The Distance Education unit is situated at DODE head quarters buildings in Lusaka. It is head by a Principle Educational officer responsible for Distance learning
The mandate of Distance Learning unit is to coordinate the provision of Distance learning Programmes at all levels of education and materials producation.
The Zambia Collage of Distance Education One of its sections the Zambia College of Distance Education (ZACODE) plays a central role in the development and production of materials. In 2010, for instance, the college distributed 4, 405 Self Study Materials to seven provinces. The unit is working on streamlining the operations of ZACODE in order to make it more efficient and relevant to respond to the challenges of the current Distance Education trends.
Additionally, the DE section has been involved in the Open Education Resources Project [OERs] . The OERs are almost completed. The purpose is to provide teachers and learners with Open Education Resource (OERs) materials which can be accessed freely from the internet. Furthermore, the Section has continued to build capacities for private and public distance education institutions through training of lecturers in instructional designing, distance education philosophies and methodology. The Distance learning section also recognizes the significance of policy framework in education, the section continues to harmonies the distance learning policy in line with what is obtaining in the SADC region. In this regard the DE section has published DE Guidelines and had them disseminated to Provincial Education Officers, Senior Education Officers, Senior Education Standards Officers, College of Education Principals, public and private university Vice Chancellors and other stakeholders. The Unit through the Directorate also embarked on the development of the national Open and Distance Learning (ODL) Policy. It is envisaged that the policy document will pave way for vibrant ODL implementation once in place.
The Distance Education unit is situated in DODE head quarters buildings in Lusaka. It is head by a Principle Educational officer responsible for Open learning
The mandate of Open learning unity in the Directorate of Open and Distance Education is to increase access by providing education to the out of school youths and adults through face - to - face mode of education delivery.
The unity has skills and academic programmes. There are 13 Schools for Continuing Education offering a blend of academic, vocational and entrepreneurship training in every province except Lusaka and Muchinga provinces.
According to the CSO, the 18-25 year age group accounts for 16.3% of the population which gives a potential demand for Tertiary and Skills Training of 1.63 million and about 300,000 youths leaving the school system each year, and these require the Skills Training.
Schools for Continuing Education endeavor to offer courses beyond Trade Test Certificates by improving infrastructure and qualifications of Instructors/Teachers. Involvement in Skills development requires huge resources to expand current capacities in order to meet the TEVET qualification holder density to attain a Middle Income Status by 2030.
The Open learning Unit is making Skills Training more demand driven and Flexible by Priotising Boarding Facilities to increase access to many who would be students from other Districts where such institutions are not in existence.
Additionally, the unit has open learning academic programmes country wide namely evening classes, and Open classes these are offered at both basic and high school levels.
Furthermore, the Open learning programmes are carried out in the 29 prisons in order to provide education to the inmates. In so doing, the prison outreach education is being re-organised in order to deliver a more efficient education delivery package to enable the inmates’ access education through the open learning mode.
The Open Learning unit has been creating a data base on the status of open learning centres country wide. Preliminary data collected for 2007 – 2008 show that there a lot of learners accessing education through open learning programmes as follows:
Evening classes - 8,096
Open secondary classes(basic school) - 56,848
Open Classes at high school - 88,080
Education in prisons _ 1,203
Giving the Total of 154,227 Learners accessing education through open Learning programmes.
While the preliminary Reports collected for 2008 and 200 show the registered students in different Skills Courses as follows;
· 56-Carpentry and Joinery
· 156 – Design, Cutting and Tailoring
· 165 – Metal Fabrication
· 168 – Secretarial Courses
· 235 – Catering and Hotel
· 249 – Computer Studies
· 129 – Automotive Mechanics
· 16 - Social Work.