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1977 Education Reforms Aimed at Development of Whole Person, Insists on Quality and Relevance

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1977 education reforms aimed at development of whole person, insists on quality and relevance.

States the principle that productive work in schools should serve educational objectives. Established long-term goal of nine years universal education (in basic schools) with intermediate goal of seven years of primary education for all school-aged children. Retain English as medium of instructions. Allows continuance of ever/ one, shows great concern for improvement of teachers, that teachers be worthy of leadership and respect, and that they be fully professional people, establishes two years full-time teacher training as the norm. Retains certification and selection functions of examinations, treats school-based assessment with caution, but allows that it should be applied in determining borderline and difficult cases.

Strengths: ideological: concern for whole person and each individual, above all the teacher, concern for equity (better distribution of resources) Professional: concerned for quality, for relevant curriculum, primary of education objectives

Cultural: movement towards restoration of Zambian languages to rightful place.

Practical: realistic and pragmatic, much of it feasible, realistic appraisal of what can be expected of people, what people will accept, what can be done within constraints of limited resources.

Weaknesses: seen by many critics as complete reversal and rejection of major 1967 proposals, by others as little more than linear expansion of existing educational system.

a) Timid arid cautious: not willing for education to provide dynamic leadership role in a transforming society, does not face issue of kind of education needed in present-day Zambian society. Nor ask whether existing system is producing universal well-being adopts a ''keep politics out of education approach" and hence does not address many critical Issues on which education has a bearing, never asks whether "more of the same" is real answer to the educational, social and economic problems Zambia faces.

b) Deals favorably with the handicapped, but otherwise makes no special provision for the disadvantaged such as out-of-school-youth, or rural problems and issues, leaves responsibility for much of continuing education to other ministries and fails to assent its own potential role in combating adult-illiteracy.

c) In common with the draft-statement it takes too little account on the context of education, especially education growth, rural neglect, growing urbanization and worsening economic situation.

d) Like most documents of the time it has nothing special to say about girls' education or on environmental problems.

Educational developments 1977-91:

Implementation of the educational reforms

Much of the enthusiasm for educational reform faded away with the publication of the 1977 document. No strategy worked out for their implementation, no implementation unit set up. Some elements included in third national development plan. Copies of reform document not widely distributed. Document taken as the final justification for every educational intervention, but few were really familiar with its contents. Establishment in 1984 of educational reform implementation project (ERIP) at university of Zambia (UNZA) to work out a detailed plan for implementing the reforms.

Report (the provision of education for all) submitted in 1986. Recommended that in few of demographic and economic constraints (fast-growing population and deteriorating economy) priority be given to providing seven years of good-quality education to all children with only limited expansion at the Grade 8 and higher levels. Also recommended introduction of user charges, especially for boarding on tertiary level.

Social-political developments

"Growth from own resources" policy stands from mid-19 87, break with IMF/World bank, removed possibility of World bank and new donor support for implementation of ERIP and other proposals. Zambia invited to World Conference on Education for All (Jomtien March 1990), preparatory work and investigations revealed critical state of education at all levels, especially in primary schools. Jomtien showed that a large number of developing countries, especially in Africa, had similar problems to Zambia's establishment in 1990 of national education for all task force, with special responsibility to promote achievement of universal quality primary education and a significant reduction in adult illiteracy (especially among women) both by the year 2000. Zambia national IFA-conference (March 1991) formulated Zambia declaration on education for all with stress on achieving universal primary education, real achievement of school -learning objectives, reduction of illiteracy, extension of private provision of education and new strategies for raising financial resources for education.

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