Involvement of the Roger Federer Foundation

In 2013, the Roger Federer Foundation and ROCS launched a novel comprehensive initiative in rural Zambia, which should not only strengthen community schools (link community school initiative), but also provide access to early childhood care and education. In a first phase, 60 communities participated in the programme and in mid 2016, another 80 communities joint the initiative in the District of Lundazi and Chama. So far, the Board has approved a total budget of CHF 1,575,000 to this initiative, which has the following objectives:

  • 12,000 pupils have equitable access to improved quality education in 60 community schools in Lundazi district in the East of Zambia.
  • 600 Parents Community School Committee (PCSC) members have an improved level of management and leadership skills to effectively manage their school.
  • 180 volunteer community school teachers deliver an improved quality of lesson.
  • The resource mobilisation capacities of 50 civic and 50 traditional leaders in community is strengthened in order to maintain the improved quality of teaching and infrastructure development at targeted schools
  • 60 children's Councils are established and strengthened to improve school governance.
  • Sanitation and hygiene in 60 Community Schools has improved as stipulated in the public health regulations of Zambia. Children have good knowledge and practices related to hygiene, toilet use, and water supply.
  • 1,500 children aged below 7 receive access to early childhood education and sufficient food, micronutrients, and health care services in 60 established ECCDE centres. 60 caregivers are enabled to provide care and early childhood educational support.
  • 90 Parents Management Committees (PMCs) are established and strengthened in management and leadership skills of the ECCDE centres.

The programme has been externally evaluated in 2015 with the following (interim) impact results and lessons learnt:

  • The programme has largely shown its effectiveness and is achieving its targets. Access to quality education is being attained through teacher training, expansion of classroom space and improved management and governance of community schools. The number of children enrolled has increased from 11,382 at baseline to 12,769 in 2014 representing an increase of 12% in just 2 years.
  • 60 ECCDE centres have been established and enrol nearly 1,500 children annually, which is significantly above the overall target of 1,500 children by the end of the phase.
  • Capacity building of PCSC members has led to improved management and leadership of community schools. This demonstrated a strong community support and involvement in school development activities, especially in terms of infrastructure development. Traditional leaders are highly involved and leading from the front by ensuring they encourage everyone to participate and follow up on those lagging behind.
  • As a result, community school infrastructure development has been accelerated and schools have improved capacity to absorb more children. Nearly half of the community schools are able to access public funds to contribute to school infrastructure development.
  • Parents and children are more aware about children’s rights. Children who drop out of school are brought back and retained in school with peer-to-peer support by children’s councils more effective in this regard.
  • Attendance and performance of pupils has reportedly increased with all community schools producing Grade 8s every year.
  • The health of children in ECCDE centres has reportedly improved due to the school feeding programme. The school feeding programme has further contributed to improved school attendance at ECCDE centres as reported by stakeholders, with more parents enrolling their children as a result.
  • Community cohesion has also been reported and is attributed to PRICE. These project's effects are likely to lead to high impact and as a result of these tangible changes, there is universal demand from the community for the programme to be extended. To a large extent, the continuation is for capacity building and provision of materials that have been found to be negatively affecting the proper functioning of teaching and learning such as lack of or inadequate curriculums and teachers’ guides.
  • Organisational sustainability is guaranteed through strong stakeholder commitment to school development activities. Community stakeholders emphasise that they are able to carry on activities that they are currently doing beyond the programme due to capacity that has been built and their ability to pull together as a community.

Our implementing partner ROCS

Reformed Open Community Schools (ROCS) is a non-governmental organisation in Zambia focusing on assisting vulnerable children in communities. ROCS aims to develop, strengthen, and support community participation in order to improve the provision of quality of education. It strongly promotes community ownership and management of community schools. Since its inception in 1997, ROCS has supported over 130 community schools and empowered Parents Community School Committees, building the capacity of over 500 volunteer community school teachers. 90 community school teachers have passed through formal college training and are now teaching either in community schools or have since been deployed to government schools after serving for a number of years in community schools.

ROCS on Facebook


Zambia Facts

13.5 Mio
Community schools
ECD enrolment in rural areas
Children stunting malnutrition
1 Mio
Orphans under 15 years
1.2 Mio

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