Power and Politics

President Hichilema agrees to champion foundational learning in Africa


Government has announced that President Hakainde Hichilema has accepted to be the champion of foundational learning in Africa.

Education Minister, Douglas Syakalima, said the decision makes him as the first ever champion of foundational learning on the continent.

Announcing the development in Lusaka on Monday, Syakalima said in November last year, the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) in collaboration the Ministry held a high level policy dialogue forum.

He said a significant outcome from the forum was the Ministerial communique endorsed by 10 Ministers and 11 Ministerial representatives from 21 African countries.

“The communique contained five actions that the Ministers agreed to implement and one of them was to identify African Heads of State and government as champions of foundation learning on the continent,” Syakalima stated.

The Minister said Hichilema had accepted to be champion given his passion for education, his recognition of the importance of foundational learning for subsequent academic learning and future success.

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He added that this was also for the strides Zambia had made to improve the quality of education in the country from early childhood education to higher education.

“Foundational learning in Africa is confronted with several challenges,” Syakalima noted.

He identified the challenges as limited access to education due to poverty, inadequate funding, poor infrastructure, teaching shortages, inadequate training and support, higher teacher pupil ratio and low quality of education among others.

Syakalima said these challenges underscored the crucial need for a champion of foundational learning to advocate for addressing them.

“The President will leverage his leadership, image, influence and foundational learning accomplishments in Zambia to encourage fellow Heads of State and government and other stakeholders to dedicate more efforts, investments to improving foundational learning and addressing learning poverty in africa,” he said.

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