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This paper explores inter-generational perspectives on the education-employment link as reported by parents, teachers, administrators, and students in and around government secondary schools in Ndola, Zambia. The data presented are drawn from a larger research project conducted in 2003-2004 that included surveys, observations, student diaries, focus groups, and interviews with participants. Data are presented against the backdrop of Zambia's implementation of neoliberal economic policies, beginning in the mid-1980s, which characterized a significant shift from previously subsidized social services to a more market oriented economy. A vertical case study approach (Bartlett & Vavrus 2009) is utilized to elucidate the missing link between educational and labor market opportunities for secondary school students and graduates. Declining educational quality, overcrowded facilities, and corruption in schools also offer implicit commentary on the shrinking budget for education and the higher opportunity costs for secondary school participation attendant to Zambia's particular incorporation into the world market.


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