Chipata Mayor Sinoya Mwale says Government stands ready to promote and support interventions that enhance the quality of education and training.
He said Government is spearheading the promotion of industry driven skills development such as the development of national occupational standards.
Speaking at Stakeholders Sensitization Workshop organized by the Zambia Qualifications Authority (ZAQA) Mr Mwale said ZAQA is mandated to develop National Occupational Standards that define good practices in major areas of specified occupation and most importantly define what it takes to succeed in that occupation.
He said ZAQA has developed a Qualifications Management Information System (QMIS) that will allow awarding bodies to link their databases of learner achievements to that of the Authority.
“Since 1991,there has been a growth in the number of private schools, colleges and universities as new participants have been encouraged to enter the education sector following market liberalization of the economy, “he said.
Mr Mwale said the entry of private colleges and universities has brought more opportunities to many deserving students that failed to make it into highly competitive government universities and colleges.
He said learners in Zambia are being awarded qualifications using varying standards which has led to the recognition of the country’s qualifications internationally to be negatively affected as many graduates from Zambia subjected to bridging examinations even when the qualifications they held was actually of more superior quality.
And ZAQA standards setting manager Fidelis Cheelo said the sensitisation workshop is meant to let the members of the public know the mandate of the Authority in respect with the National Occupational Standards in the country.
He said the Authority has already launched the National Occupational Standards to effectively address the concerns from industry on the mismatch that exists between job performance requirements and skills development in most of the key economic sectors such as tourism, aquaculture and agriculture.
Mr Cheelo said the Authority wants to ensure that the all training providers do follow the guidelines by the National Occupational Standards in line with what the industry demands.