|President Banda with UNESCO director
general Irina Bokova (left) at State
President Banda says Zambia has made
major strides in upholding and entrenching sound legal and regulatory standards
for freedom of expression, information and a free, independent and pluralistic
"We recognise these
freedoms as crucial to the development of sustainable, positive governance and
democratic practices," Mr Banda said on April 4.
He said this when
visiting United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation
(UNESCO) director general Irina Bokova who paid a courtesy call on him at State
Mr Banda said Zambia is actively pursuing education for all
under Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and has put in place important
interventions to achieve that.
He said in line with UNESCO's general
policy positions, Government is enhancing co-operation with institutions of
higher learning to increase the use of information communication technology
Mr Banda said to strengthen the link between education and work,
Government has introduced an entrepreneurial component in school curricula to
promote survival skills.
"We are examining ways of introducing critical
thinking, analysis and inquiry as part of the learning process. This will help
close the capacity gaps in science education and the enhancement of human rights
appreciation among the youth," he said.
Mr Banda thanked UNESCO for
including Zambia in the Technical Education Vocational and Entrepreneurship
Training (TEVET) strategy pilot programme, in which participating nations will
receive up to 1,000,000 euros over a period of three years.
Government is supporting the development of culture, and has invested in
ventures such as museums.
"Some of our annual cultural ceremonies have
become international tourist attractions. We are also actively involved in the
executive board meeting for the return of cultural property illegally
appropriated from countries of origin, and in capacity building for cultural
statistics," Mr Banda said.
He said Zambia's participation in the 35th
session of the UNESCO General Conference was a landmark in the country's history
of her membership.
He said the conference enabled Zambia to exchange
ideas and experiences in various human development sectors.
And Ms Bokova
congratulated President Banda on the progressive policies his government is
implementing in the education sector.
Ms Bokova cited the Education Bill
as a landmark document.
"We believe that education for all is a
prerequisite for any country to attain MDGs, overcome poverty, and achieve
gender equality," Ms Bokova said.
She said education of women and girls
is at the heart of UNESCO's mandate and priority, as this creates a more just
and equitable society.
Ms Bokova said UNESCO is also working with other
UN agencies in helping Zambia fight HIV and AIDS.
She said UNESCO is
committed to fight the pandemic because it impedes development and disrupts the
normal lives of communities.
Ms Bokova said UNESCO also wants to support
Zambia in the inscription of the Barotse culture landscape on the world heritage
She thanked President Banda for the vibrant democracy that Zambia
is enjoying, saying free and independent media play an important role in
And Ms Bokova has urged Government to quickly
finalise the Education Bill because it will play a vital role in providing
She was speaking when she met representatives from
United Nations (UN) agencies at Lusaka's Intercontinental Hotel on April
Ms Bokova said the Zambian government has progressive policies such as
the National Gender Policy, which is aimed at improving the status of women as
most of them are illiterate.
She said it is for this reason the Ministry
of Education, through the Directorate of Open and Distance Education, is working
on a policy that will streamline the activities, objectives and strategies
related to adult learning.
She said the Bill will give teachers the power
to search pupils for items banned under the school rules and issue same-day
Ms Bokova later toured the University