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New books for Zambian primary schools on World Book Day

ZEST project

The Open University in Scotland will be providing hundreds of books to primary schools in Zambia to mark World Book Day.

The books will be distributed to the seventeen primary schools in Zambia’s Central Province that are participating in the OU’s Zambian Education School-based Training (ZEST) project.

ZEST is a continuing professional development (CPD) programme designed by educators in Zambia and OU academics to develop the skills and confidence of primary school teachers so that the learning and classroom experiences of Zambian school children are improved.

Both ZEST and the books to be distributed are funded by the Scottish Government.

Literacy is a key aspect of the training for teachers. At present, more than 80% of children in Zambia are unable to read and write by the end of their first year of learning.

With the additional funding, the OU and its delivery partner, World Vision Zambia, will procure 500 text and reading books for the schools.

Most of these schools are based in rural communities and have very few, if any, text or reading books to support literacy activities.

Susan Stewart, Director of the OU in Scotland, said:

“The OU has long experience of delivering teaching training across Africa and ZEST is a central part of that. It will leave a sustainable legacy of resources for Zambian primary teachers, and these books will contribute to that legacy.

“This is a fitting announcement on World Book Day and during our 50th anniversary year. I’m grateful to the Scottish Government for continuing to support this project in creative ways and I know that our partners, teachers and pupils in Zambia will be too.”

The ZEST project is endorsed by the Zambian Ministry of General Education. The Open University in Scotland is the lead partner with World Vision Zambia acting as the delivery partner for the project, which will run to 2022.

All teaching resources developed through the project will be available online and free from copyright for use by all primary school teachers across Zambia.

Find out more about ZEST.


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