Tribune News Network
The global education foundation, Education Above All (EAA), with its partners World Vision and with the support of Qatar Fund For Development (QFFD), launched a joint project titled ‘Empowering Vulnerable Children with Education’. To be implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of General Education and the Forum for African Women Educationalists of Zambia, the project aims to increase retention, access and learning of 7,000 at-risk children in quality primary education in Namwale district, which is one of the most marginalised districts in the Republic of Zambia.
The project was launched in the presence of Douglas Syakalima, Minister of Education for Zambia; Fahad Al Sulaiti, CEO of the EAA; World Vision director and other community members from Zambia.
The project will support children from vulnerable households who attend primary school but are at high risk of dropping out. Those considered to be most at risk of drop-out face three or more of the following risk factors: inability to attend regularly due to the long distance to school, the threat of sexual/gender-based violence; disability; overage or orphan status; early marriage; child labour, or learners with chronically ill parents who are too vulnerable to provide for their children.
The project will link existing child protection and education systems to develop an Early Warning System to identify at-risk children, determine how the risk factors can be mitigated, take action and monitor the situation. The programme will mobilise Stay in School Committees to work collaboratively with the school administration to identify and monitor students at risk of dropping out. In addition to identification and monitoring, the programme identifies causes of absenteeism and monitors and offers tailored retention responses through action-oriented work plans to combat incidences of dropout. The project will use readily-available school data and a register to track three key predictors to intervene with respect to at-risk learners: attendance, behavior and course performance.
Leena Al Derham from the EAA said: “Some children face challenges that reduce their chances of staying in school. These include: living in poverty, exposure to conflict-affected environments, suffering chronic illness, having work responsibilities (child labour), and disability. We are happy to support another joint partnership project in Zambia, together with our partner, and other supporters, we are helping children stay in school and providing them with the opportunity to learn and develop the skills they need to access a better future.” Education Above All’s EAC programme has been active in Zambia Since 2017. In partnership with Zambia Open Community Schools, a community-based organisation seeking to empower orphans and vulnerable children with primary education, the project worked to reach out of school children with quality primary education in 29 districts and enrolled 175,000 OOSC.
Since its inception in 2012, the EAA has provided quality education to millions of children in various parts of the world. It has also pledged with its partners to enroll millions of marginalized people in schools, mostly in developing countries and conflict zones.