

122,438

9.4

 

Rural areas

Total (MF)

179,998

2.8

1.0

Male

92,366

2.7

 

Female

87,632

2.8

 

Urban areas

Total (MF)

68,700

23.7

1.2

Male

33,894

21.4

 

Female

34,806

25.8

 

Source: Ministry of Education 1998

Figures 6-1 and 6-2 show that opportunities for Pre-school education are mainly for children in urban areas. The most urbanised regions like Copperbelt and Lusaka are where there are high opportunities for pre-school education. Rural areas and predominantly rural regions, as shown by Fig 6-1, have very few children who experienced Pre-school education. Pre schools are more in urban areas because that is where the demand is high.

Figure 6-1

Figure 6-2

By 1998 out of 248,698 children enrolled in Grade 1, 21,139 had access to pre-school education. This represented 8.5% of the total grade 1 enrolments representing 7.7% males and 9.4% females. The Gender parity index was 1.2% in favour of female children.

From the data in the table and the figures, the proportion of children with pre-school experience in urban areas was much higher (23.7%) than in rural areas (2.7%). Preschool education is more of an urban phenomenon and within urban areas children from high cost residential areas benefit from pre school education than those in low cost residential areas.

The number of trained teachers in ECCED centres increased from 473 in 1990 to 1069 in 1995 and more than 1,200 in 1997. In addition, there was a big increase in the number of pre-school teacher training colleges established by private individuals and institutions. It must also be pointed out that the Zambia Institute for Special Education (ZAMISE) introduced a class for teachers of pre-school disabled children.

The goal of making every pre-school care-giver have access to one kit of learning and teaching materials with a set of play materials for each centre by the year 2000 was not met due to inadequate funding to Curriculum Development Centre. However, ECCED caregivers had access to materials produced elsewhere, both locally and internationally.

The goal of 20% of the pre-school groups taking the lead in facilitating integration of existing child services in the community by 1995 and this proportion to increase to 80% by the year 2000 was not achieved. One reason for that was that owners of ECCED centres were not sensitised to the need to integrate existing child services into their programme. The leading agent, ZPA, faced financial, organisational and managerial problems.

One significant achievement made over the decade was government's articulation of a Child Policy under the Ministry of Sport, Youth and Child Development.

    1. Primary Education
    2. Primary education in Zambia consists of the first seven years of school that is grades 1 to 7. The first four years of school are officially known as lower basic while the senior primary grades (i.e. grades 5 to 7) constitute upper basic. Primary education is still a complete circle. This means that not all children are expected to proceed to secondary education. The position all along has been that almost two thirds of the children end their education at primary level. Only one third of the primary school leavers have opportunities to go to secondary education.

      1. Running Agency of Schools

There are four types of Primary Schools in Zambia namely government schools (or GRZ Schools), Private Schools, Grant Aided Schools and Community Schools. Figure 6.3 shows the types of schools. Community Schools are discussed in section 6.2.7. Most of the primary schools are still government controlled.

Figure 6-3

 Opportunities for Primary Education

6.2.2.1.Gross and Net Admission Ratios

Admission to Grade 1 is at the age of 7 years. The age group which the primary education sector should be absorbing is the 7 – 13 years.

The data in Tables 6-2 and 6-3 show that of all the children admitted in Grade 1 only slightly over 40% of them were of the right entry age.

Table 6-2 Gross and Net Intake ratios by sex (1994 – 1998)

Years

Gross Intake Ratio

Net Intake Ratio

Male Female Total Male Female Total
1994

1995

1996

1998

111.4

108.0

109.4

92.0

106.6

104.4

113.2

96.7

109.1

108.0

111.2

94.2

-

44.0

45.6

40.1

-

45.6

51.2

44.7

-

44.4

48.3

42.3

Source: Ministry of Education, Planning Unit.

