Making the right to education a reality through the support to community schools in Chipata, Zambia

Making the right to education a reality through the support to community schools in Chipata, Zambia

The whole process has really been very consultative during the implementation of this project, living a mark of good relationship with the community schools and the DEBS office. The project increased learning space, improve water and sanitation and implemented sensitization activities for students that will go a long way in helping a girl child to go back to school and actually stay in school

Mr Herbert Mwiinga - District Education Board Secretary (DEBS) - Chipata District

CONTEXT

The right to education is an inalienable fundamental right for every person. In Zambia, exclusion of children from school is a big barrier to achieving primary universal education. In Chipata, the demand for education services is still very high and the 232 primary schools and 11 secondary schools do not manage to cover the growing young population. 74 Community Schools (CSs) are operating in the District to respond to the needs to orphans, poor children and girls who are often disadvantaged in the delivery of basic education services. 26 of these CSs are targeted by the present project.

OBJECTIVES

  • Improved provision of quality education services in 26 community schools in Chipangali constituency, District of Chipata, Zambia
  • Raised awareness about quality of education and training as main components towards achieving gender parity
  • Enhanced involvement of Civil Society Organisations and Local Authorities in providing basic education services, and in facilitating a permanent dialogue between them

RESULTS

  • Proper structures and educational resources made available for Community Schools activities;
  • Teaching/learning methodology of Community Schools is improved;
  • School governance and accountability for education delivery improved through greater participation of beneficiaries;
  • Mechanisms of coordination among Community Schools, CSOs and District Education Board Secretaries (DEBSs) are improved at district & province levels

FACTS AND FIGURES

  • 104 Volunteer Teachers in 26 Community Schools are trained in pedagogical methodology to improve their lesson delivery skills;
  • 70% of students are reached with SWASH activities and will correctly practise 3 key hygienic behaviours by the end of the project;
  • 156 Peer Educators, members of Children's Councils, are sensitized in child rights and campaigns against early marriages and HIV&AIDS;
  • 104 Parents Teachers Associations are trained on their roles and responsibilities as part of school governance and leadership.

TESTIMONY

Meet with Nyirenda James, Volunteer teacher

"I completed my senior secondary school level in 1985 at Kalonga secondary school in Kabwe. After that, I decided to come back to my village in Madzi-a-tuwa, Chipangali Constituency.

"In 2000, as a community, we held a meeting where we discovered that children faced a lot of challenges, like covering long distances when going to school. As a result this posed a danger to them especially during rainy season and other children had to stop schooling during this time and only resume after the rainy season is over. After analysing the challenges we agreed to start a community school beginning with grade one. Since I was part of the community and not doing anything at the time I volunteered myself to work as a teacher, so that I could help the orphans and vulnerable children. At the beginning it was very difficult to deliver lessons because I was not equipped with proper teaching methodologies and the school had no teaching materials.

"In 2015, ACRA organised teaching methodologies training on selected topics for volunteer teachers for the six zones in Chipangali constituency, and Chamakubi was privileged to be among the community schools invited to attend this training. I would like to thank ACRA for organising this training because it assisted me in terms of knowledge on how to deliver lessons using proper teaching methods that are accepted by the Ministry of Education. Now, I am able to prepare lesson plans and schemes of work with no difficulty and above all, I am able to manage class without facing a lof of challenges.

"During the same time,  ACRA organised a peer to peer training which was to be attended by the pupils from the community schools in the six zones and I happen to be the one to accompany the pupils from Chamakubi community school. After this training we benefited a lot because both teachers and pupils were equipped with knowledge and skills on how to prevent themselves from issues affecting their health and education such as early marriages, teenage pregnancy and STIs/HIV/AIDS."