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Base de datos de evaluación

Evaluation report

ZAM 1998/800: Advancing Girls' Education in Zambia: A Report on the Pilot Phase of the Programme for the Advancement of Girls' Education (PAGE)

Author: Mumba, E.; Chikalanga, I. W.; Sikwibele, A. L.; Nkhata, B.; University of Zambia

Executive summary


The Programme for the Advancement of Girls' Education (PAGE) is a Ministry of Education project (MOE) supported by UNICEF with initial funding from CIDA. PAGE was developed in 1996 based on experiences from the previous Girl Child Education Programme (1994-1995) as well as through the utilisation of findings from research studies that were part of that programme. The Girl Child Education Programme focused on policy development, development of gender sensitive materials and research. Building on the success of the Girl Child Education Programme. PAGE integrated advocacy, gender sensitization. social mobilisation and specific interventions to improve girl’s education.  PAGE is a concrete expression of Zambia's commitment to the advancement of girls, and women in education and sectors of society. The programme seeks to deliver quality primary education to all children, especially girls, and to reduce gender disparities in primary education enrolment, retention, completion and achievement.

Purpose / Objective

Programme for the Advancement of Girls' Education (PAGE) is a Ministry of Education program that seeks to deliver quality primary education to all children, especially girls, and to reduce gender disparities in primary education enrolment, retention, completion and achievement. It has just completed the pilot phase and lessons to guide the future direction are sought. Bringing the program beyond the twenty schools state to a national scale is a vision that is currently being actively pursued.


This report is a synthesis of eleven reports that were prepared by a University of Zambia School of Education team contracted to monitor and validate PAGE interventions. The eleven reports include: evaluations of five key interventions, Research Studies, Advocacy and Sensitization, Familypac, Single Sex Classes and Gender Across the Curriculum; baseline study; Term Three reports that review PAGE's overall performance; 1997 Annual Report; and the End of Project Report.

The first monitoring and validation visits were between June and August 1997, during the second school term. This exercise was aimed at collecting data on the existing situation and developing a baseline. The second round of monitoring took place during the third term between September and December 1997, and served to inform the five thematic studies, the Term Three report, and the annual report for 1997. The third round of monitoring took place between the months of February and April 1998; it was the basis for the report for Term 1 1998 and also contributed to the preparation of the end-of-project report.

A variety of methods were used to monitor and validate PAGE interventions. These included observation, structured and unstructured interviews, focus group discussion, questionnaires, tests and review of records and secondary data. The methods that were employed in the various studies are briefly described in the summary of each thematic report.

Key Findings and Conclusions

The University of Zambia monitoring and validation study established that PAGE was perceived as a positive force within schools and the Ministry of Education at national, provincial and district levels. The research studies that helped to develop the program had given it a solid basis and were known to school staff.

Advocacy efforts had achieved a great deal with respect to making communities, parents and teachers aware of the problems and importance of education for the girl child. In many schools, single sex classes have given girls more confidence and this intervention is seen as helping girls achieve more academically. Familypac, an intervention to increase parental involvement, has been well-received but its implementation is hampered by parents' illiteracy and their non-attendance to sessions.

Planned interventions were, for the most part, on track and ready to be taken to national scale. Many successful activities had taken place in 1997 and 1998. However, data with respect to enrolment, retention and achievement did not show that PAGE had managed to make an impact within its short lifespan. The magnitude of obstacles in education, especially that of girls, is such that measurable impact is most likely to come about if PAGE initiatives are augmented by other systematic and system-wide initiatives such as the Action to Improve English, Mathematics and Science project and the Micro Project Unit.


Management and monitoring need to be strengthened and streamlined; in particular, teachers and head teachers need management training.

Further evaluation needs to concentrate on better documentation of the variations between schools and on what makes PAGE work in different schools as well as on trends in enrolment, retention and achievement.

Research needs to be conducted on other issues that impact upon girl child education such as sexual harassment, child labor, cultural practices and issues around women in management.

Advocacy efforts need to be continued and intensified at all levels. Multi-media, including alternative means for rural areas, should be used. School and district staff capacity to provide gender training should be built.

Guidelines should be developed for the implementation of single sex classes and these should include teacher training requirements and implementation strategies.

The debate on single sex classes should continue.

The Familypac intervention should be altered to account for illiteracy among parents. Clear guidelines should be developed for the implementation of the Familypac strategy.

The Gender across the Curriculum course should continue with clearer guidelines for its implementation, training for its staff, and overall gender and PAGE sensitization within teacher-training colleges.

The impact of PAGE with respect to enrolment, retention and achievement should be monitored carefully to ascertain that perceived successes are actual ones.

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Report information





Education - Girls

Ministry of Education


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