CHAPTER 134
EDUCATION ACT

Arrangement of Sections

   Section

PART I
PRELIMINARY

   1.   Short title

   2.   Interpretation

   3.   Application

PART II
INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK

   4.   Functions of Minister

   5.   Development of national policy on education

   6.   Establishment of regional education offices

   7.   Establishment of district education offices

   8.   Regional Director of education

   9.   Functions of Regional Director of education

   10.   District Director of education

   11.   Functions of District Director of education

PART III
STRUCTURE AND CLASSIFICATION OF EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS

   12.   Stages of education system

   13.   Classification of educational institutions

PART IV
LEARNERS

   14.   Right to education

   15.   Free universal education

   16.   Determination of school going age

   17.   Compulsory school attendance

   18.   Prohibition of certain marriages

   19.   Prohibition of discrimination by educational institutions

   20.   Admission policy of public, aided or community educational institution

   21.   Application for enrolment at public, aided or community educational institution

   22.   Provision of education for poor and vulnerable children

   23.   Education for learners with special education needs

   24.   Monitoring and evaluation of special education institutions

   25.   Re-admission of learner to educational institutions

   26.   Code of conduct for learners

   27.   Disciplinary measures and procedures for public, aided and community educational institution

   28.   Prohibition of corporal punishment or degrading or inhuman treatment

   29.   Learners’ representative council

   30.   Learner guidance and counselling services

   31.   Gender balance and equity in educational institutions and educational system

   32.   Provision for protection against gender-based-violence

   33.   Personal health and nutrition of learners

   34.   Regulatory provisions on learners

PART V
PUBLIC EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS

   35.   Establishment and maintenance of public educational institutions

   36.   Right of public educational institution on State property

   37.   Public educational institution on private property

   38.   Public-private partnerships

   39.   Accessibility of public educational institution

   40.   Division of public educational institution into two or more institutions

   41.   Merger of public educational institutions

   42.   Closure of public educational institution

   43.   Change of site of public educational institution

   44.   Establishment of education boards

   45.   Functions of education board

   46.   Parents-teachers’ committees

PART VI
PRIVATE EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS

   47.   Prohibition of operation of unregistered private educational institution

   48.   Establishment and maintenance of private educational institution

   49.   Board of management

   50.   Operation plan of private educational institution

   51.   Change in establishment or operational plan

   52.   Registrar of private educational institutions

   53.   Application for registration of private educational institution

   54.   Criteria for registration

   55.   Provisional certificate of registration

   56.   Certificate of registration

   57.   Display of certificate of registration

   58.   Premises for operation of private educational institution

   59.   Keeping of records

   60.   Annual fee

   61.   Renewal of registration

   62.   De-registration of private educational institution

   63.   Closure of private educational institution

   64.   Surrender of certificate of registration

   65.   Publication of list of registered private educational institutions

   66.   Register of private educational institutions

   67.   Grant of aided status to private educational institution

   68.   Service of notice

   69.   Appeals

PART VII
COMMUNITY EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS

   70.   Definition

   71.   Prohibition of operation of unregistered community educational institution

   72.   Establishment and maintenance of community educational institution

   73.   Establishment of parents-teachers’ school committee

   74.   Registrar of community educational institutions

   75.   Application for registration of community educational institution

   76.   Criteria for application

   77.   Certificate of registration

   78.   Publication of list of registered community educational institution

   79.   Register of community educational institutions

PART VIII
AIDED EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS

   80.   Prohibition of operation of aided institution without certificate of aided status

   81.   Application for aided status

   82.   Grant of aided status to educational institution

   83.   Board of management

   84.   Functions of board of management

   85.   Constitution of aided educational institution

   86.   Change of site of aided educational institution

   87.   Display of certificate of aided status

   88.   Suspension of operations of aided educational institution

   89.   Reduction or termination of aid

   90.   Closure of aided educational institution

   91.   Re-opening of closed aided educational institution

   92.   Publication of list of aided educational institution

   93.   Register of aided educational institutions

   94.   Appeal

PART IX
CURRICULUM, ASSESSMENT AND CERTIFICATION

   95.   National school curriculum

   96.   Core and other foundation subjects for each stage

   97.   Localised curriculum

   98.   Language of instruction for educational institution

   99.   Medium of instruction for deaf learners

   100.   School and college calendar at educational institutions

   101.   Curriculum for education institutions

   102.   Development and publication of textbooks and other educational materials

   103.   Proscription of certain publications

   104.   Provision of libraries in educational institutions

   105.   Teacher resource centres

   106.   Resources centres for special education needs

