Editor's Comment

Centres of excellence –excellent idea

Pupils in class.

ZAMBIA is still in need of highly qualified staff who will drive the nation’s development agenda.
As a developing nation, one of its areas of focus is definitely education, which, according to the United Nations, is one of the pillars of development.

It is said that a nation whose people are more educated is bound to soar to high heights of development because such cadre will help in the formulation of policies and come up with good ideas to drive the development agenda.
This is why we are seeing government putting up a number of schools all over the country and improving some of those which need rehabilitation so that the learners’ experience is enhanced.
At the root of all learning is the teacher. There can be no school without a teacher and so the excellent training of a teacher assures better service delivery in education.
And we are glad to note that government recognises this and that is why it is directing its resources to improving higher institutions of learning like colleges so that they produce higher-quality learners and in line with the development objectives on education.
One such venture is the move to upgrade two teacher training colleges into centres of excellence. The earmarked colleges, Charles Lwanga College of Education in Monze and the Technical and Vocational Teacher’s College ( TVTC) In Luanshya, will be transformed into information, communication and technology (ICT) teachers’ education centres of excellence.
According to minister of Education Dennis Wanchinga, the aim is to strengthen both in-service and pre-service training capability in ICT for teaching, learning and research.
We are happy that government is taking this direction in ensuring a high level of personnel is trained by these institutions for the benefit of learners.
With ICT being at the core of almost everything we do today, the need to have highly trained staff who are able to impart their skills to develop a future cadre of professionals is paramount.
The move by the Minister is an indication of the streamlining of ICT training so that it receives the attention it deserves.
In line with world trends, schools in our country are now seeing an increase in the teaching of ICT, and with government’s intention to create centres of excellence, this will add value to the teaching of the subject in schools.
Centres of excellence, by their nature, help to define a common set of best practices and work standard because of the highly qualified staff who run the institution while assessing other entities against best practices and work standards as well as providing guidance in assessing or implementing the best practices.
We want to urge government not to relent in giving these institutions maximum support so that the venture does not become a white elephant.
The two earmarked institutions have a long history of training teachers and, in view of this, we are confident that the planned upgrade will further increase the colleges’ capacity to meet the current demands of ICT teacher training.
Let us see these institutions attract students from the region and beyond who will seek to exploit the institutions’ services because they are second to none.
We want to appeal to all Zambians to support this venture because it is for our own benefit as we seek to find better approaches of developing our nation.


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