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Improving the quality of teaching in Zambia

Status: Current

Mother and son

Learning outcomes for Zambia are low. Over 80% of children are unable to read and write at the end of their first year of learning, Grade 5 learners score below 40% in national assessments and Zambia has one of the highest pupil-teacher ratios in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Zambian Education School-based Training (ZEST) programme will contribute to improved quality of teaching and learning experiences for children in primary schools in Zambia’s Central Province. It will create and implement a scalable, school-based teacher development programme (SBTDP).

The training programme will be co-designed with Zambian teachers, building on existing practice and supporting an active, learner-centred approach to teaching which will improve learning outcomes in Zambia.

It will draw on a range of open educational resources (OER) including TESSA Zambia. At the end of the project the training programme and resources will be available online, free from copyright, to teachers and educators throughout Zambia, thus ensuring sustainability.

ZEST responds to the Zambian Ministry of General Education's (MoGE) request for the OU to support teachers and school leaders to develop skills in active, learner-centred approaches, to operationalise Zambia’s revised Curriculum Framework (2013) and In-Service Strategy (2017).

Mother and son

The project will:

a) Co-design a high-quality School-based Teacher Development Programme (SBTDP) with and for teachers, school leaders, and MoGE officials.
b) Implement the SBTDP, building on existing systems and structures; and providing contextualised, freely accessible resources in print, SD card and online.
c) Build capacity amongst educators and support planning for scale-up by the Ministry of General Education (MoGE).


The programme will be piloted with up to 600 teachers in Central Province in years 1-3 to develop a scalable model that can be rolled out across the rest of the province and the wider country in years 4-5, eventually reaching over 4000 teachers.

Years 1-3: 600 teachers / school leaders trained
Year 4:  2000 teachers / school leaders and 29 education officials trained
Year 5: 2000 teachers / school leaders and 42 education officials trained