Over the course of 12 months, Book Aid International worked in partnership with Zambia Open Community Schools (ZOCS) to set up libraries in 15 community schools in the Lusaka and Central provinces of Zambia. The project Final Evaluation Report has now been published.
Community schools in Zambia are vital for the thousands of children who cannot get to or afford to attend a government school, however these schools do not receive any government funding and often operate with very few resources, including books. The project aimed to improve the quality of education in community schools in Zambia by providing each of the 15 schools with new books and teacher training.
Each school received 1,500 brand new books from the UK, 300 local curriculum books and two trunks in which to store their books. Two teachers from each school also attended workshops in how to manage their library and make use of books in the classroom.
Lessons learned by the evaluation include:
– New reading periods have been established that are likely to help improve pupils’ reading in the short to medium term.
– Lending books to children is only taking place in three out of five schools because teachers fear the books would not be returned.
– Teachers reported an average 191% increase in their knowledge of library related matters since the project began.
– Teachers are using books in the classroom to teach multiple subjects. One teacher reported using a science book called ‘The Human Body’ to teach biology and another used a book about Volcanoes to teach a geography lesson.
– Teachers are using creativity to improve learning environments. Some teachers have used maize sacks to create book pockets on their classroom walls. Drawing children’s attention to books generates interest and can lead to more reading.