1) Strengthening civil society organisations engagement in Education Sector policy advocacy in Zimbabwe supported by Education Out Loud Operational Component1/ OC 1
The intervention seeks to strengthen the capacity of the Education Coalition of Zimbabwe in influencing education policy dialogue, policy formulation, monitoring implementation and review so as to promote inclusive and equitable quality education. This is in line with the goal of OC1 which seeks to enhance civil society capacity to further GPE goals in learning, equity, and stronger system by improving the participation of civil society, their efforts to strengthen advocacy and to ensure transparency and increased effectiveness in national education policy and implementation processes.
Through the intervention ECOZI Thematic Committees, Provincial Chapters, and the entire membership, including grassroots members, will be strengthened to engage in education policy dialogue and demand for quality, inclusive and relevant education for all. The proposed initiative is a build-up on the lessons learnt from OC1. The project will contribute towards attainment of national education goals, Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 & 5 and GPE strategic objectives through promoting active participation of civil society organisations in education policy dialogue, media advocacy, parliamentary engagement, and citizen engagement.
The intervention will also support research to build evidence for ECOZI members to effectively advocate for quality, inclusive and equitable education in Zimbabwe. The initiative will create district structures and strengthen Provincial Chapters and Thematic Committees to promote participatory and “bottom up” advocacy and ensure that the government fulfils its promises to the citizens (Learners and parents) for instance fulfilling promises made during the GPE Replenishment Conference and the Dakar Declaration. The project seeks to achieve the following specific objectives within the two years of implementation:
- To strengthen ECOZI in its core function of supporting greater coordination and collaboration across all civil society in the engagement of national education policy setting and monitoring by April 2023.
- To promote effective engagement of grassroots civil society and citizens in education policy dialogue by April 2023.
- To enhance ECOZI’s participation and influence in national, regional, and international education forums related to SDG4 and Global Partnership for Education (GPE) processes by April 2023
2) Strengthening inclusivity in higher and tertiary Education sector – supported by SAIH.
The efficacy of higher and tertiary education as it relates to economic efficiency and social justice is unparalleled. There has been global emphasis on higher and tertiary education in most recent decades with a confirmation that access to higher and tertiary institutions increased worldwide and gross enrolment rate doubling between 2000 and 2018 (UNESCO, 2020). Even with the phenomenal growth rate in higher and tertiary education enrolment, inequalities to access have persisted premised on poverty; high tuition fees; geographical mobility; gender; impairments cultural or traditional norms and values among a plethora of such inhibiting variables. Debate on inclusion within the education spectrum is inconclusive due to varied perceptions surrounding the concept. This is also accompanied by the debate on who should be categorised as a disadvantaged/marginalised student within the education sector.
Sustainable Development Goal 4.5 points the need to eliminate gender disparities in education and ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for the vulnerable, including persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, and children in vulnerable situations. For colleges to be inclusive, there must be policies which provide for the need to promote inclusive higher and tertiary education for all. According to a Report on the Inclusion of disadvantaged groups in higher and tertiary education in Zimbabwe, which was conducted by ECOZI in 2021, there is 0.3% prevalence of disadvantaged groups enrolled within higher and tertiary institutions and yet persons with disabilities make up 9% of the national population. Lack of a safe learning environment was cited as a major contributing factor to low prevalence of disadvantaged groups in higher and tertiary institutions. At the same time controversy on defining safe learning environments within the higher and tertiary education sector also shrouds the advocacy fraternity.
ECOZI is implementing a project in the higher and tertiary education sector which is funded by the Norwegian Students’ and Academics’ International Assistance Fund (SAIH). It aims to create a safe learning environment in higher and tertiary institutions. According to a baseline that was conducted by ECOZI and SAY WHAT in 2022, the key determinants of safe learning environment in higher and tertiary education sector includes the following:
- Free from all forms of abuse such as bullying, Sexual Harassment, and GBV.
