Series: 190,000 young people learning more in stronger systems
In 2021, 10 years after launching the first PEAS Zambia school, PEAS started its journey to strengthen the wider Zambia secondary education system.
We believe all students deserve a quality education, not just students at PEAS schools. That is why we partnered with the Ministry of Education in Zambia to bring together district education actors and their schools into vibrant local networks, passionate about school improvement. Drawing on our practical experience of building and running great schools, we co-designed our first system strengthening programme in Zambia called the Targeted Improvement for Equitable Education in Zambia (TIEEZ) programme.
What is TIEEZ?
TIEEZ is a joint programme between PEAS and the Zambia Ministry of Education, improving the quality of education in government schools across Zambia. It was created based on three key inputs: Ministry priorities for improving outcomes for the poorest and most marginalised students in Zambia, evidence of where PEAS’ schools are leading the way, and experience from what works in PEAS’ Inspect and Improve programme in Uganda.
It has started with 20 primary schools and 25 secondary schools across Northern Province, and already we are seeing huge leaps forward in terms of school management, safeguarding, and teaching and learning.
What is adaptive programming and why does it matter?
For PEAS, adaptive programming means designing pilot programmes and scale-ups collaboratively with government from the start, not being afraid of adapting our approach regularly to respond to learnings of what is most effective.
This approach is crucial to achieving our end game of changing the entire secondary education system. We need to understand how to make the programme scalable by government without our support. This means driving up impact and driving down cost of the TIEEZ programme as a whole, so that local governments can adopt these ways of working permanently one day.
It also means identifying highly effective elements, like the PEAS Top 10 Teaching Practices, and piloting alternative routes to scale too. Like pre-service and in-service training. PEAS and Ministry are constantly reviewing the programme’s impact and coming up with creative ways to scale it quickly, but in a way which sticks.
What has TIEEZ achieved so far?
PEAS Zambia and the MoE piloted this programme in 20 government primary schools in 2021, reaching over 10,000 non-PEAS students in Zambia. In 2022, we launched in 25 secondary schools.
After 1 year, the number of schools with School Improvement Plans increased by 89%; teacher attendance increased by 6%; and, schools saw a 12% increase in enrolment and a 10% increase in student attendance.
The monitoring of teaching and learning, and teaching quality was also seen to improve through learning walks.
How is TIEEZ different to PEAS’ other systems strengthening work?
While all PEAS’ systems strengthening work is founded in the evidence from PEAS’ schools, our principles that Ministry leads the design process means that our programmes vary according to context.
For TIEEZ, that means four things:
Under the recently introduced Free Education for All policy, no secondary student now needs to charge fees. This is an exciting development, and requires all schools to make changes in how they run. PEAS has adapted our approach to support school leaders to effectively manage resources, based on our experience delivering zero-fee secondary education in Zambia since 2018 and delivering cost-effective education.
Although we are working with local government officials in Zambia, we are not working with the inspectorate like we are in Uganda. We therefore co-developed a Needs Assessment tool which is jointly conducted by PEAS and MoE staff to build understanding of the challenges in each school and provide data to school leaders to feed into an evidence-based School Improvement Plan (SIP).
A strong focus on implementing best practice Child Protection approaches, both in school and in the community, driven by the very high early marriage and gender-based violence statistics across Northern Province where the pilot started.
A cascaded and staged roll-out of pedagogy improvement based on the PEAS Top 10 Classroom Practices, delivered through bitesize in-school training which works for teachers facing huge budget constraints and overcrowded classrooms.
By tailoring the programme to government demands, it will deliver better results for students and be well suited for permanent adoption into government’s ways of working.
We are excited to generate further evidence on the impact of TIEEZ in secondary schools and expanding this to more secondary schools in new areas. Over the next 3 years, PEAS and MoE will expand this programme to over 130 secondary schools.
Most importantly, this work will support permanent improvements in the wider education system, empowering all young people in Zambia to have access high quality, sustainable education.
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