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UNEVOC International Experts Consultation Seminar

Country Report on Technical and Vocational Education and

Training in Zambia

Gabriel S Konayuma

Senior TEVET Offcier

Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training, Zambia


August 2008
UNEVOC International Experts Consultation Seminar. Dublin: August 2008

Country Report of TVET in Zambia

Gabriel S. Konayuma, BA Ed., MBA

Senior TEVET Officer,
Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training, Zambia.


Country Background

Zambia is located in Central Africa, between latitudes 18°S and 22°S, and landlocked with
eight neighbours (i.e. Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi,
Tanzania, and Democratic Republic of Congo). Zambia is divided into nine provinces. The
provinces which serve as administrative divisions are: Central, Copperbelt, Eastern, Luapula,
Lusaka, Northern, North-Western and Southern. The capital city is Lusaka. The country is
further divided into 72 districts. Zambia has a total area of 752, 210 square kilometres. The
population is 10.8 million (Central Statistical Office, 2003:9). Zambia is a unitary headed by
a Republican President who is elected by universal suffrage for a term of five years.

Zambia has a mixed economy consisting of a modern urban sector that, geographically,
follows the old line of rail and a largely rural agricultural sector. Zambia’s gross domestic
product (GDP) is K1,528,506 (equivalent to US$ 354.90) (Bank of Zambia, 2005:1). The
major tourist attractions are Victoria Falls (one of the 7 natural wonders of the world);
Kariba Dam (one of the largest man-made lake); 19 National Parks and 34 game
management areas as well as 23 million hectares devoted to the conservation of an amazing
variety of wild animals and bird species. The country also holds a number of traditional
ceremonies including the Kuomboka, Ncwala, Likumbi Lyamize, Shimunenga, Mutomboko.
The currency is Kwacha (ZMK) = 100 Ngwee. The exchange rate is market determined.
Average exchange rate is ZMK K3,400= US $1 in August 2008.

The report looks at the current TVET system in Zambia. This is followed by a discussion of
the issues and concerns of the UNEVOC Centre and how the Centre can contribute to the
Network Recommendations on what is needed to develop the network given. The report ends
with a conclusion that emphasizes the strength of networking and collaboration.


The Government of Zambia, through the Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational
Training has been working on reforming its system of technical education, vocational and
entrepreneurship training (TEVET). This has been done through Policy Review, enactment of
new legislation and adoption of strategies to implement the TEVET Policy. In 1996, the
Government issued a policy document, i.e. Technical Education, Vocational and
Entrepreneurship Training (TEVET) Policy. This policy is currently undergoing review. The
review is being undertaken in order to address changes is the socio-economic set-up of the
nation. In addition, a policy document that has been in existence for twelve years, definitely
needs to be evaluated to establish what has worked and what has not worked. The review
process involves interviews and administration of questionnaires to TVET Providers,

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G S Konayuma, Zambia [Country Report of TVET in Zambia]
UNEVOC International Experts Consultation Seminar. Dublin: August 2008

ministries in the TVET sector, employers, informal sector, TVET students and graduates and
provincial and district administration. Workshops have been held in all provinces in order to
confirm with various stakeholders the main issues and concerns in the TVET sector.

Entrepreneurship and Informal Sector Training

It needs to be noted that the TEVET Act led to the creation of entrepreneurship and informal
sector training. This was meant to address the shrinking formal sector. Many African nations
have experienced shrinking formal sectors. This has been due to embracing economic
reforms. These reforms have been characterised by privatisation of parastatals, reduction of
the formal sector through retrenchments. The shrinking formal sector has led to a growth of
the informal sector (Konayuma, 2006:3).

Regulation of TEVET
The Act also led to the creation of the Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship
Training Authority (TEVETA). TEVETA’s function is to regulate and monitor TVET in
Zambia. TEVETA does this through inspections carried out by part-time inspectors in all the
provinces and through full-time staff based at it’s headquarters in Lusaka. TEVETA is also
responsible for the development and review of national curricula. It facilitates the
development of local curricula for training institutions. The TEVET Act of 1998 has since
been reviewed. The TEVET Act No. 11 of 2005 has since been enacted.

