Start date: 19/09/2016
End date: 31/12/2020
Early Childhood Education
Education for All
Human and Trade Union Rights
The intended project’s overall development objective is to promote provision and access to quality Early Childhood Education (ECE) to children in Zambia through a professional and well remunerated teaching cadre in both public and private ECE centres. The overall objective emerges from 4 initiatives: 1) Zambia National Union of Teachers’ strategic plan of action, 2) 3 pilot learning through play workshops with follow up visits at ECE centres, 3) a CISU funded joint finalisation workshop and 4) A CISU funded small scale development project. Throughout these partnership activities Zambia National Union of Teachers (ZNUT) and The Danish Union of Early Childhood and Youth Educators (BUPL) have reached a common understanding of ‘quality ECE.’ ZNUT and BUPL recognize quality ECE as developing the child’s learning and social-emotional skills. Quality ECE allows the child to reflect independently, problem solving and critical. Also, the partners have come to a common understanding of quality ECE as enhancing the children’s abilities to learn though active participation, to cooperate, and to work together in groups. Both partners strongly believe that quality ECE is a right of every child. From the overall development objective emerges three immediate objectives:
- By 2020 life opportunities of 6.000 children has been increased by learning through play approaches taught by 150 ECE teachers and 1.800 newly graduated ECE teacher trainees.
- By 2020 the living conditions of 450 ECE teachers has increased due to improved management and counselling capacities within 10 ZNUT ECE union branches.
- By 2020 ZNUT has created awareness on the conditions of a child friendly learning environment among key stakeholders though advocacy and alliance building.
The immediate development is the results from the previous successful cooperation on a CISU funded small scale development project. The change in immediate objectives is a result of change in strategy and has set focus on an academic approval of the learning through play approach. The overall assumption is that quality ECE improves life chances. Immediate objective 1 mentions ‘1.800 newly graduated ECE teacher trainees.’ This is a contradiction. Either you are graduated or a trainee. However, the expression is kept to illustrate that some of the ECE trainees will graduate as the intended project is implemented and thus be able to use the Learning Through Play approach. The assumption on ECE as catalysis effect is based on the theory of the Nobel price winner James Heckman. His research documents that society reaches the best economic return by investing in early childhood intervention in regard to 0-6 year olds (the Heckman Curve). Heckman’s research on the impact of early intervention and economic gain is described as ground breaking. Intelligence and social skills developed in early childhood are essential for success in adult life. By strengthening children’s cooperation-, attentiveness- and endurance skills children will have better chances of success in areas of life such as education, health and employment. In other words ECE is both more efficient and more in-expensive for society. (Source: heckmanequation.org).
Relevance of the intervention in a global and national context
Globally, the intervention is highly relevant for the Sustainable Development Goals. The introduction of the Learning through Play (LTP) approaches support the fulfilment of SDG target 4.2: ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality ECE. Likewise, the establishment of ECE branches and bylaw amendments will support SDG target 16.6 through development of effective, accountable and transparent institutions.
Up to 80 pct. of all ECE personnel are females. Promoting female ECE personnel’s labour rights through appointment letters, minimum wages and formal recognition of their qualifications is a first step in addressing discriminations.
1. By 2020 life opportunities of 6.000 children has been increased by learning through play approaches taught by 150 ECE teachers and 1.800 newly graduated ECE teacher trainees.
2. By 2020 the living conditions of 450 ECE teachers has increased due to improved management and counselling capacities within 10 ZNUT ECE union branches.
3. By 2020 ZNUT has created awareness on the conditions of a child friendly learning environment among key stakeholders though advocacy and alliance building.
1. Capacity buiding of union leaders
2. Advocacy meetings with ECE providers
3. Professional support to ECE teachers through learning through play workshops
4. Sensitization meetings with community on learning enviroment for ECE learners
5. Social dialogue meetings on ILO guidelines
In July 2017 – March 2018 ZNUT and BUPL implemented a CISU funded small scale development project (17-2067-MI-may). The three immediate development objectives were:
• Established a total of 4 ECE branches in Southern Province
• 500 ECE children’s learning outcome is increased by 30 ECE teachers and 25 ECE trainees using play based approaches.
• 400 ECE personnel employed by public and private proprietors are aware of basic labour rights. The development objective is reached through advocacy.
The small scale development project was designed in consultation with the development triangle. The change triangle proved to be highly successful in the planning and management of the projects. Thus, the planned intervention will make use of the change triangle. Please refer to section 4 the use of the change triangle in the planned intervention.
ZNUT established 4 ECE branches in Southern Province. The ECE branches consist of eight members elected for 3 years. However, creation of awareness on basic labour right turned out to be more challenging than expected. Social dialogue with private ECE proprietor were planned to be done by ECE teachers who had participated in ZNUT social dialogue workshops. However, the participating ECE teachers were afraid of losing their jobs. Thus, this cascading model is left out in the planned intervention. Instead there is a change in strategy. It will be ZNUT leaders who open the dialogue with the private ECE proprietors. Instead of labour right the social dialogue will be based on ZNUT research results on how to manage ECE centres.