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“Zambia Embraces Foundation Learning”

… As the country join hands to Celebrates President Hichilema’s Appointment as Africa’s Champion

By Francis Maingaila

Lusaka, Zambia24 (13-05-2024) – Zambia has not only embraced foundation learning, focusing on the famous 3Rs – reading, writing, and arithmetic – but is also celebrating the appointment of President Hakainde Hichilema as the champion of foundational learning in Africa.

According to Daglus Siakalima, the idea of foundation learning was discussed at a high-level policy dialogue hosted by the Association for the Development of Education in Africa and the Ministry of Education in Lusaka. The dialogue resulted in a ministerial declaration endorsed by representatives from 21 African countries, outlining five actions to implement foundational learning. One of the actions was to identify African heads of state and government as champions of foundational learning on the continent.

Given Zambia’s strides in improving education quality from early childhood to higher education, President Hichilema was requested to be the champion of foundational learning in Africa. Siakalima disclosed that the president accepted the position, making him the first-ever champion of foundational learning on the continent.

Siakalima noted that foundational learning in Africa faces several challenges, including limited access due to poverty, inadequate funding, poor infrastructure, teacher training shortages, and low education quality. As the champion, President Hichilema will leverage his leadership, influence, and accomplishments to encourage efforts and investments to improve learning outcomes and address learning poverty in Africa.

Permanent Secretary Joe Kamoko expressed gratitude for the president’s appointment, saying he deserves this honor. Kamoko challenged the Ministry to work hard and deliver results, pledging to support the president in this mission. He emphasized the importance of education, saying it is crucial for addressing human capital issues, which account for 60% of the country’s challenges.

Kamoko also highlighted the need for dedicated individuals to carry the burden of education forward, noting that efforts are underway to ensure the next generation receives a quality education starting from early childhood.

During the press briefing, questions were raised regarding various issues, including teacher induction and online teaching preferences. Kamoko addressed these concerns, stating that teacher induction processes are ongoing, and infrastructure development and resource provision are ongoing processes to meet the growing demand for education.

Despite challenges, the Ministry of Education remains committed to providing quality education for all. The loss of production due to water shortages highlights the interconnectedness of various societal needs and the importance of addressing them effectively.

In conclusion, Zambia’s embrace of foundation learning and President Hichilema’s appointment as Africa’s champion mark a significant step forward in improving education quality and addressing learning poverty on the continent.”

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