Department of Vocational Education and Training

In 2000, the Department of Technical Education and Vocational Training (DTEVT) was
dissolved. In it’s place TEVETA, mentioned above, was established. With the dissolution of
DTVET, the 23 institutions which it managed were placed under management boards. The
Department of Vocational Education and Training (DVET) in the Ministry of Science,
Technology and Vocational Training was created to formulate, monitor and evaluate the
TEVET Policy. The department also promotes TEVET and also assesses the impact of
TEVET programmes. Another function of the department is to increase stakeholder
participation in the provision of TEVET. Before the current TVET reforms that started in the
nineties, TVET provision was mostly done by public institutions. Currently TVET provision
is done by private institutions, faith based organisations, trusts and community based
institutions. The department has two units: Entrepreneurship and Skills units.

Organisation of TVET
The TVET is sector is organised into three major parts: policy making, regulation and training

• The Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training (MSTVT) through

DVET is responsible for TEVET provision.
• TEVETA is responsible for regulation of the TEVET sector.
• Registered training institutions offer training.

Public institutions are under TVET sector ministries such as Education, Community and
Social Development, Science, Technology and Vocational Training, Tourism, Environment
and Natural Resources. These ministries in addition to Labour and Social Security and
Commerce and Industry belong to an Inter-Ministerial Committee which discusses issues of
common interest and concern in TVET. Apart from the Committee the Chief Executive
Officers of these ministries also meet at least twice a year.

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G S Konayuma, Zambia [Country Report of TVET in Zambia]
UNEVOC International Experts Consultation Seminar. Dublin: August 2008

Levels of Training
Training in TVET sector in Zambia is offered at the following levels:
• Trade Test
• Craft
• Technician
• Technologist/Diploma

Entry requirements into these levels differs. Trainees come from primary, secondary and other
training institutions. The general education system which feeds into the TVET system follows
a 7-5 system. Primary education is 7 years and secondary education is 5 years. Secondary
education has two years of Junior Secondary School and three years of high school. Tertiary
education ranges from 1-7 years. The TVET sector enrolls about 25,000 trainees in 270


The main issues and concerns of the UNEVOC centre are quality, access and equity.

TEVTA carries out inspections in order to ensure that training offered in institutions meets its
minimum standards of training. Some institutions do not register with TEVETA and thus
offer unsuspecting trainees poor quality training. MSTVT through TEVETA is making every
effort to ensure that the quality of training offered to trainees is of high quality and produces
trainees that are of good quality. In 2008, more than 100 institutions were de-registered due to
not meeting the minimum standards of training.

Training institutions often face the challenge of offering quality training vis-à-vis quantity
training. There is need to strike a proper balance. Institutions need to have relevant curricula
that satisfies the needs of the trainees and industry. Consultative meetings among key
stakeholders are used to improve the quality of training. Signing of performance contracts and
disbursement of funds (TEVET Fund) to support training also play a big role in improving
quality training.

Relevant curricula that satisfies the demands of industry also helps in enhancing quality.
Learning outcomes of TVET curricula is supposed to match occupational profiles in industry.
Curriculum design in TVET in Zambia is done using a mix of TVET trainers, staff from
industry, professional associations and staff from Technical Education, Vocational and
Entrepreneurship Training Authority (TEVETA) and government ministries. The curriculum
is designed for various programmes ranging from Construction, Tailoring and Design,
Information and Communication Technology, Carpentry and Joinery, Hospitality and
Tourism etc. New programmes are developed when a training need is identified by training
institutions, communities or industry. Existing programmes are reviewed in a similar manner.
Currently TEVETA manages the curriculum design and review process by supervising the
curriculum development teams and providing guidance. The curriculum is developed by
developing occupational profiles for various skills levels of training. These are then used to
develop curricula indicating the learning outcomes expected of trainees after the end of each
learning programme (Konayuma, 2007: 4).
Consultative meetings, inspections, articles in the media are some of the ways being used to
improve training quality. MSTVT organises consultative fora with TVET stakeholders every
year. During the Stakeholders Consultative Forum, the Minister reports on activities that the

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G S Konayuma, Zambia [Country Report of TVET in Zambia]
UNEVOC International Experts Consultation Seminar. Dublin: August 2008

ministry has undertaken in the previous year. The Forum is also a planning meeting for the
coming year. Resolutions are made on activities that various Stakeholders will undertake in
the coming year.

