MINISTER of Higher Education Michael Kaingu has dispelled rumours circulating that he does not have a Grade 12 certificate. Dr Kaingu released a letter confirmation from the Examination Council of Zambia confirming that Dr Kaingu does have a Grade 12 Certificate. According to the letter, Dr Kaingu sat for Examinations in 1972 with the Examination number of F 090 7.
Dr Kaingu has been vocal on allowing people with higher qualifications, but without a Grade 12 certificate to be allowed to stand for elective office.
According to Dr Kaingu, in the olden days, people without Grade 12 certificates were allowed to pursue various disciplines at universities if they passed aptitude tests.
“People should, therefore, understand that any college certificate or university certificate is higher than a Grade 12 certificate.
“So as people debate this important issue in the Zambian Constitution, let them compare the two and it is important also that people know or understand what is higher between the two,” he said.
Dr Kaingu said although he cannot speak on behalf of the Examination Council of Zambia (ECZ), it is important that people understand what qualification is higher between Grade 12 certificate and a university certificate.
Dr Kaingu said that it is unfortunate that ECZ is demanding Grade 12 qualifications from aspiring candidates and is overlooking their tertiary qualifications attained over the years.
He said there is need to know exactly what is required in demanding for the minimum qualifications as set in the clause for minimum qualifications.
Dr Kaingu said education is not cognitive and is not attained in a straight line as many can attain it in different ways such as through crafts, degree and PhDs.
“Even when we talk of cognitive knowledge – who is more developed in public knowledge, a grade 12 or a person who is holding a diploma,” Dr Kaingu said.
Dr Kaingu said the country’s education system has what is called Zambian Qualification Authority Framework which starts with the Examinations Council of Zambia as the number one qualifications followed by Technical Education, Vocational Training and Entrepreneurship Training (TEVET) and higher qualifications authority.
He said the qualifications are in levels from one to 10.
Level one is grade seven certificate, level two A is grade nine and level two B is grade 12 certificate. Levels from three to five are crafts certificates which are certificates from trade schools and other colleges.
Level six is a diploma, level seven is the first degree, level eight is post-diploma, level nine is master’s and level 10 is a PhD.
Dr Kaingu said the framework is clear that a person who has a crafts certificate is more qualified than one with a grade 12 certificate.