   107.   Determination of competence test and public examination

   108.   Regulations relating to curriculum, assessment and certification

PART X
ENFORCEMENT OF QUALITY AND STANDARDS IN EDUCATION

   109.   Quality and standards in education

   110.   Education standards officers

   111.   Functions of education standards officers

   112.   Powers of education standards officer

   113.   Obstruction of education standards officer

   114.   Special inspections

   115.   Annual report on quality and standards

   116.   Regulatory provisions on quality and standards in education

PART XI
FINANCING EDUCATION

   117.   Administration of public funds

   118.   Fundraising by education board or board of management

   119.   Tuition, boarding and other fees

   120.   Bursary, grant, scholarship and loan scheme for learners

   121.   General purpose fund

   122.   Land for educational purposes

   123.   Regulatory provisions on financing of education

PART XII
GENERAL PROVISIONS

   124.   Prohibition of operation of educational institution near bar

   125.   Advisory boards

   126.   Promotion of research

   127.   Dissolution of parents -teachers’ associations

   128.   Prohibition of publication or disclosure of information to unauthorised persons

   129.   Supremacy of Act

   130.   General offences and penalties

   131.   Offences by body corporate or unincorporate body

   132.   Regulations

   133.   Repeal of Caps. 134 and 135

   134.   Savings and transitional provisions

      SCHEDULE

AN ACT

to regulate the provision of accessible, equitable and qualitative education; provide for the establishment, regulation, organisation, governance, management and funding of educational institutions; provide for the establishment of education boards and for their functions; domesticate the Convention on the Rights of the Child in relation to education; repeal and replace the Education Act, 1966, and the African Education Act, 1951; and provide for matters connected with, or incidental to, the foregoing.

[15th April, 2011]

Act 23 of 2011.

PART I
PRELIMINARY

1.   Short title

This Act may be cited as the Education Act.

2.   Interpretation

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

“adult literacy education” means education provided to adult learners to enable them acquire reading, writing, numeracy and other skills for sustainable livelihood;

“aided educational institution” means an educational institution, other than a public educational institution established or maintained by any person, organisation, institution or community with assistance from the Ministry responsible for education;

“AIDS” means the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome;

“attainment target” in relation to a basic or high school stage, means the knowledge, skills and understanding which learners of different abilities and maturities are expected to have by the end of that stage;

“basic education” means education from early childhood to grade nine;

“basic school” means a school providing basic education;

“board of management” means a board in which the management of an aided, a private or community educational institution is vested;

“Bursaries Committee” means the Bursaries Committee continued under section 120;

“child” means a person who has not attained the age of sixteen years;

“child of school going age” means a child of an age within such limit as may be prescribed for purposes of compulsory school attendance;

“code of conduct” means a code regulating the conduct of learners, developed pursuant to section 26,

“Code of Practice” means a code setting the standards of professional conduct and practice for teachers;

“college of education” means an educational institution for the training of teachers, other than a university established or registered under the University Act, 1999;

“college of open and distance education” means an educational institution providing self instructional materials for open and distance learners;

“community” means a geographically defined group of persons or sector of the public with a specific, ascertainable and common interest;

“community educational institution” means an educational institution established by any person, organisation, institution or community to meet community needs and supported by the Ministry responsible for education;

“continuing education” means education pursued by a person through an open learning class, self-study or any other distance education programme, who for any reason had no opportunity to continue with, or complete, formal education;

“course of study” means the structure for academic qualifications such as a degree, diploma or certificate and the subjects of study in the course;

“curriculum” means a specification of the desired knowledge, competencies, skills, values and attitudes which a learner is expected to acquire and how they are to be taught and learnt;

“Deputy Registrar” means the person designated as such under section 62;

“distance education” means the provision of education in a form where a learner and a teacher are apart all or most of the time except for the time when the learner and teacher come together in residential school;

“District Director of education” means a person appointed as such under section 10;

“early childhood care, development and education” means the care, development and education of a child from birth to the prescribed school entry age;

“education” means the full development of an individual’s judgment, personality, talents, mental and physical ability;

“education board” means an education board established in accordance with section 44;

“educational institution” means a school, college of education, distance education college, open learning class, centre of open learning or school for continuing education;

“education standards officer” means a person appointed as an education standards officer under section 110;

“encroachment” means unlawful entry or possession of land which is acquired or reserved for education purposes, without right or permission;

“equity” means affording a fair chance in education to a child, in particular, a girl child, a child with special needs or any other vulnerable child or group of children;