Ensuring that various types of persons access the TVET system is a big challenge. Efforts to
address this challenge are being addressed by encouraging various stakeholders to be involved
in training provision and encouraging distance learning. Distance learning however is only
provided by 2% of registered institutions. The ministry, TEVETA and TVTC (a leading
provider of distance learning among TVET providers in Zambia) have planned various
strategies to promote the introduction of distance learning by other TVET providers.
Recognition of Prior Learning is also seen as another way of increasing access to those that
could have previously disadvantaged into entering TVET institutions. Recently, Zambia
hosted a Commonwealth of Learning/Commonwealth Association of Polytechnics in Africa
Conference where best practices in Recognition of Prior Learning were shared. The
conference also shared steps that some African nations had made in establishing qualifications
frameworks in their nations. Further collaboration is required to ensure that nations can
benchmark their practice against best practices within the Continent and outside. Then
African nations will “ensure that the learning needs of all young people and adults are met
through equitable access to appropriate learning and life-skills programmes” (UNESCO,

The government and some training providers have introduced bursary schemes in order to
address the issue of equity. Policies for gender, disability and HIV & AIDS have been
developed and are being implemented. In a joint study that Botswana and Zambia did in 2006
it was noted that some TVET institutions had made significant progress in implementing
effective HIV & AIDS programmes.

The Ministry of Science, Technology & Vocational Training has noted the importance of
strengthening linkages between TVET and Science & Technology. This is because both
sectors are inter-dependent and complement each other.


The UNEVOC Network can help the UNEVOC Centre in Zambia through:

• Regular Communication
• Supporting use of ICT’s for knowledge sharing
• Organising regular face-toface and online conferences and seminars
• Distribution of useful TVET publications
• Facilitating linkages with other Centres

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G S Konayuma, Zambia [Country Report of TVET in Zambia]
UNEVOC International Experts Consultation Seminar. Dublin: August 2008


• Understanding the role of the Centre: Members of the Centre need to be acquainted
with UNESCO’s vision for UNEVOC Centres.
• Networking e.g. regular participation in the UNEVOC e-forum
• Encouraging members to be active in writing and conducting research on TVET
• Sharing of knowledge and experiences
• Collaboration within the Centre and the Network
• Overcoming Challenges that may impact negatively on the Centre’s activities


• Understanding the importance of networking

• Networking: this must be done aggressively and consistently by all members
• Encouragement of best practices
• Visiting other UNEVOC Centres
• Organisational Structures that are supportive: these are important to the development
of the Network
• Commitment to the vision of the network

The UNEVOC Network includes, teaching, training, planning, research and development
institutions, and entities within government ministries that are active in technical and
vocational education. It is a Network that constitutes a worldwide perspective of this area of
education (UNESCO, 1999:3).


Konayuma, G. S. (2006) Challenges of Shrinking Formal Sector in Africa and the Need to
Strengthen Entrepreneurship Training: A Case Study of Zambia. Livingstone:
Commonwealth Association of Polytechnics in Africa.

Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training (1998) Technical Education,

Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Policy. Lusaka: Ministry of Science, Technology
and Vocational Training.

UNESCO (1999) UNESCO’s International Project on Technical and Vocational Education.

Berlin: UNESCO.

UNESCO (2005) TVET Issues: Improving Access to TVET [online]. Bonn: UNESCO.
Accessed from: http://portal.unesco.org/education/en/ev.php. Accessed on 2 August 2008.

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G S Konayuma, Zambia [Country Report of TVET in Zambia]