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Zambia College of Distance Education


Zambia College of Distance Education Building, Luanshya Zambia College of Distance Education (ZACODE) was formerly called the National Correspondence College. The college is owned by the Government of the Republic of Zambia. The college mission statement is to increase access to education through distance education by providing quality interactive learning materials that should contribute to improved quality of life for Zambians. It is run by the Directorate of Open and Distance Education in the Ministry of Education, Science and Vocational, and Early Childhood Education.


The College was established under an Act of Parliament to offer alternative education to the Zambian population. It was to offer education by correspondence and distance. It is major purpose was to increase access to education. On the 8th of May, 1964, the government through the Ministry of Education started the Correspondence Course Unit under Evelyn Hone College of Applied Arts. In November, 1965, the Unit was transferred and set up in Luanshya. It became a full-fledged college under the name National Correspondence College. The college’s target groups have been people who have not been able to get into formal school or have faced challenges during their education and would like to improve their education while also working. Hence, there are no age restrictions except that people who want to register with the college must have gone through primary education. Originally, the college was established to offer secondary education to:

  1. Teachers with professional training but lacking the required academic qualifications
  2. Other adults wanting to pursue further academic education leading to certificates, mainly those in employment, and help them make responsible jobs in the public and private sectors.

In offering the correspondence education, the college had to embark on the following activities:

  • Development of quality interactive learning materials for the learners
  • Distribute these materials countrywide to its learners
    • Conduct assessment in form of worksheets for the learners
      • Monitor both the learning process and the teaching process by the Ministry through DODE

Open Secondary Classes

In 1972, the college started a scheme known as "Open Secondary Classes" for primary school leavers who could not secure places in conventional secondary schools. The Open Secondary Classes (OSC) played a very significant role in the Zambian Education System. The OSC supplemented correspondence tuitions in the provision of academic education, catering for school going age children due to lack of school places at the time. Subsequently, the college had two categories of students: The first category comprised of directly enrolled students, mainly adults (employed and unemployed) studying at junior and senior secondary levels. The second group was made up of school leavers aged 14-17 who were expected to study under the supervision of seconded teachers using learning materials from the National Correspondence College. Such groups operated under the regional officers who reported to the director at the Ministry Headquarters in Lusaka. Although statistics were not readily available, it is estimated that enrolment reached around 30 000 and 21 000 for the two categories respectively.

The Alternative Programme

In 2000, the college changed the name from National Correspondence College to Zambia College of Distance Education. In 2008 following the development of the Strategic Plan 2003 to 2007, the government launched the distance education in two categories: the Alternative Upper Basic Education Programme (AUBE) and the Alternative High School Programme (AHSP). The AUBE caters for the junior secondary education from Grade 8 to Grade 9 while the AHSP caters for the high school education from Grade 10 to Grade 12. This also meant that the materials had to be revised to suit the current situation in the curriculum. The two programmes follow the Zambia school curriculum developed by Curriculum Development Centre (CDC).