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Zambia - Nonformal Education

Education Encyclopedia - StateUniversity.comGlobal Education ReferenceZambia - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary Education, Secondary Education


Zambia's school system was dropping out every year an average of 225 to 500 young people into unemployment (Saluseki, 2000). About 232,000 pupils enter primary school each year, but 50,000 drop out before grade seven and 120,000 drop out at grade seven. Some 62,000 students enter secondary school, but 40,000 drop out before grade 12 leaving only 22,000 who gain grade 12 certificates. Out of those that gain grade 12 certificates, 16,500 look for jobs without any skills while 5,500 enter formal training or a university. Students who drop out of the education system pursue alternative sources of education, usually in the nonformal sector. Zambia has different continuing education programs under different ministries. Under the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Vocational Training, the targeted population for skills training is out-of-school youths grade or grade 9 and 12 dropouts. Training programs for these groups are undertaken at trades training institutes. There are 12 institutions, 9 of them located in urban areas and 3 in rural areas. The Ministry of Community Development and Social Services also provides essential skills training in vocational rehabilitation skills, skills training for women, and training specifically targeted to disabled persons, youth, and unemployed adults. The Ministry of Sport, Youth, and Child Development provides training in agriculture, carpentry, tailoring, and plumbing to out-of-school youths between 15 and 24 years. The ministry has 14 training centers. The Department for Continuing Education in the Ministry of Education provides training in carpentry, agriculture, and vocational skills at 24 skills training centers to out-of-school youths and unemployed adults. There are also a number of NGOs involved in the provision of essential skills training for women, out-of-school youths, street children, orphans, and other disadvantaged groups.

The Department for Continuing Education in the Ministry of Education and some NGOs provide literacy training through open learning centers, night schools, and the National Correspondence College. About 4,600 youths are trained every year through the open learning centers and distance education. High levels of participation are recorded in rural areas because literacy training is directed to reach rural women. Since the illiteracy level is higher for rural women than men, more women enroll in the literacy classes. In urban areas, a few municipalities and city councils provide basic literacy training.

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