Table 6-3 Admission ratios by Province, ( 1996 – 1998)

Province

1996 Admission Ratios

1998 Admission Ratios

AIR NIR Parity index- AIR AIR NIR Parity index- AIR
Copperbelt

Central

Lusaka

Southern

Luapula

Northern

Eastern

N/Western

Westerrn

127.9

107.6

84.1

110.9

122.9

117.0

94.3

120.6

127.3

50.0

45.1

36.8

48.0

55.3

48.7

40.4

58.3

55.1

1.2

1.2

1.1

1.1

1.1

1.4

1.1

1.2

1.2

89.0

89.3

84.2

81.3

114.8

111.0

86.4

117.5

109.0

51.6

42.3

39.7

38.2

42.9

40.6

31.2

53.2

51.3

1.2

1.1

1.1

1.1

1.1

1.1

1.1

0.9

1.3

Zambia 111.2 48.3 1.1 94.2 42.3 1.1

Source: Ministry of Education 1998

Figure 6-4

In other words, more than 50% of the children that found places in Grade 1 were either over age or under age. Eastern Province, a rural province had the lowest Net Intake Ratio (31.2%) meaning that most of the children that found admission in Grade 1 in that Province were over age. Compared to the Copperbelt, Lusaka had a lower NIR 51.2 and 39.7% respectively. The lower NIR in Lusaka could be attributed to more under age admissions in Grade 1. The high AIR in rural provinces like Luapula, Nothern, North-western and Western indicate that a high proportion of the children in these regions do not start school at the official age of seven years. Many children in rural regions thus start school after seven years.

Figure 6 – 4 shows the NIR by sex. The NIR of females is higher than that of boys. This means that more girls start school at the official age of seven years.

Gross and Net Enrollment Ratios (GER and NER)

Table 6-4 shows the trends in enrolments since 1991. From 1991 to 1993 there was an increase in GER and NER. However, after 1993 both enrolment ratios declined. In 1991, the Gross Enrollment Ratio was 96 percent rising to 104 percent and dropping to 93 percent in 1996. The Net Enrolment Ratio, on the other hand, stood at 68 percent for children aged 7 to 13 in 1991, this rose to 73 percent in 1993 and dropped to 69 percent in 1996. However, both the GER and NER seem to have improved significantly after 1996. In 1998, the GER dropped to 101 % (from 104% in 1991 which was the highest GER over recorded period) and the NER rose to 85%.This means that more children of the right age were being enrolled in school in 1998.

The decline in Net Enrollment Ratio from 73 percent in 1993 to 69 percent in 1996 shows that there was high fluctuations in primary school enrollments in the country from the beginning up to the middle of the decade. However, the rise of the NER to 85% by 1998 shows an increase in opportunities for primary education among the primary school age children. This signifies an improvement in the numbers of children having opportunities for primary education in Zambia since 1996. The improvements in GER could be as a result of three critical factors:

It is possible that a combination of all these factors has been accountable for the increase in primary education opportunities among primary school age children. Since this is the first time that a clear picture is emerging on what exactly is happening in the primary education system in the country, there is need for further investigations in order to establish what was accountable for the increase in the NER that has occurred towards the end of the decade.

Table 6-4 Gross and Net Enrolment Ratios by Province, (1991 – 1998)

Gross and Net Enrolment Ratios

Province

Gross Enrolment (%)

Net Enrolment (%)

1991

1993

1996

1998

1991

1993

1996

1998

Copperbelt

113

116

103

108

81

84

80

92

Central

103

105

104

109

74

75

76

91

Lusaka

100

103

97

113

76

75

78

98

Southern

100

108

95

89

69

74

71

75

Luapula

88

106

92

106

65

74

65

88

Northern

95

102

93

110

63

70

61

90

Eastern

77

83

67

76

51

59

52

62

North Western

105

107

87

100

71

72

61

84

Western

77

99

91

98

59

66

69

88

Zambia

96

104

93

101

68

73

69

85

Source: Ministry of Education 1998

Figure 6-5

Table 6-5 Gross and net Enrolment by Sex (1994 – 1998)

Years

Gender Parity Index

Gross Enrolment Ratios (GER)

Net Enrolment Ratios (NER)

MALE

FEMALE

TOTAL

MALE

FEMALE

TOTAL

1994

1996*

1998

0.9

1.0

1.0

100.1

100.4

102.4

90.1

95.4

99.5

95.0

98.0

101.0

89.3

-

84.8

78.0

-

86.0

83.6

-

85.4

Source: Ministry of Education 1998

*The 1996 NER data was not disagregated by sex.

Figure 6-6

Source: Ministry of Education 1998

The 1998 data show a general increase in school enrollments in the country. This is a marked

improvement over the situation observed up to the middle of the decade which showed that

enrollments in primary education had stagnated.

