This case study examines two exemplary Zambian community schools where girls consistently achieve results above the national average in grade 7 national exams in order to build an evidence base for what works in improving girls’ performance in those exams. Several common factors emerged that contribute to an environment that has supported girls to perform above the national average in grade 7 national exams: free remedial lessons in grade 7, a sense of pride in the school by the extended school community, public recognition of good learner performance, support and mentoring of teachers
This case study offers a comparison of two secondary schools—one in which most girls are returning to school after pregnancy and one where girls are returning at a lower, and more typical, rate—identifies several key factors that create an environment conducive to girls returning following maternity leave. These cases may offer lessons to help the Zambian government and its partners increase the reentry rate, thereby improving the prospects for all Zambian girls to fulfill their right to education.
Community schools in Zambia are locally founded, financed and managed through a parent community school committee (PCSC). Despite the stigma and paucity of resources associated with community schools, evidence suggests that many produce better learning outcomes than government schools. Significant research shows parental engagement to be an important factor impacting school quality, although evidence is divided about the nature of the impact.
Part of USAID/Zambia’s education portfolio, the Time to Learn (TTL) project is a 5-year (2012-2017), USAID-funded project that collaborates with the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training, and Early Education (MESVTEE). The project seeks to improve reading among 500,000 primary grade learners by 2017 in all community schools in six of Zambia’s 10 provinces and increase equitable education services for orphans and vulnerable children in secondary schools in these provinces.
The USAID Education Strategy approaches education as both foundational to human development and critically linked to economic growth and democratic governance. Education raises individual incomes and improves health outcomes. Access to education is a crucial precondition to educational impact, but what matters most thereafter is the quality of education. Recognizing these important links to other powerful drivers of development, EnCompass has recently developed a number of resources focused on practical solutions and innovative approaches in education that empower girls and boys to create a better future in all countries.
Mothers in ancient Sparta washed the newborn with wine to ensure it was strong. Later the baby was brought by its father to the elders, who inspected the newborn carefully. If they found that the child was deformed or weakly they threw it into Kaiada, the so called Apothetae, a chasm at a cliff, of the mount Taygetos. (See http://www.sikyon.com/sparta/agogi_eg.html)
Time to Learn’s Case Study Series provides insight into best practices in the education of orphans and other vulnerable children in Zambia, including an emphasis on Zambia’s community schools. Designed for policymakers and program implementers, these case studies focus on key research priorities identified by stakeholders in Zambia’s educational sector, including government officials, academics, and civil society.