Part Time Continuing Education

The project sought to increase access to secondary education for vulnerable children through non-formal education pathways while promoting inclusion by increasing access to education for children with disabilities.

Funder

OPEN SOCIETY INITIATIVE FOR SOUTHERN AFRICA

Location

HARARE DISTRICT, ZIMBABWE

Dates

2014 - 2016

Due to the economic and social challenges, Zimbabwe continues to struggle to meet the educational needs of children and youth. Rising poverty and dwindling incomes also prevent caregivers from affording the prohibitive costs of education, forcing many children out of school due to their inability to pay the necessary fees. Findings from the 2015 National Assessment of out-of-school children and youth reported that over 1.2 million children of school going age are out of school for various reasons, including lack of funds for tuition and levies, household instability, orphanhood, pregnancy, and early marriage. [1]

We implemented a 2-year pilot to increase access to formal and non-formal education for vulnerable children of secondary school age. The project sought to increase access to secondary education for vulnerable children through non-formal education pathways while promoting inclusion by increasing access to education for children with disabilities. We also advocated and supported the implementation of policies meant to increase access and inclusion for vulnerable children. By the end of the 2-year project, we had created opportunities for 660 out of school secondary level children to access formal and non-formal education through a part-time continuing education (PTCE) program and had expanded inclusive educational opportunities for 79 learners with disabilities. At the policy and advocacy levels, the project supported the national rollout of the Non-Formal Education policy and helped mobilize civil society and government line ministries around issues of non-formal education for the growing number of out of school children and youth.

By the end of the 2-year pilot, the project had attained the following key achievements:

  • Supported 660 learners in part-time continuing education.
  • Provided learning materials to the 5 supported PTCE sites. Provided logistical support to MoPSE to independently set up 9 targeted unsupported PTCE sites which enrolled 241 learners.
  • Trained and established 135 caregivers in income savings and lending groups.
  • Supported 79 learners with disabilities in community learning sites, In partnership with ECOZI, hosted 2 radio talk shows on non-formal education policies and alternative pathways to education.
  • Supported MoPSE to develop and distribute NFE Guidelines and helped establish the Non-Formal Education Forum.

At the national level, the pilot project achieved the following achievements:

  • PTCE and NFE gained increased visibility and sustainability.
  • Non-formal education became a key focus area of MoPSE’s Strategic Plan for 2016 -2018. This coupled with increasing commitment to NFE by civil society, yielded increased investments towards NFE in addressing the plight of out of school children and youth.
  • Due to our continued efforts to advocate for out of school children and those with disabilities, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education thus allowing us it to continue to advocate for these vulnerable children.
  • PTCE activities were expanded beyond the pilot project and scaled up under the USAID DREAMS Initiatives.

[1] Manjengwa, J (2015) ‘A National Assessment on Out of School Children in Zimbabwe’ Report.

Patience Ndlovu

Country Director

Patience Ndlovu
+263.4.794.620
pndlovu@zw.worlded.org