6.2.2 Enrollment by Region and Gender

Positive gains in NER were experienced in all the regions of the country by 1998. At the same time, the 1998 data show a general increase in the proportion of girls that were in school in the provinces and the country as a whole. At the regional level, predominantly urban provinces like Copperbelt and Lusaka had by 1998 achieved more than 90% NER. Table 6-4 shows that Lusaka achieved a 98% NER by 1998. Even rural regions like Eastern Province which in 1996 registered a 52% NER had by 1998 increased its NER to 62%. The 1998 data in Table 6-4, Figures 6-5 and 6-6 show a general increase in the numbers of girls enrolled in schools. The 1998 data indicate that the proportion of girls’ enrollment was slightly higher than that of boys. Only Southern and Central Provinces registered a decline in the enrollment of girls in 1998.

The gains in NER in the urban regions could be attributed to the Zambia Education Rehabilitation Project whose goal was to reverse negative trends in access to primary education in Lusaka and the Copperbelt by constructing new primary schools in peri-urban areas.

Table 6-6 Net Enrolment Ratios by sex and Province, (1994 - 1998)

 

Net Enrolment Ratio (1994)

Gender

Parity

Net Enrolment Ratio (1998)

Gender

Parity

Male

Female

Total

Male

Female

Total

Copperbelt

Central

Lusaka

Southern

Luapula

Northern

Eastern

N/Western

Western

Zambia

Rural

Urban

78.1

98.3

79.9

87.2

90.7

100.0

59.3

84.6

80.9

89.3

-

-

77.8

94.8

78.5

83.2

81.6

85.8

54.4

74.3

75.5

78.0

-

-

78.0

96.5

79.2

85.2

86.2

92.9

56.9

80.2

78.2

83.6

-

-

1.0

1.0

1.0

1.0

0.9

0.9

0.9

0.9

0.9

0.9

87.2

89.8

97.6

75.0

89.3

94.2

63.8

82.4

85.4

84.8

81.1

86.3

97.8

92.7

98.8

75.9

86.6

85.9

60.2

85.7

91.3

86.0

85.5

88.1

92.3

91.2

98.2

75.4

88.0

90.2

62.1

83.9

88.2

85.4

83.1

87.2

1.1

1.0

1.0

1.0

1.0

0.9

0.9

1.0

1.1

1.0

1.1

1.0

Source: Ministry of Education 1998

  Figure 6-7

Source: Ministry of Education 1998

Figure 6-8

Source: Ministry of Education 1998

 The increase in girls enrollments in most parts of the country which the data depict need further explanation. All researches conducted in the country so far have painted a dismal picture about girls’ participation in school. The conclusions of most research studies has been that girls are underrepresented in the primary education system. These conclusions have been arrived at using secondary data or limited case study findings. Current data from the Ministry of Education statistics show that the enrollment of girls in schools has improved to the point where there seems to be very little disparity in enrollments between boys and girls in the primary schools in all the regions of the country. The reasons for the trend could be attributed to:

(i) The general improvements in the school environments which has been brought about by the rehabilitation of schools in the country and the supply of books and other education materials in schools. In other words the rise in girls enrollments could be said to be due to the perceived value of education among parents because of improvements in teaching learning environments.

(ii) It could also be a result of the gender sensitization campaigns through the Program for the Advancement of Girls’ Education (PAGE) which has spread to all the provinces of the country since 1996. The community campaigns on the value of educating girls has been carried out in various communities by NGOs like the Alliance for Community Action on Female Education (ACAFE).

The increase in the enrollment levels of girls in schools is a significant development in the decade and it could be said to be a major achievement of the EFA initiatives undertaken in the country.

Table 6-8 Primary School Enrolments 1990 - 1998

 

BOYS

GIRLS

TOTAL

PERCENTAGE OF GIRLS

1990

761,615

699,896

1,461,511

47.9

1991

778,768

716,049

1,494,817

47.9

1992

770,666

707,007

1,477,673

47.8

1993

803,077

735,902

1,538,979

47.8

1994

800,858

742,078

1,542,936

47.1

1995

803,387

726,951

1,530,338

47.5

1996

791,489

717,767

1,516,919

47.6

1998

819,887

754,538

1,574,425

47.9

SOURCE: Ministry of Education Unpublished data and Kelly M.J., with Msango H. .J. and Subulwa C. M. (1998).


Previous Page Next Page