“Examinations Council of Zambia” means the Examinations Council of Zambia established under the Examinations Council of Zambia Act;

“gender-based violence” has the meaning assigned to it in the Anti-Gender-Based Violence Bill, 2010;

“grade” means a part of an educational programme which a learner may complete in one school year;

“head of institution” includes a head teacher and a principal;

“head teacher” means the person appointed as head of a basic school, high school or school for continuing education;

“high school” means a school providing high school education;

“high school education” means education covering a three year period from grades ten to twelve;

“hostel” means a building used for the residential accommodation of learners attending school or a college of education;

“HIV” means the Human Immuno-Deficiency Virus;

“learner” means a person who is enrolled and receiving education or a course of study at an educational institution;

“learner with special education needs” means a learner who

      (a)   has physical, hearing, speech, visual or mental impairment;

      (b)   is significantly different from other learners mentally;

      (c)   has social, emotional or behavioural disorders as certified by a medical practitioner or prescribed officer; or

      (d)   is gifted and talented;

“local authority” means a city council, municipal council or district council established under the Local Government Act;

“local language” means any Zambian local language;

“national examination” means the assessment of a learner’s ability or competence in any subject or course of study at the national level;

“open education” means education that is flexible in terms of time and place for both the learner and teacher;

“parent” in relation to a child, includes a guardian or a person who has the actual custody of the child;

“Permanent Secretary” means the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry responsible for education;

“pre-school” means a school offering early childhood care, development and education;

“primary education” means education from grades one to seven;

“primary school” means a school at which primary education is provided;

“principal” means the person appointed as a head of a college of education or any other college who, in the case of a college of education board is the college education board secretary;

“private educational institution” means an educational institution which is not a public or an aided educational institution;

“proprietor” means the owner of an educational institution or the person or body of persons in whom the ownership, custody or control of the educational institution is vested;

“public educational institution” means an educational institution administered or controlled by the Ministry or established and maintained using public funds;

“public funds” means money for the Government, or a public, community or aided educational institution, or any money donated to the Government or an aided, public or community educational institution;

“region” means an area into which the Republic is divided by virtue of this Act for the purpose of the administration of education;

“Regional Director of education” means a person appointed as Regional Director of education under section 8;

“Registrar of Deeds” means the person appointed as such under the Land and Deeds Registry Act;

“Registrar” means the person designated as such under section 52;

“register” means in relation to—

      (a)   Part VI, the register of private educational institutions;

      (b)   Part VII, the register of community educational institutions; and

      (c)   Part VIII, the register of aided educational institutions;

“repealed Act” means the Education Act, 1966;

“responsible authority” means a head teacher, principal, manager, proprietor, board of management or an education board;

“school” includes an institution or class of not less than ten learners at which regular instruction is provided or from which any regular instruction emanates, whether by distance learning or otherwise;

“school education” means early childhood, basic school and high school education comprising a range of full time instruction and activities;

“school for continuing education” means a school offering open and distance learning to learners;

“school year” means the period of twelve months;

“secondary education” means education provided from grades eight to twelve;

“secondary school” means a school offering secondary education;

“skills training” includes vocational training, entrepreneurship and any practical subject for learners;

“special education institution” means an educational institution providing a course of instruction for learners with special education needs;

“study area” means a combination of subjects which addresses a common theme;

“syllabus” means a specification of what is to be taught and learnt and the order in which it is to be taught and learnt;

“teachers’ association” means a professional organisation of teachers registered as such and whose principal objective is the regulation of the collective professional relations of its members;

“teachers’ union” means a union of teachers registered under the Industrial and Labour Relations Act;

“tertiary education” means education provided after secondary or high school;

“tertiary institution” means an institution providing tertiary education; and

“user fees” includes any board or accommodation fees.

3.   Application

This Act does not apply to—

      (a)   a university established or registered under the University Act, 1999;

      (b)   an institution that is established, administered, controlled, licensed or supervised by—

      (i)   a person under the provisions of any other law; or

      (ii)   any other Ministry other than the Ministry responsible for education; or

      (c)   any other institution which provides education solely of a religious, social or recreational nature.

PART II
INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK

4.   Functions of Minister

   (1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Minister shall—

      (a)   promote the education of all Zambians and establish and develop educational institutions;

      (b)   direct, coordinate, supervise and control the education system and any related matters; and

      (c)   secure the effective co operation of all public and private bodies concerned with education, in formulating and implementing the national policy on education in terms of this Act.

