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                                Education in Zambia


The education system in Zambia consists of 7 years of primary schooling and 5 years of secondary schooling before students can enter university, college, or other institutions of higher learning. The following is the breakdown:

Primary School:
* Grades one to seven.
Secondary School:
* Phase 1: grades eight and nine (also known as Junior Secondary)
* Phase 2: grades ten to twelve (also known as Upper Secondary)

The academic year in Zambia runs from January to December. It has three month school terms which are broken up by a roughly one month holiday prior to each term. This translates to about 40 weeks of school per year.

The minimum entrance age to the first year of primary school, known as Grade 1, is 7 years old. Thus a child is expected to enter his/her first year of high school (Form 1) at 14 years old. These were government established standards. Schools, particularly private schools, are very liberal in applying them. Their priority is largely on the performance of each child. It’s thus common to find children of varying age groups throughout the schooling years.

Primary languages: English as the language of instruction and one Zambian language assigned by each provincial district.

Types of schools: 1) Government public schools, 2) Church run schools, 3) Private schools, and 4) Religious private schools (other than Christian ones -e.g. Jewish and Islamic schools).

Some Quick Stats:
Zambia Education Facts 2007

Schools in the country

Children enrolled in all schools, Grade 1 to 12

Dropout rate in 2005

Teacher, pupil ratio in grades 1 to 9

Percent of all the children in school are orphaned

Children are out of school from age 7 to 13

Source: USAID-Zambia

Higher Education in Zambia
Transition from lower to higher educational levels is determined by the performance of each student in national examinations at the end 12. This is particularly so for government colleges and universities. They are highly competitive due to the few spots they offer.

The entry of private colleges and universities has brought more opportunities to many deserving students that failed to make it into highly competitive government universities and colleges. The only catch is whether or not they can afford to attend the private institutions of higher learning. Institutional accreditation and recognition is by the Ministry of Education (of Zambia).