By NATION REPORTER
NATIONAL Action for Quality Education in Zambia (NAQEZ) has commended the Minister of General Education, David Mabumba, for reducing school fees, exam fees and his plans to have the exam papers printed locally.
NAQEZ executive director Aaron Chansa escribed Mr Mabumba’s decision as forward looking and generally responsive to the needs of the people.
“As an organisation promoting quality education in Zambia, we take serious note of the cardinal issues raised by the Minister of Education in his bold speech to Parliament yesterday,” Mr Chansa said.
Mr Chansa said NAQEZ was very excited to hear that the printing of exam papers and certificates would be done locally and that the Ministry of General Education and the Examinations Council of Zambia (ECZ) would begin technical consultations on this critical matter.
“This is a move made rightly. We cannot be the only country, together with Zimbabwe, which should be printing exam papers abroad.
And we can’t be spending three times more what the local printing firms are able to charge for doing the same job,” Mr Chansa said
Mr Chansa said NAQEZ insisted that printing exam papers abroad was only succeeding in exporting capital and jobs; jobs which can be created in Zambia if these printing contracts were awarded to government printers or any other local printing Company.
“NAQEZ encourages the Ministry and the ECZ to expedite the consultation process in order for the country to begin benefiting from its own locally mobilized resources.
The good news is that UNZA now has acquired state of art printing equipment which will enable the institution to print any sophisticated materials,” Mr Chansa said
Mr Chansa said reducing Grade 9 external exams fees was gratifying that the Ministry has responded to public outcry on the exorbitant fees which ECZ was charging G9 external candidates.
Mr Chansa said the need to reduce the period of running exams cannot be overemphasised.
He said his organization was also elated by decision to introduce continuous school based practical assessments and enhanced distribution and storage of exam papers.