ANY certificate obtained from a college recognized by Government is equivalent to Grade 12 and can be used for purposes of standing in an election, it was revealed yesterday.
The clarification follows anxieties that had rocked the members of the public regarding the controversial Grade 12 certificate or its equivalent requirement for any person to qualify to stand as republican president, parliamentarian, mayor or councillor in the 2016 election.
Minister of Higher Education Michael Kaingu clarified that any certificate obtained from any college recognized by his ministry was ‘‘above Grade 12’’.
Dr Kaingu said that there were various skills that were obtained in some colleges and that those qualifications were above Grade 12 certificate.
He said the much vaunted Grade 12 certificate requirement for anyone to qualify for any elected political position in Zambia did not affect those who obtained certificates from colleges recognized by his ministry.
“As far as I am concerned as the Minister of Higher Education any certificate from any college especially those from my ministry is above Grade 12; and as people debate to know what is higher than Grade 12, in my opinion almost any certificate from college is above Grade 12,” Dr Kaingu said.
Debate has been raging over what constitutes a Grade 12 equivalent following the newly passed Constitution requiring that all candidates for the elective offices must possess Grade 12 certificate or its equivalent to qualify to stand.
Clause 162 of the amended Constitution states that a person qualifies to be elected as a councillor if that person is not less than 19 years of age and has obtained, as minimum academic qualification, a Grade 12 certificate or its equivalent.