The Directorate of teacher education and specialised services (TESS) was created in 2003 to co-ordinate the fragmented and un-coordinated teacher education and specialised services functions. In addition, to provide various services to enhance education management and delivery in schools and colleges with the context of decentralisation, facilitate the provision and development of policy guidelines, co-ordinate and monitor the relationships existing between classroom learning, teacher welfare in the boards as well as community participation in education provision and management.
The Directorate has two sections namely teacher education and specialised sections. Under Teacher education Sections there are two units which are Pre-Service and In-Service while under Specialised Services there are four units; Special Education (SE), School Guidance Services (SGS) and Zambia Library Service (ZLS).
The mandate of the Directorate is to manage and co-ordinate the provision of teacher education, training and specialised educational services and the operations of the education boards in order to promote and improve the provision of quality education to enhance quality educational services in the country.
In addition the directorate:
- Formulates and reviews policies on teacher education, specialised services and education boards
- Coordinates the preparation of Annual work plans, and budget
- Manages human, financial and material resources of the Directorate
- Timely monitoring and evaluation of its programmes
- Ensures efficient execution teacher education and specialised services (Education Board) at all levels of education delivery
- Liaises with other Directorates, line Ministries and departments and Co-operating Partners to source financial and material support in order to enhance the operations of the Directorate
In 2009, the mandate of the Directorate was changed from teacher education and specialised services only to include all the mandate of the education system and delivery. Hence the name changed from the Directorate of Teacher Education and Specialised Services to the Directorate of Education and Specialised Services.