REMOVE POLITICS FROM THE EDUCATION SECTOR
“We commit a fraud on students when we tell them that because they learn facts like dates, names and places, they have acquired something worth knowing.” J. Henze
Our country especially her political elite are not far from being guilty of criminal negligence; they are at ease living a luxurious life while the future of many young burns.
In light of recent events, examination leakages, Junior Examination Practical’s overlapping into Senior examination timetable, a girl almost delivering in an examination hall (remember we have re-entry policy in place), unfixed cut off point for grade eights, school leavers who are un productive and tens among other aspects to ensure access of education with little attention to the quality and applicability of the learnt. Zambia has subscribed to the ambitions for education as essentially captured in Sustainable Development Goal 4 which aims to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”.
As a people passionate about the future of this nation and understand the role education has it, its unbearable to see our schools becoming simply places of memorizing written words in order to pass an examination without changing the mind of the leaner.
From the foregoing let me suggest a few, painful ways to improve our schools and Zambian Education sector. Foremost, is to remove politicians from the core of the Education sector and let technocrats handle the work. Education and politics don’t mix. The process of learning and growing up requires us to recognize, admit and make improvements.
In most cases, the political elite are big headed, egoistic, and don’t listen, and will do anything that will make them get a vote, thus they won’t learn.
A number of citizens asking what for now could be an imaginative question of what happens when our pupils perform badly in examinations going on now or just ended? The easiest with our politician driven education is to water down the exams, as an alternative to that of going on a fact finding mission, dissecting, identifying and making concrete changes to education policies.
In events when the right thing is done which never gets out of fashion with people with integrity prevents examination malpractices, learners are called on to pray harder, when that fails, they lower passing marks, if they hit rock bottom, they are hidden in flowery percentages. If all these don’t seem to work parents wear the blame.
Its commended that, its time to get professionals and academicians to run the education sector. Ensuing, our exams should be comparable to international standards, and the syllabus constantly measured against the best in the world. This is a huge mountain to climb when politicians are in charge.
What is more, our politicians must dare to enroll their children in public schools. Politicians, more than anyone else, will want the best for their children. Making them send their children to public schools provides them with a strong incentive to push for reforms in public education.
Having their children in public schools will encourage them to intermingle with people from low to middle economic backgrounds who make up the vast majority of the Zambian population. By this decision, at least they will pick up personally what the politicians think of the poor and politicians might then advocate for the education whose aim should be ‘to teach us rather how to think, than what to think – rather to improve our minds, so as to enable us to think for ourselves, than to load the memory with the thoughts of other people’.