- Provision of entertainment and a variety of sporting activities
- Ensure accommodation, sanitation, internet, and learning infrastructure are proportional to the student population to avoid overcrowding.
- Security of student belongings by imposing rules that prevent strangers from free entry and exit at college premises and provision of adequate security services.
- Sufficient health services that address student needs
- Fully equipped libraries
- Freedom of expression, and non-discrimination (gender)
- Provision and enforcement of policies and guidelines
- Financial support for vulnerable students who cannot afford fees and university upkeep.
The project supports induction of first new-intakes, capacity development of students and lecturers on SRH, inclusive higher and tertiary education, capacity development of peer educators, capacity development of college authorities on domesticating national higher and tertiary education policies and guidelines, awareness raising on mental health and drug abuse.
3) Adolescent Mothers’ Education Initiative (AMEI) supported by Global partnership for Education and World Vision UK
The project is being implemented in partnership with World Vision Zimbabwe with funding from Global Partnership for Education and World Vision UK. Its overall objective is to contribute to ensuring that all Pregnant Girls and Adolescent Mothers (PGAM) have access to, continue, and complete a free, safe, quality, and inclusive education.
At the regional level the Adolescent Mothers’ Education Initiative (AMEI) will address frameworks that provide for the continued education of PGAM. These include the African Union’s (AU) African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child Article 11(6); the African Youth Charter Article 13(4h). and the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (2003, Article 12 (2) (c)). Additionally, AMEI will engage international human rights law, including:
– The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (1979);
– the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (1966); and
– the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989),
all of which guarantee the right to education, free from discrimination based on gender. AMEI will also address the African Union’s Agenda 2063, which has a focus on education, engaged and empowered youths and children, and full gender equality in all spheres of life.
AMEI will also address global frameworks such as SDGs 4 and 5. Of note are:
– Target 4.1 which seeks to ensure completion of free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education for girls and boys;
– Target 4.5, which seeks to eliminate gender disparities in education to ensure inclusive equal access to all;
– Target 5.1 – end all forms of discrimination against women and girls everywhere; and
– Targets 5.2 and 5.3 which seek to eliminate all forms of violence and harmful practices against girls and women.
The latter two being significant because of the intersectionality between these and PGAM. AMEI also addresses the Convention against Discrimination in Education (DRC, Uganda and Zimbabwe are all signatory); and G7 Girls’ Education Declaration. AMEI employs a rights-based approach through the Right to Education (RTE) Index approach which is based on the 32 legally binding treaties which constitute the RTE. The specific objectives of the AMEI project are as follows:
- By the end of the project, key stakeholders at the local level have more positive attitudes and behaviours towards, and have increased their support of, PGAM continuing their education.
- By the end of this project, development and implementation of key policies, plans and programmes is improved, and continued education of PGAM is included and prioritised at the national level.
- By the end of the project, regional and global development priorities and plans foster an enabling environment for supporting the continued education of pregnant girls and young mothers.
4) Promoting civil society participation up to grassroots level in the development and monitoring of provincial Operational plans supported by GIZ.
With support from German BACKUP Initiative – Education in Africa (BACKUP Education), the proposed measure promotes the development of Provincial Operational Plans, district, and provincial monitoring teams, as recommended in the 2016-2020 Education Sector Strategic Plan and the ECOZI Evaluation report of 2017. The district and provincial monitoring teams will be comprised of all critical education stakeholders with the government included hence brining the element of sustainability. Civil society participation up to grassroots level in developing Provincial Operational Plans, provincial and district monitoring teams will strengthen evidence collection which will be used during the Joint Sector Reviews and to inform programming in education (inform the next GPE Grant application).
