Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Report on Technical and Vocational Education and Training in Zambia

Current TVET System in Zambia

The Government of Zambia, through the Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training has been working on reforming its system of technical education, vocational and entrepreneurship training (TEVET). This has been done through Policy Review, enactment of new legislation and adoption of strategies to implement the TEVET Policy. In 1996, the Government issued a policy document, i.e. Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training (TEVET) Policy. This policy is currently undergoing review. The review is being undertaken in order to address changes is the socio-economic set-up of the nation. In addition, a policy document that has been in existence for twelve years, definitely needs to be evaluated to establish what has worked and what has not worked.

The review process involves interviews and administration of questionnaires to TVET Providers, ministries in the TVET sector, employers, informal sector, TVET students and graduates and provincial and district administration. Workshops have been held in all provinces in order to confirm with various stakeholders the main issues and concerns in the TVET sector. Entrepreneurship and Informal Sector Training It needs to be noted that the TEVET Act led to the creation of entrepreneurship and informal sector training. This was meant to address the shrinking formal sector. Many African nations have experienced shrinking formal sectors. This has been due to embracing economic reforms. These reforms have been characterised by privatisation of parastatals, reduction of the formal sector through retrenchments. The shrinking formal sector has led to a growth of the informal sector (Konayuma, 2006:3).

Regulation of TEVET The Act also led to the creation of the Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Authority (TEVETA). TEVETA’s function is to regulate and monitor TVET in Zambia. TEVETA does this through inspections carried out by part-time inspectors in all the provinces and through full-time staff based at it’s headquarters in Lusaka. TEVETA is also responsible for the development and review of national curricula. It facilitates the development of local curricula for training institutions. The TEVET Act of 1998 has since been reviewed. The TEVET Act No. 11 of 2005 has since been enacted. Department of Vocational Education and Training In 2000, the Department of Technical Education and Vocational Training (DTEVT) was dissolved. In it’s place TEVETA, mentioned above, was established.

With the dissolution of DTVET, the 23 institutions which it managed were placed under management boards. The Department of Vocational Education and Training (DVET) in the Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training was created to formulate, monitor and evaluate the TEVET Policy. The department also promotes TEVET and also assesses the impact of TEVET programmes. Another function of the department is to increase stakeholder participation in the provision of TEVET. Before the current TVET reforms that started in the nineties, TVET provision was mostly done by public institutions. Currently TVET provision is done by private institutions, faith based organisations, trusts and community based institutions. The department has two units: Entrepreneurship and Skills units. Organisation of TVET The TVET is sector is organised into three major parts: policy making, regulation and training provision.

The Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training (MSTVT) through DVET is responsible for TEVET provision. TEVETA is responsible for regulation of the TEVET sector. Registered training institutions offer training. Public institutions are under TVET sector ministries such as Education, Community and Social Development, Science, Technology and Vocational Training, Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources. These ministries in addition to Labour and Social Security and Commerce and Industry belong to an Inter-Ministerial Committee which discusses issues of common interest and concern in TVET. Apart from the Committee the Chief Executive Officers of these ministries also meet at least twice a year.

Levels of Training Training in TVET sector in Zambia is offered at the following levels:

  • Trade Test
  • Craft
  • Technician
  • Technologist/Diploma

Entry requirements into these levels differs. Trainees come from primary, secondary and other training institutions. The general education system which feeds into the TVET system follows a 7-5 system. Primary education is 7 years and secondary education is 5 years. Secondary education has two years of Junior Secondary School and three years of high school. Tertiary education ranges from 1-7 years. The TVET sector enrolls about 25,000 trainees in 270 institutions.

(This was part of a paper presented by Gabriel Konayuma at the UNESCO-UNEVOC International Experts Consultation Seminar held in Dublin, Ireland in August 2008).

To read full paper click here:


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