Efforts to educate
In the 1970s, shortly after the country gained independence, the Zambian state went to great lengths to provide children with a good education. It was a time when the country was doing very well – mainly because of the income from the copper deposits (see also economy). However, as copper prices continued to decline in the late 1970s, the government took less money and could not spend as much on children’s education.
School fees were even introduced from 1993, teachers were paid less and fewer and fewer children were even going to school. Volunteers were forced to come together to teach the children at least basic skills in writing, reading and arithmetic.
The Zambian school system
Officially, the Zambian school system goes from first to twelfth grade. There are schools that are financed by the Zambian state, as well as church schools backed by a church organization. There are also community schools, which are private schools, which are usually financed by parents and teachers or local sponsors, or private schools that are supported by a specific company. There are also international schools.
Problems with the school system
Since Zambia was an English colony for a long time, the school system largely corresponds to that of Great Britain. There is compulsory schooling for the primary school, which corresponds to our primary school. All children should actually visit these. School fees are no longer due, but school attendance is not free either: in Zambia, children have to wear a school uniform and this costs money. There are also costs for books and writing materials.
So – despite the state obligation – not all children go to primary school. Change the children to secondary school, the secondary school, it is now up to the seventh grade teaching also free.
Lessons only cost money from the eighth grade onwards. That is not that much, but simply too much for Zambian families. The consequences are: The children stay at home. This affects girls especially. In Zambian society, boys are more important than girls, so parents send boys to school first. Many girls in Zambia do not even get a school leaving certificate. In Zambia, school is officially compulsory up to the age of 14.
Much is missing
Although the Zambian government has recognized how important the education of children is for the country, there are still too few schools and there is often a lack of space for a school. If they exist, the schools are poorly equipped. And then there is often a lack of well-trained teachers. But 61 out of 100 people over the age of 15 can read and write. At the same time, this means that 39 out of 100 cannot do that.
What is a radio school?
For many children in Zambia, schooling is a luxury. In the countryside, the state schools are very far from the villages. But a solution has been found here. There is even a radio school in Zambia, a country located in Africa according to remzfamily. But what is that supposed to be?
Here the children learn to write, read and do a little math. And that via a radio program. It’s just very simple things that the children learn here. But at least they have the opportunity to learn something at all.
The children often live in villages, the parents cannot pay the school fees and the children have to help with the daily work. Without the radio program, they wouldn’t go to school at all. Parents cannot send them to school. Some schools are up to 50 kilometers away and families cannot afford school uniforms. There is a free lunch in the radio school and the children do not have to wear a school uniform. The food is also a small incentive for parents to send their children to the radio school.
In Zambia, as in many African countries, there is child labor. Most of the children work in the countryside for their parents in agriculture. Many parents also use their children for daily housework and sometimes send them to the streets as street vendors. Some children work as stone knockers in the mines. You have to contribute to the family income.
In addition, as in many other African countries, there are AIDS orphans. These are children whose parents died of AIDS and who look after their younger siblings and therefore work.
Child labor is officially prohibited in Zambia. But many do not adhere to this because of the need. In some provinces the situation is very bad, in which case half of the children do not go to school. This means that they have little chance of escaping poverty at some point.
Lack of clean water
Many children are sick because there is a lack of drinking water and hygiene is often poor. So there is no sewage system and the sewage simply flows off via the street. The children play in the dirty water and can catch all sorts of serious diseases at any time. This poor hygiene is responsible for many deaths and diseases. That is why clean water is very valuable and it is important that everyone has access to it.