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|Title:||Basic Education in Zambia: A Study in Educational Policy Development|
|Department / Program:||Education|
|Degree Granting Institution:||University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign|
|Abstract:||The goal of establishing a system of basic education is to extend opportunities for education to all groups of people. This study maintains that the philosophical and pedagogical value of basic education in a developing country is its means of designing innovations in the method, content, and organization of education. Such innovations can be used to address the problems of underdevelopment as manifested in such areas as rapid population growth, diminishing financial resources, and illiteracy. Basic education can be a means of bringing about significant education policy changes which reflect the problems within the local political economy.
Zambia is a developing country that has expressed the need to establish a system of basic education. The official policy on basic education was outlined in the 1977 education reforms proposals. According to the education reforms, the Zambian government would offer all its citizens nine years of basic education. However, a close analysis of educational developments indicates that Zambia has not realized its proposed system for all children. Two major problems have constrained the expansion of Zambia's basic education facilities. First is the diminishing financial resources for educational development. This is a consequence of the general decline in government revenue following the rapid drop in copper prices. Second, the country's rapid population growth makes the provision of education through conventional means a formidably difficult task. These two factors are part of the wider problem of underdevelopment in Zambia. Some of the problems of underdevelopment include lack of economic growth, rapid rate of urbanization, increasing external debt, growing rural-urban gap, escalating rate of unemployment, and a lack of capital. The solution to some of these problems will demand developing a problem-solving capacity within the population.
The expansion of basic education should be considered part of the task of confronting the problems of underdevelopment. The means of doing this from the standpoint of education is through decentralization, which should be considered a means of diversifying the support for education. In addition, decentralization would enhance problem-solving capacities within the population, allowing individuals and communities to manage schools through local effort and initiative. (Abstract shortened with permission of author.)
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1987.
|Date Available in IDEALS:||2014-12-15|