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August 8, 2013

Mobile Science Laboratory Launched

By Helen Masiye

On 8th August 2013, the Honourable Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (MESVTEE), Dr. John Phiri M.P launched the distribution of 1,010 mobile science laboratory kits. The kits will be distributed to 200 secondary schools, 400 secondary school teachers; at least 400,000 pupils; 10 colleges of education and 20 colleges of education lecturers. The launch was well attended and included the presence of; Deputy Minister (MESVTEE)-Mr. David Mabumba, Acting Permanent Secretary (MESVTEE)-Mr. Henry Tukombe, Japanese Ambassador to Zambia-Mr. Ekio Egawa, Irish Ambassador to Zambia-Mr. Finbar O'Brien, Directors from MESVTEE, JICA Resident Representative-Mr. Yoshihide Teranishi, Provincial Education Officers, JICA Zambia office staff, JICA Experts, pupils and not forgetting the media.

The challenge currently is that most primary and secondary schools do not have conventional science laboratories to support practical aspects of science teaching and learning. To address this challenge, the National Science Centre, with financial assistance from JICA and Ireland through the education sector pool fund, has been producing the mobile science laboratory kits. Since 2012, Japan has been supporting Zambia's education sector in the form of budget support. Japan contributed approximately 3 million US dollars to the education sector pool fund last year and is contributing the same amount this year through Grant Aid for Poverty Reduction Strategy known as the "PRS" Grant. About 1 million US dollars has been dispensed from the education sector pool fund for the production of the 1,010 mobile science laboratory kits. The launch of the distribution of the kits was therefore a very momentous occasion as this will mean pupils will now experience effective learning of science. In addition to distribution of the kits, laboratory equipment and chemicals will be procured and distributed for teaching and exam purposes. Furthermore, 400 teachers and 10 lecturers from colleges of education will be trained in the appropriate and innovative use of the kits.

At the same launch, Dr. Phiri also launched the Zambia Journal of Teacher Professional Growth. This is the first journal on teacher professional growth in Zambia published at the National Science Centre with support from JICA through the Strengthening Teachers' Performance and Skills (STEPS) project. The focus of the journal is on policy, practice and research in teacher professional growth in Zambia

JICA is happy to support the Government of Zambia's efforts in ensuring that pupils experience effective teaching and learning of science. In alignment with Zambia's development policies and programmes, JICA will continue to prioritize science and mathematics education as this will accelerate the overall social and economic development of Zambia.

PhotoDisplay of the Kit

PhotoFrom Left to Right: Irish Ambassador to Zambia, Mr. Finbar O’Brien, Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education, Dr. John Phiri and Japanese Ambassador to Zambia Mr. Ekio Egawa.


PhotoPupils from Kabulonga Girls Secondary School explaining how the mobile science kit works to the Minister and his entourage.

PhotoFrom Left to Right:
Irish Ambassador to Zambia-Mr Finbar O’brien, Japanese Ambassador to Zambia-Mr Ekio Egawa, Deputy Minister-Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education, Mr. David Mabumba and JICA Zambia Resident Representative Mr. Yoshihide Teranishi

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