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Chapter 2.2 : Education, Research and Development

The Zambian education system especiallyinpublic schools is characterised by low ICT adoption rates.  There are over 6,000 public schools out of which very few have ICT subjects as part of the curriculum.  In 1998, the Ministry of Education started an initiative to introduce camputer studies in selected secondary schools.  The results have not been as expected; however, the initiative needs to be encouraged and scales up to all schools.  On the other hand, private schools are promoting ICT literacy though only a small percentage of the pupils are ICT literate by the time they leave secondary school.

A number of research institutions have acquired human capacity to work with ICT tools such as computers.  However, the level of use of ICTs and the outcome of such activities needs to improve.  Holistic approaches to R&D with the support of ICTs need to be put in place. Again, R&D focused on developing products and services for the local  ICT market need to
be encouraged.

It is acknowledged that Zambia faces a number of challenges in the educational system. Some of these include:-

  1. General financial and technological resource constraints that the Government faces in its  Effort  to develop and improve the educational system including efforts directed at integrating ICTs in education;
  2. Inadequate awareness on the benefits of integrating ICTs in the administration of the delivery chain in the education sector;
  3. Lack of coordinated approach in the adoption and implementation of initiatives targeted at the deployment of ICTs within the educational system;
  4. High opportunity cost of deploying ICTs in the educational system – it is difficult to justify  spending scarce and limited resources on ICTs when many institutions are still lacking basic amenities and educational supplies; and
  5. Shortage of teachers with ICT skills to meet the requirements of the schools, thus limiting ICT penetration within the education system.

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