The Zambia National Education Coalition (ZANEC) is a network of Civil Society Organisations working in the education and skills sector. The organization’s mandate is to coordinate civil society advocacy for quality, equitable and inclusive education for all Zambians. ZANEC focuses on advocacy for the domestication of international education frameworks in national policies, plans and budgets. Currently, the Coalition is involved in providing oversight in the domestication of SDG 4 in the Education and Skills Sector Plan (ESSP). This research, which is funded by the GIZ German BACKUP Initiative – Education in Africa is aimed at establishing the impact of reduced school fees on the access, quality and general operations of public schools.
2. RATIONALE OF STUDY
Zambia’s education system has been experiencing low financing resulting from the limited national resource envelope and increasing debt burden which have in turn affected learner outcomes. The share of the national budget allocated to education has continued reducing over the years from 20.2% in 2015 to 12.4% in the 2020 budget. Furthermore, disbursements to schools are very low and erratic. This means most schools rely on the contributions from parents to raise funds to run their schools. In essence, parents have been the major financiers of the education sector at school level, in spite of having a Free Education Policy at primary school level. With little funding from government, primary schools mainly depend on user fees paid by learners in grades 8 and 9 for their school operations. However, in March 2019, the Ministry of General Education announced a reduction in school fees in all public schools. This has raised debate by stakeholders who feel that the policy pronouncement has taken away the only source of income for our schools.
3.0 PURPOSE OF CONSULTANCY
ZANEC wishes to conduct a study to establish the impact of reduced school fees on the access, quality and general operations of public schools. The study will focus on the impact that the reduction of school fees by government has had in the operations of public schools. The study was motivated by recommendations made during the multi-stakeholder consultative meeting held on literacy where it emerged that the financing to public schools can impact the quality of service delivery including learner outcomes in literacy and numeracy.
3.1 SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES:
To assess the impact of the reduction in schools on the access, participation, quality and general operations of public schools in Zambia.
3.2 SCOPE OF WORK
ZANEC wishes to hire a consultant for a period of 20 days to conduct this research which will generate evidence that will be used to inform existing policies. Specifically, the consultant will be required to do the following:
i.Conduct a survey and interviews with relevant target groups to assess:
- The levels of income before and after the pronouncement to reduce the fees – how much were schools receiving through grants, school fees, PTAs?
- Changes in levels of access and participation including the frequency of administering tests/assessment and actual pass rates.
- Coping mechanisms schools have adopted and their impact on the overall teaching and learning processes;
- Interrogate the input into schools by government and the corresponding impact on service delivery after reducing school fees
- Explore potential alternative sources of income for schools that can help in supplementing the reduced school fees.
ii. Develop a 2 paged Policy Brief with appropriate infographics summarising and visualising the key findings and recommendations of the study.
4.0 KEY DELIVERABLES
i. An inception report outlining the methodology, key deliverables and timeframes;
ii. A satisfactory draft report to be reviewed by ZANEC Secretariat;
iii. A satisfactory second draft to be reviewed by the Secretariat;
iv. Final full report;
v. Two paged Policy Brief with relevant infographics derived from the final report.
vi. A power point presentation of the key findings of the report
5.0 REQUIRED COMPETENCIES
- Must possess a Masters’ Degree in economics, education or a related field;
- Proven experience and track record in education financing issues is desirable;
- Strong research, analytical, writing, facilitation and communication skills are required;
- Ability to devote full time on the assignment.
All expressions of interest outlining the understanding of the task, methodology, competencies and proposed cost must be submitted through post or email to the address below by Friday, 11th December, 2020.
The Executive Director,
Zambia National Education Coalition,
Baptist Fellowship Building,
Plot 3061/2 Corner Makishi Road and Great East Road,
P.O. Box 30774,
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; inforHR@zanec.org.zm