Maintaining Universal Primary Education

Lessons from Commonwealth Africa

image of Maintaining Universal Primary Education

Every country that has worked towards, and then attained, universal primary education has celebrated that achievement as a great step forward. Maintaining universal primary education, once achieved, offers new challenges, examined in this book. Lalage Bown and her co-researchers from the Council for Education in the Commonwealth explore the various economic, political and social pressures which may affect the progress of educational provision, as well as the different national educational policies and strategies themselves, as they play out in five very different Commonwealth African countries: Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zambia. The contributors’ findings will inform the decisions of both national and international education policy-makers working to ensure that universal primary education becomes, and remains, a reality across Africa.



Regaining momentum towards UPE in Zambia

Zambia gained independence from British colonial rule in 1964. In that year, the Gross Enrolment Rate (GER) in primary schools was estimated at about 58 per cent. Between then and 2004, 40 years, the population grew by a factor of three from 3.7 to11.5 million people, while enrolments in the country’s primary schools grew by a factor of 5.9, from 378,417 to 2,251,000 pupils. By 2004 then, the estimated GER had in fact reached 99.9 per cent with a gender parity index (GPI) of 0.96 – a more than creditable achievement.


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