Educational Challenges in Zambia

Zambia is a landlocked country located in the south central part of Africa. It has a population of about 18 million according to the world bank. Zambia has one of fastest growing economies in Africa, however, its educational sector faces several of challenges as 60% of the population living below poverty and 40% out of this living in extreme poverty.

Despite the global pandemic, Corona virus, Zambia faces the following problems in its educational sector; lack of qualified teachers, educational materials, financing and lack of adequate school infrastructures. According to Kelly (1992) poverty has stricken the education system in many of African countries, therefore most pupils and teachers are not able to find the basic needs they deserve”. This is true about Zambia, because even though with the existence of the government and organizations to help the welfare of the country, Zambia still needs more interventions to change the current situation in its educational sectors.

Lack of qualified teachers

A large number of teachers at fundamental schools in Zambia in both rural and urban areas are not completely trained or qualified. This affects the quality of the provision of the education framework. The issue is that teachers are not able to teach and cover some topics which they do not fully understand. A case which Hoppock (1966) called academic poisoning where pupils are taught wrong abilities and theories. In regards to this, there is need for teachers to be trained and treat their respective job as professions and not anything else.

Educational Materials

Most schools in Zambia do not have adequate educational materials like books, rulers, maps, charts and many other resources needed for the provision of education to children. According to Carmody (2004), education without resources is like education without a future. In this case, Carmody is alleging that quality and sustainable education cannot continue or be given without any formal documentation or resources to back it up. There is need for educational materials at basic level in many schools in  Zambia . There is a need to improve the procurement of books and other educational materials in order to improve the standard of the Zambian educational system in both rural and urban areas.


Money is the limiting factor for most of the activities in which we are basically found. When it comes to the educational sector, teachers require salaries and compensation. According to research, there had been a number of strikes made by educators in the teaching profession in trying to request money and complaints on salary delays. These strikes directly affect the provision of the education system in Zambia . Therefore, finances are one of the biggest factors to be paid attention to.

Lack of adequate school infrastructures

A great problem for most people in Zambia is the lack of adequate school infrastructures. Numerous children in Zambia are not able to go to school because they are discouraged by the distance they have to walk to and from their school. Due to this problem some parents fear to send their children of young age to school especially the female pupils. The government and various organizations have taken part in building schools in the country, however there is still a need for more intervention.


It is important that all stakeholders work with the Zambian government to make resources available. Student centered learning approach through improved teacher training courses should be provided to teachers. Lastly, governments, donors, organizations and all stakeholders need to work collaboratively to improve the educational sectors.

Written by Ntchindi Theu


WDI – Home. (2022). Retrieved 31 May 2022, from

Give, W., ®, B., Giving, M., Needs, G., Program, G., & Children, V. et al. (2022). Solving Education Problems in Zambia | Cross Catholic Outreach. Retrieved 31 May 2022, from

Kelly, M.J. (1999). Origin and Development of Education in Zambia , Lusaka : Image Publishers Limited. – Cover photo source

Carmody, B. (2004). Evolution of education in Zambia . Lusaka : Book world.

Hoppock, R. 1966. What is the real problem? America : educationalists Press


  1. Very insightful. However the situation of unqualified teachers has been dealt with. As a matter of fact, Zambia has excessive qualified teachers in all schools. It is law for all teachers to have a certificate issued by the teaching council of Zambia. This certificate is issued only after the submission and verifications of academic qualifications.

    In my view, the biggest challenge is that of teacher-student ratio. Since 2 years ago, education at primary school level is free in Zambia. The government can however not employ enough teachers due to funding. As of 2022, education in Zambia is now a fundamental right. This is in accordance with the Childrens Code Act of 2022. Previously education was not expressly provided as a fundermetal right but that of social economic which could not be enforceable as we always heard of progressive realization.

    The other issue is the right to nutrition. Many children attend school on empty stomach due to poverty levels.

    I’m very happy to share some of the right up and research we have done as Regina Chimba Mwanza Childrens Foundation.

  2. Hi, I would like to ask when was this article published. For some reason I cannot find it on the page. Thank you very much for your response.

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