In an increasingly interconnected world, education policies may emphasize the development of global competence, including intercultural understanding, language proficiency, and awareness of global issues. This could involve integrating global perspectives into the curriculum, promoting international exchange programs, and providing professional development for educators in the sector.
The 2023 Education and Training Policy took three years to develop, and the review with more focus on the Education and Training Policy of 2014, this was revealed by Atupele Mwambene, Director of Policy and Planning at the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology during the Policy Forum Xspaces Policy Dialogue.
The 2023 Education and Training Policy has placed greater emphasis on developing skills that are relevant to the changing job market, such as critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, and digital literacy.
The Director of Policy further highlighted changes in curriculum design, assessment methods, and professional development for teachers by stating the areas revised in the new education policy include teacher’s education, higher learning education, skills-based curricula, and research.
Furthermore, Martha Makala, the Acting National Coordinator at TENMET, highlighted that the education policy has emphasized addressing inequities in access to quality education. The aim is to ensure that every student, irrespective of their background or situation, has the chance to thrive. This endeavour may include measures to mitigate funding gaps, enhance assistance for marginalized communities, and advocate for inclusive teaching methods. Makala emphasized that education initiatives have reached 99.7% of wards nationwide, focusing on teacher training to enhance the implementation of the new curriculum.
Nonetheless, the integration of technology into teaching and learning processes is key. Charles Mwambene, the Data Manager at Shule Direct, emphasized that technology has facilitated access to educational content for students who lack textbooks in schools.
He further elaborated that there should be initiatives to provide better access to digital resources, training for educators on using technology effectively, and policies to ensure equitable access to technology for all students.
The Director of Policy underscored that the enhanced new Education Curriculum addresses the issue of students repeatedly covering the same material, thereby enhancing efficiency. The selection of specific classes to implement the new Education Curriculum is grounded in research findings and aligns with sectoral objectives. Notably, sixth-grade students will undergo assessments instead of exams to attain certificates, departing from previous practices.
Significantly, Ms. Makala emphasized that despite the initiatives done by the government to promote the policy, the community still lacks an understanding of the revised education policy and stating a need to continue educating the community to dispel misconceptions.