Education in Zambia

Joined Commonwealth: 1964

Population: 12,935,000 (2009)

GDP p.c. growth: 0.3% p.a. 1990-2009

UN HDI 2010: world ranking 150

Net primary enrolment: 92.4% (2009)

Net secondary enrolment: 43.1% (2008)

Adult literacy: 70.9% (2009)

Public spending on education was 0.8% of GDP in 2009. There are seven years of compulsory education starting at age seven. Net enrolment ratios are 92.4% (2009) for primary and 43.1% for secondary (2008) with a gross enrolment ratio for all levels of education combined of 69.4% in 2007. The pupil-teacher ratio for primary is 63:1 and for secondary 22:1 (2008). Some 53% of pupils complete primary school (2008). The school year starts in January.

The University of Zambia was established in Lusaka in 1965, Copperbelt University, Kitwe, in 1986 and Mulungushi University, Kabwe, in 2008. There are a number of private universities, including Zambia Open University, which enrolled its first students in 2005 (established 2004), and Cavendish University, Lusaka (established 2004). Literacy among people aged 15-24 is 75% (2009).

The government’s Sixth National Development Plan (2011-15) recognises the role of education in creating an educated population that can participate fully in the country’s development and in reducing poverty; particularly through the pursuit of gender equity.