The ZANEC Board Chairperson
ZANEC Board Members
Cooperating Partners Present
ZANEC Executive Director and Secretariat staff
Members of the media
Ladies and Gentlemen
It is my honour and privilege to officiate at the Zambia National Education Coalition (ZANEC)’s 9th General Assembly held under theme: “KEEPING THE WHEELS OF EDUCATION RUNNING AMIDST THE COVID 19 PANDEMIC”.
It is very encouraging to see so many civil society organisations in one room, united in the provision of education to our Zambian learners and how to best each respective organisation can contribute towards improving the education sector. I am aware that currently ZANEC has 82 Member Organizations working in the Education and Skills Sector. For the Ministry of General Education, this signifies that we have many organisations that are complementing the efforts of Government in the delivery of quality education to all our learners especially in the aspect of generating evidence for improved decision making and promotion of innovations.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Education Coalition has demonstrated its continued support and partnership to the cause of the learner even amidst the COVID 19 Pandemic. My Ministry is pleased that you have continued providing policy and advocacy based on evidence generated from actual research. As you are aware, 2020 brought about a re-thinking and saw a change to how the Ministry and the world at large delivered education with the onset of COVID 19 pandemic. Drastic changes had to be made to ensure that learning was not adversely affected, especially for the rural and vulnerable learners. Even as all these changes were being implemented, the Coalition remained unwavering in your commitment to providing evidence-based alternatives to best address the situation and ensure that learners and teachers returned to school under safe conditions.
Admittedly, we still have a long way to go in attaining the education we aspire to, especially when it comes to having well balanced alternative modes of education delivery. With the continued support from our partners and stakeholders we have been able to achieve what has been accomplished so far as we ensure that no one is left behind in our education agenda even amidst the COVID 19 Pandemic such as:
- The launch of the two (2) E – Learning Platforms: The National E – Learning Portal and the Smart Revision;
- The launch of the Education Television Channel (ZNBC TV4) on Top Star Platform;
- The airing of lessons on the Education Broadcasting Radio; and
- The development of Self – Instructional Learning Materials through the Zambia College of Distance Education (ZACODE).
Ladies and gentlemen,
Although my Ministry has made some gains in increasing access to education at all levels, our education system continues to be lag behind in the provision of adequate and suitably qualified teachers, teaching and learning materials and learning space, among other things, whose impacts negatively affect the learning outcomes, progression rates and drop-out rates.
To this effect, ladies and gentlemen,
The theme of this General Assembly is in line with my Ministry’s aspirations of “KEEPING THE WHEELS OF EDUCATION RUNNING AMIDST THE COVID 19 PANDEMIC”. The pandemic has magnified our deficiencies in the sector and has also created opportunities to look beyond what we have always done thus opening up limitless possibilities for education delivery.
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is a known fact that education financing is one of the key factors to attaining our goals and ensuring that we have a well-implemented Education and Skills Sector Plan. The ministry recognised the continued and relentless efforts that ZANEC has made for increased budgets to the sector for the achievement of national plans. Be rest assured that My Ministry together with our Cooperating partners continue to prioritize funding to the Education as we are all well aware, education is the cornerstone of development in the world. Even as we speak of the national development aspiration of ‘leaving no one behind’, can only be attained with investment in education, which is the true equalizer.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Allow me to conclude by calling upon all the ZANEC Member Organisations present here to continue complementing government efforts in the provision of quality inclusive education for all our children. Your contributions do not go unnoticed and may of the undertakings in the General Education sector would remain undone if not for you our partners. My call is to see how we can all utilise our comparative advantages as organisations to the fulfilment of the national goals.
My hope is that even as you look at your new strategic direction, the Coalition will remain focused in the delivery of its mandate of promoting access to quality inclusive education for all our children. The ministry remains ready to partner and collaborate on the different initiatives meant KEEPING THE WHEELS OF EDUCATION RUNNING AMIDST THE COVID 19 PANDEMIC
I thank you and may God bless you all.
Note that the speech was read by Mr. Louis Mwansa – Director Planning and Information, Ministry of General Education