Quality Assurance Agencies and Awarding Bodies Meet for 6th Quarterly Meeting
Quality Assurance Agencies and Awarding Bodies met for their 6th Quarterly Meeting on the backdrop of the higher education sector undergoing a transformation through the passing of the Higher Education (Amendment) Act No. 23 of 2021.
The sweeping reformative changes in higher education have not been unique to the sector but have affected other Quality Assurance Agencies and Awarding Bodies. For example, the former General Nursing Council of Zambia (GNCZ) has a new Act that has changed its name to the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Zambia (NWCZ) and that was responsive to the implications of the Higher Education (Amendment) Act.
Speaking when she was giving her opening remarks, Zambia Qualifications Authority (ZAQA) CEO and Meeting Chairperson, Mrs. Mirriam Chiyaba, pointed out that one of the major things that had been happening since the Meeting last convened in 2019 was the streamlining of regulatory functions that all the Quality Assurance Agencies and Awarding Bodies have.
“The whole streamlining issue was to ensure that there is cohesion in what we do in education and training and that there is harmony and no duplication in function in the things that we do,” she said, adding that the enactment of the Higher Education (Amendment) Act No. 23 of 2021 has gone a long way in streamlining which led to various consequential amendments.
The ZAQA CEO further mentioned that the reviews would not stop on the consequential amendments of the Acts, but that the ZAQA Act was undergoing review as well, which will lead to one of the major proposed changes of the new framework having only three (3) quality assurance agencies falling under the Zambia Qualifications Framework in order to ensure proper coordination of the sub-frameworks.
“To ensure proper coordination of the sub-frameworks under the schooling side, it still remains under the Ministry of General Education with the support of Curriculum Development Centre and the Examination Council of Zambia,” she said.
Mrs. Chiyaba further stated that the sub-framework for the trades and occupation would remain under the Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Authority (TEVETA) as the main coordinating agency.
“The third sub-framework of higher education, will remain with the Higher Education Authority, hence the streamlining of anything to do with higher education coming under the Higher Education (Amendment) Act,” she said.
Mrs. Chiyaba acknowledged that the last time the Quality Assurance Agencies and Awarding Bodies met was in 2019 due to the pandemic in 2020. She stated that going forward, the Quarterly Meetings will be held periodically so that the Agencies and Bodies could harmonise quality assurance methods and best practice by sharing experiences, collaborating and deliberating on issues of common interest.
“As the qualifications authority, one of the functions that we (ZAQA) have is to ensure that this collaborative effort takes place because it is enshrined in our (Zambia Qualifications) Act,” Mrs. Chiyaba said, adding, “the quality assurance of any qualifications’ framework has its cornerstone on how the qualifications framework is recognised and the people who administer quality assurance at the training delivery level are yourselves.”
Mrs. Chiyaba further stated that this was why ZAQA places great emphasis on the importance of a gathering to be held on a regular basis.
The ZAQA CEO reminded the Quality Assurance Agencies and Awarding Bodies of the role of quality assurance in the Zambian education system in ensuring that quality in education and training is maintained.
“Quality assurance activities call for all of us to ensure that minimum set standards in education and training delivery are adhered to and we are the ones who are the custodians,” she said, adding that despite the different quality assurance activities being undertaken by the Agencies and Bodies at different levels, ultimately the roles are important in setting standards and the adherence to those standards.
The Quality Assurance Agencies and Awarding Bodies consists Nursing and Midwifery Council of Zambia (NWCZ), Teaching Council of Zambia (TCZ), Health Professions Council of Zambia (HPCZ), Zambia Institute of Marketing (ZIM), Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants (ZICA), Examinations Council of Zambia (ECZ), Ministry of General Education (MoGE), Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Authority (TEVETA), Higher Education Authority (HEA), and Zambia Qualifications Authority (ZAQA).
Join the conversation @HEAZambia on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube using the hashtag #HEAZambia #HigherEducationZambia, and visit our website for ALL the information on higher education in Zambia.
For more exclusive content, SIGN UP TO OUR MAILING LIST: http://hea.us16.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=43981b0a12bc108449006a396&id=482a71460e