According to the ESSP, District Operational Plan reviews are supposed to be conducted in September every year followed by the Provincial Annual Operational Plan reviews which are supposed to be conducted in October every year which will then feed into the national Joint Sector Review to be conducted in November every year. District and Provincial monitoring teams are a critical component in performance monitoring and review of the ESSP and GPE programmes as they have a grassroots mandate of ensuring that all the activities are implemented, and resources are properly utilised and accounted for as according to the plans in the Provincial and District Operational Plans.
These also promote effective coordination and participation of all critical grassroots stakeholders on the implementation of GPE activities and other activities funded by other partners at grassroots level rather than having coordination being done from the head-office (top-bottom approach).
5) School Readiness Initiative supported by Roger Federer Foundation
ECOZI in partnership with ZINECDA is currently implementing the School Readiness Initiative under the Roger Federer Foundation as a follow-up to phase one of the Advocating for School Readiness Policy Environment in Zimbabwe that was implemented from 2019 to 2021. The project aims to increase access to quality and equitable school readiness or ECD in Zimbabwe. The second phase of the project which has been running from 2021 will be completed in 2023 and this phase seeks to consolidate the gains and achievement of the first project. The SRI initiative aims to achieve the following objectives:
- Strengthen the capacity of ZINECDA, ECOZI and other stakeholders on internal governance, advocacy and research in order to effectively hold the government accountable and demand transparency in the formulation and implementation of ECD policies and strategies related to SDG 4.2 by April 2023.
- Engage on national advocacy to influence the development and finalisation of comprehensive and inclusive ECD policies, legislation and systems of government; and the attainment of SDG 4.2 by April 2023.
- Improve ECD decision making processes through availing of ECD data, monitoring and evaluation for use at national level advocacy, learning and decision making for the attainment of SDG 4.2 by April 2023.
6) Securing Education Transformation Agenda in Africa’s Regional and Sub-Regional Policy Spaces through Vibrant Civil Society Engagement in Sustainable Development Goal 4 and Africa Union’s Continental Education Strategy for Africa support from ANCEFA through Open Society Foundations – West Africa (via OSIWA) . The project is to be implemented over a 2-year period – to December 2024
The project aims to contribute towards ensuring that inclusive and equitable access to quality education is improved in 12 targeted countries which includes Zimbabwe, Ghana, Nigeria, Guinea, Cameroon, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Niger, Corte D’ivoire Ivory Coast, DRC, and Sierra Leone.
Objective of the Project
To ensure inclusive, adequate obsessed and quality education is improved in the crafted areas within SDG4 and CESA frameworks.
- Consolidations of the gains that made at country level by various governments on CESA,
- Consolidations of the gains that were made at country level by various governments on SDG4.
- Call for support to ANCEFA to make sure it delivers on this mandate.
7) Education Financing Observatory
In line with the GCEs Education Financing and Education in Emergencies strategic focus areas, GCE set up the Education Financing Observatory (EFO) as a structure with a long term goal of tracking the changes and trends of public education financing and the multiple intersecting issues such as tax justice, debt alleviation and increased privatisation in education that compound the complexity of public education financing. It is against this background that ECOZI in partnership with ZINASU is carrying out a research on Education financing in Zimbabwe for year 2023.The coalition is focusing on how much money was allocated, disbursed and utilised in the education sector.
1) To create a systematic approach to collect, monitor and track education financing data.
2) To share expertise and knowledge on how best to monitor, track and analyse evidence-based education financing information.
3) To support GCEs advocacy on education financing.
4) Conduct an analysis of information on education financing through the exchange of knowledge
5) Advocacy & reporting ( production of country specific reports and advocacy actions)
The research process, data analysis and report writing:
The enumerators have begun conducting data collection. However, the major challenge being faced is late responses from government officials and also some of them are not forthcoming with the information. In a bid to overcome this, the consultant and ECOZI Programmes manager will hold a round table meeting with the government officials. At the conclusion of the data collection, the enumerators will submit the information to the consultant. The consultant will conduct a data analysis on the education financing situation in Zimbabwe and compile a final report.