Tuesday, 10 May 2011


MINISTRY of Education permanent secretary Dr. James Mulungushi has observed that majority of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) staff being sent to Africa was not of the highest calibre that could interact with highest government officials.
 Addressing the 186th Session of the UNESCO executive board in Paris, France, Dr. Mulungushi observed that majority of the UNESCO staff sent to Africa lacked experience on policy issues.
 “Therefore, the Secretariat must try to send appropriately qualified human resource that can interact with senior government officials to get the right data on issues in UNESCO’s competencies. This will enhance efficiency and effectiveness of UNESCO Programmes,” he said.
He asked UNESCO to consider setting up a country office in Lusaka for Zambia’s linkages with the organization.
Dr. Mulungushi further asked UNESCO to come up with ideas for UNESCO to become more visible in member States.
“The consultations taking place on the reform of the Field Network are important for Zambia as a country, which has no UNESCO country office and relies heavily on the National Commission for linkage to UNESCO. On the proposed reforms, Zambia is of the view that there is great need for more positive interface between Natcoms and Cluster/regional offices. However, these reforms should result in real action on the ground and produce results,” Dr. Mulungushi said. “However, Zambia with its central location, good air transport infrastructure, other effective Information and technological logistics, could host a Regional Office in one area that Africa has no UNESCO Regional Office, for example in such areas as Information and Communication and Social and human Sciences. My hope is that UNESCO will consider this request.”
He observed that the reforms being proposed in UNESCO sound progressive and necessary as Africa was bound to benefit from being the first region in which the reforms would be implemented.
“Regarding the Proposed 36C5 (Budget), Zambia supports the proposed zero real growth Budget. However we would like to see more resources allocated to Programmes rather than Staff Emoluments,” he said.
Zambia has been selected to benefit from the UNESCO – Republic of Korea sponsored TVET Pilot Project named Better Education for Africa’s Rise (BEAR) in five (5) SADC Countries as a way of revitalizing Technical and Vocational Education and Training in the region.

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