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The Constitution of Zambia provides for an education, which is overseen by the Zambia Ministry of Education. There are three levels of lower education in Zambia: primary, junior secondary, and upper secondary. As in other countries, higher education consists of colleges and universities.

Grades one through seven make up the primary education level and the level that most Zambian children complete. At the end of grade seven, students must pass examinations established by the Examination Council of Zambia. There are primary schools throughout the country. With the exception of a few private schools, primary schools are owned by the government. They are not equal, however, as public education in Zambia is underfunded, and the country's educational standards are low. Teachers work for free or for small stipends unless the school is sponsored by an overseas charity.

Primary school is free, but subsequent education required the payment of tuition.

Students who pass the primary school graduation examinations are eligible to continue to secondary school, although there are areas in Zambia that have no secondary schools. In such areas, grades eight and nine are sometimes tacked onto the end of primary school, forming what is known as a basic school. This allows students to complete grade nine and provides additional income to the primary school. Some community schools are inexpensive, and cater to students who live too far from a secondary school.

Otherwise grades eight and nine are the beginning of secondary school and known as the junior secondary level. Upon completion of grade nine, another examination is required.

The senior secondary level is made up of grades ten through twelve, and a national examination is required for graduation and the awarding of the General Certificate of Secondary Education, which is required for higher education.

Currently, there are a few universities and several technical colleges providing higher education. There are also several teacher training colleges offering two-year degree programs, as well as missionary hospitals offering nurse training programs, and Christian schools offering seminary-level programs.

Since the government began charging tuition to its public universities in the late 1990s, access to a university education has been difficult or impossible for some, although the Zambian government does provide financial aid to qualified students.

Several Christian and secular charities have been set up to support students in Zambia who wish to complete their education, and others sponsor specific schools and institutions within the country. Additionally, the government's annual expenditures on education have increased over the years.



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