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Education

Josephine Banda (far right) attends Hillside Day Secondary School in Chipata. Her parents supplement her tuition by implementing FTF agro-business techniques.
Josephine Banda (far right) attends Hillside Day Secondary School in Chipata. Her parents are able to supplement her tuition by implementing FTF agro-business techniques.
PHOTO: Greg Kahn for USAID

Zambia has made significant gains in increasing access to education, but continues to be plagued by poor education quality and low progression rates.  USAID collaborates with the Zambian Government and other implementing and cooperating partners to improve the quality of basic education, as measured by learner performance in early-grade reading.  USAID/Zambia programs in education aim to strengthen the capacity of teachers, school administrators and officials to deliver education services, and provide improved teaching and learning materials.

USAID education programs in Zambia target student and teacher performance at the school-level supported by improvements to key policies, management, and information systems.  USAID also champions programs to mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS on the education sector and to improve gender equity through programs that promote learning achievement and girls’ education. 

USAID is also partnering with the civil society, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, and faith based organizations to foster both sustainability and accountability for results that extend beyond the U.S. Government funding horizon.

IMPROVING EARLY GRADE READING

In collaboration with the Zambian government, USAID aims to strengthen education leadership, improve school management practices, and bolster teacher skills in teaching early grade reading.  Partnering with the private sector to enhance the quality of education, programs such as the recent USAID Read to Succeed activity engaged and collaborated with parent-teacher associations to encourage community involvement and oversight in reading activities.  USAID also work towards improving the quality of education in early grade reading.  Programs including the recent Time to Learn activity have impacted more than 420,000 community school children by providing educational support.    

USAID is collaborating with the Ministry of General Education (MGE) to develop, print, and distribute literacy textbooks in English and seven local languages to schools, including teaching and learning materials for children with special needs, building the capacity of teachers, administrators and officials, strengthening the MGE’s systems, improving the learner as school performance of both community and public schools, expanding equitable opportunities for boys and girls, and strengthening school level assessments. 

PROMOTING INNOVATION

Primary school enrollment in Africa has grown at an unprecedented rate over the last two decades, flooding schools with first-generation learners, and creating classrooms with deeply heterogeneous learning levels.  Compounding this, Ministries often pressure teachers to complete dense curricula and prepare students for high-stake exams, leading teachers to teach to the top of the class. USAID/Zambia, in collaboration with the USAID Global Development Lab’s Development Innovation Ventures and J-PAL, is supporting the Ministry of General Education in the implementation of the Teaching at the Right Level approach (TaRL) in target schools across the nation.

The TaRL program has been proven effective in multiple country contexts, and deeply cost-effective in comparison to other approaches to improve schooling outcomes. With DIV Stage 3 support, J-PAL Africa and UNICEF/Zambia are partnering with the Zambian Ministry of General Education in a nationwide rollout of TaRL supported by government teachers across all government and community schools, with the aim of providing a demonstration effect for other countries in the region to adopt this evidence-based approach to boosting learning outcomes. USAID will adapt TaRL into future grade reading activities.   

Last updated: November 21, 2017

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