Education Transition Fund Distribution Update
Currently, the Ministry of Education, Sports, Arts and Culture (MoESAC) with the support of UNICEF and the donors of the Education Transition Fund (ETF), is undertaking an unprecedented logistical exercise to deliver 13 million textbooks to all 5,644 primary schools. The objective of the exercise is to ensure that every child in primary school has a full set of core textbooks. These include English, Math, Shona or Ndebele and Environmental Science. MoESAC and UNICEF are committed to delivering the textbooks to the actual schools in order to ensure all books reach their final destination.
Books are pre-packed into pallets for each individual school based on class size at the UNICEF Harare Distribution Centre; each school requires on average 2 pallets to meet the needs. The aim from November to January 2011 is to reach 400-500 schools per week (or 800 to 1000 pallets). More than 10 service providers are using a combination of ten 30MT trucks to deliver to central hubs and then transfer loads to around thirty 10 MT trucks for final distribution to schools. The current constraint is the availability nationally of 10 MT trucks which are required for door to door distribution to the actual schools because of the difficult road conditions.
Currently around 92% of schools have received stationery and more than 57% of schools (3237 schools) have been received textbooks. Capacity is now in place to reach at least 10% of schools per week. The initial strategy was to focus only on rural schools first but to ensure efficiency (space in the warehouse, optimal turn-around time for trucks, etc) in the operation, it has become important to also deliver to urban centres from the outset including in and around Harare.
Background: The Education Transition Fund was set up in 2009 in order to improve the quality of education. The fund is managed by UNICEF on behalf of MOESAC. It has been made possible through the support of the following donors: One of the core components of the ETF is the procurement and distribution of textbooks. Because of the economies of scale, UNICEF was able to negotiate with publishers to procure textbooks for primary school at price that will allow, not only all primary school children to benefit, but will also be now expanded to Braille, minority languages, and secondary school. 20% of the 13 million textbooks are being printed in Zimbabwe and 80% in South Africa. UNICEF only procures textbooks that are on the approved list of the MOESAC and follows all international standards of best practice in its tendering processes. An SMS system has been set up to receive feedback from schools.
The ETF was made possible by the generous assistance from the European Commission, the Governments of Australia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Sweden, United Kingdom and the United States.