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Zambia Launches Digital School Project for Out-of-School Adolescents

The Ministry of Education in Zambia has unveiled an innovative initiative to address the educational needs of primary school dropouts. 

The “Out-of-School-Adolescents Digital School Project,” launched by Education Minister Hon. Douglas Syakalima, is set to pilot in Chibombo, Kafue, and Lusaka districts.

This groundbreaking project, a collaboration between the Ministry of Education and the Flemish Association for Development Cooperation and Technical Assistance (VVOB), aims to provide educational support to approximately 3,500 out-of-school adolescents aged between 3 and 18 years. 

The target demographic includes those who dropped out due to various factors such as vulnerability, long distances to schools, truancy, and early pregnancies.

Minister Syakalima emphasized that the initiative aligns with Sustainable Development Goal No. 4 (SDG4 2015), focusing on quality education. 

The project will leverage a digital approach to education delivery, with VVOB working closely with the Directorate of Open and Distance Education (DODE) to ensure its successful implementation.

The 30-month pilot project, commencing from January 2024 to June 2026, will provide participants with a certificate of participation from the Directorate of Open and Distance Education, detailing the subjects and special papers they have undertaken. 

Mock examinations, conducted in line with the Examinations Council of Zambia standards, will also be a crucial component.

Caroline Elliot, the VVOB Country Programmes Manager, expressed the organization’s commitment to providing technical support in the education sector. 

Additionally, Sarah Wragg, Head of Education Innovation at the Education Above All Foundation, highlighted that the project aims to accelerate learning for out-of-school adolescents.

This initiative marks a significant step toward inclusivity in education, offering a lifeline to those who have faced barriers to traditional schooling. 

The digital school project holds the potential to transform the educational landscape for vulnerable and marginalized adolescents in Zambia.

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