   (2) The Minister may, for purposes of sub-section (1), in consultation with such persons or consultative bodies as the Minister considers appropriate, formulate a development plan for education consistent with the national plan for economic and social development.

5.   Development of national policy on education

   (1) The Minister shall, with the approval of Cabinet, develop a national policy on education and shall, prior to the development of the policy, consult with any advisory body or organisation as the Minister considers appropriate for the purpose.

   (2) The Minister shall, where a national policy on education is adopted by Cabinet publish the policy, by notice, in the Gazette.

6.   Establishment of regional education offices

   (1) The Minister may, by statutory instrument, in order to promote the efficient and effective management and decentralisation of the education system, divide the country into regions which are not necessarily coterminous with the provincial boundaries, and establish a regional education office for each region.

   (2) A regional education office established pursuant to sub-section (1) shall be responsible for the administration of education in the region as may be assigned to the regional education office by, or under, this Act or any other law.

7.   Establishment of district education offices

   (1) The Minister may, by statutory instrument, in order to promote the efficient and effective management and decentralisation of the education system, divide the country into districts which are not necessarily coterminous with the district boundaries, and establish a district education office for each district.

   (2) A district education office shall be responsible for the administration of education in the district as may be assigned to the district education office by, or under, this Act or any other law.

8.   Regional Director of education

The Teaching Service Commission shall appoint a Regional Director of education for each region established under section 6.

9.   Functions of Regional Director of education

A Regional Director of education shall—

      (a)   administer the regional education office;

      (b)   coordinate, monitor and supervise the provision of education in the region;

      (c)   prepare and submit regional budgets, work plans and reports to the Permanent Secretary; and

      (d)   perform any other functions as may be provided for under this Act or any other law.

10.   District Director of education

The Teaching Service Commission shall appoint a District Director of education for each district.

11.   Functions of District Director of education

A District Director of education shall—

      (a)   administer, manage and control the district education office;

      (b)   coordinate, monitor and supervise the provision of education in the district;

      (c)   consolidate and submit work plans and budgets to the Regional Director of education;

      (d)   prepare and submit work plans and reports of the district office to the Regional Director of education; and

      (e)   perform any other functions as may be provided for under this Act or any other law.

PART III
STRUCTURE AND CLASSIFICATION OF EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS

12.   Stages of education system

   (1) The system of school education shall be organised into the following progressive stages—

      (a)   early childhood care, development and education;

      (b)   basic education;

      (c)   high school education; and

      (d)   tertiary education.

   (2) Subject to the other provisions of this Act, an educational institution may establish and maintain open and distance learning, skills training and adult literacy education.

   (3) Subject to sub-section (4), an educational institution shall not offer more than one stage of education at any particular premises unless each stage has its own teaching staff, board of management and facility in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

   (4) Notwithstanding sub-section (3), an educational institution offering basic education may offer early childhood care, development and education.

13.   Classification of educational institutions

   (1) An educational institution established and maintained under this Act shall be classified under any of the following categories—

      (a)   public educational institution;

      (b)   private educational institution;

      (c)   community educational institution; or

      (d)   aided educational institution.

   (2) The fundamental school system shall be organised into the following units—

      (a)   early childhood care, development and education;

      (b)   basic school;

      (c)   school for continuing education;

      (d)   high school; and

      (e)   tertiary institution.

   (3) A community, proprietor or organisation operating an aided or community educational institution may, subject to the approval of the Minister, make changes in the management structure of the aided or community educational institution for the benefit of the learners at the educational institution or adopt a management structure of a public educational institution.

PART IV
LEARNERS

14.   Right to education

   (1) Subject to the Constitution and the other provisions of this Act, a person has the right to—

      (a)   early childhood care, development and education;

      (b)   basic education, including adult literacy education; and

      (c)   high school education.

   (2) The Government shall make general and vocational education progressively available and accessible to all persons.

15.   Free universal education

A child has the right to free basic education.

16.   Determination of school going age

The Minister may, by statutory instrument, determine the school going age of a child.

17.   Compulsory school attendance

   (1) Except as provided for in this Act or any other written law, a parent shall enroll a child who has attained the school-going age at an educational institution and shall ensure the childs attendance at the educational institutional.

   (2) Notwithstanding sub-section (1), the Minister may, in consultation with the Regional Director of education, by notice in the Gazette

      (a)   on grounds of health or public interest, determine that during a specified period, compulsory school attendance shall not apply to—

      (i)   a child who resides in such a geographical area as may be specified in the notice; or

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