SPEECH BY THE ZANEC BOARD CHAIRPERSON MR KABIKA KAKUNTA AT THE LAUNCH OF THE GLOBAL ACTION WEEK FOR EDUCATION HELD AT TAJ PAMODZI HOTEL, LUSAKA ON THE 3RD AUGUST 2018

SPEECH BY THE ZANEC BOARD CHAIRPERSON MR KABIKA KAKUNTA AT THE LAUNCH OF THE GLOBAL ACTION WEEK FOR EDUCATION HELD AT TAJ PAMODZI HOTEL, LUSAKA ON THE 3RD AUGUST 2018

 

 

Representatives from the two Ministries in charge of Education and Skills;

Cooperating Partners;

Representatives of Civil Society Organisations;

Members of the Press

Invited Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

It’s my honour to stand before you and deliver this speech on behalf of Zambia National Education Coalition.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Global Action for Education is an annual event which raises awareness and advocates for the continued prioritisation of education. This is an opportunity to reflect and take stock of the challenges and achievements we have made in the Education and Skills Sector in the country.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The theme for the GAWE 2018 is “Accountability in Education: Meeting our commitments”. This is a follow through of the 2017 theme whose focus was “Accountability for SDG 4 and Citizen Participation.”

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In meeting our commitments to education, accountability can only be achieved by ensuring that education stakeholders are brought together through provided platforms. This can be achieved by working together with elected officials, Ministries responsible for education, Ministry of Finance, Parliament, parents, local communities and Civil Society. All these actors are collectively responsible for the effective and efficient delivery of education services.

Coincidentally, ladies and gentlemen, I am happy to state that the just ended Joint Annual Review deliberated candidly on the need for strong multi-stakeholder accountability as a key ingredient to improving our learner outcomes.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Accountability can only be achieved if an enabling environment is provided for by the state. As such the right to seek and impart information by all stakeholders must be embraced. Once again, this was demonstrated during the JAR. Ladies and gentlemen the openness and receptiveness demonstrated by our government thus far shows that we are indeed on the right track. Now we need to move forward from lamentations to implementing what we agree upon, otherwise this valuable partnership we have all worked well to nurture will end up as a waste of time if we do not put our word into action.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Global Partnership for Education Replenishment Meeting that was held in Dakar Senegal this year was one of the many mechanisms in place to call on our government to be held accountable for education and be able to position themselves to make commitments on financing for education. Zambia was unfortunately not represented at the Replenishment meeting. After follow-up with the Ministry, the Coalition has been reassured that the government is in liaison with Global Partnership for Education (GPE) to ensure commitments are arrived at with regard to financing education in the country. The current presence of GPE representatives in the country and discussions conducted are further reassurance. As ZANEC, we continue to participate in these critical processes and exert our important watchdog role by providing checks and balances and indeed even solutions to the challenges facing the sector.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Several commitments are made by our governments as they sign to developmental agreements. In the Vison 2030 inclusive education is a target under this commitment, yet there is very little demonstrated investment in Learners with Special Education Needs with regard to procurement of Teaching and Learning Materials, while infrastructure continues to remain inappropriate for Learners with Special Education Needs, even 54 years after independence. We need to take decisive action if we are to achieve our 7th NDP vision of leaving no one behind.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The African Union Agenda 2036 a continental development agenda is a call to “catalyze education and skills revolution and actively promote science, technology, research and innovation, to build knowledge, human capital, capabilities and skills for African innovations. As Civil Society it is important to constantly track the performance of these aspirations to advocate for them to appear in our strategic plans such as the Education Sector Strategic Plan to allow for their implementation and monitoring.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As Civil Society, we have been given the opportunity to constantly engage and be heard by the ministries responsible for education and as such, we challenge ourselves to work together with government to ensure our multiple and diverse voices are not erased from the debate.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

With these remarks it is now my rare honour and privilege to invite the Ministry of General Education to officially open this meeting.

I Thank You and May God Bless Zambia!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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