Zambia becomes first country in Africa to adopt MEQA to track progress for Unlock Literacy programme

Ministry of General Education (MoGE) Permanent Secretary, Jobbricks Kalumba has commended World Vision for strengthening its Literacy Programme by focusing on quality which is one of MoGE’s four thematic areas (quality access, action, efficiency and effectiveness and equity) to improve the wellbeing of vulnerable children in Zambian schools.

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“World Vision’s programming is meeting the thematic areas. They are a true partner that has effectively proved their desire to improve the vulnerable children’s education by providing an equitable environment that enables the children to access quality education,” Mr Kalumba said.

The PS spoke through the MoGE Director of Standards, Sunday Mwape who represented him at the opening of World Vision’s Unlock Literacy Measuring Evidence of Quality Achieved (MEQA) Training held at Protea Hotel Towers  in Lusaka.

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MoGE's Director of Standards Sunday Mwape speaking on behalf of the Permanent Secretary

“World Vision has a unique behavioural change contact approach, known as Citizen Voice Action (CVA) which is a scope of teaching that does not only enable communities and children to advocate for themselves but changes policy makers’ way of doing things; having direct engagement with the vulnerable people on the ground which challenges you to commit to do something,” he said.

“The power of this (CVA) is that even children are empowered and equipped to ask you unrehearsed questions for their own wellbeing; this is something I witnessed on the ground [in Musosolokwe] because World Vision often times took me to the field,” the PS’ representative added.

World Vision’s Zambia Reading Education and Development (ZREAD) Programme Manager, Maureen Simuchembu said since 2016 when ZREAD was launched, the programme has scored tremendous progress considering that actual implementation started in 2017.

“We have a huge task of making sure that the programme reaches 150,000 children in Grades 1 – 4 who should be able to read with comprehension by 2021. But this requires strong community engagement for their participation and having appropriate reading materials,” Ms Simuchembu said.

Alodias Santos, Global Centre Education Technical Advisor said World Vision Zambia has become the first office and country in Africa to adopt and start using MEQA, a monitoring tool used to track progress for the Unlock Literacy in the field.

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Alodia Santos, Global Centre Education Technical Advisor equips participants with knowledge to effective use MEQA tool for monitoring literacy


The five day working workshop has drawn participants from MoGE (Provincial Education Standards Officers), World Vision Zambia staff (DM&Es, DFs, Technical staff), Global Centre (Philippines) and Southern Africa Region (Malawi and Lesotho.).

By 2018, World Vision Zambia’s Literacy Programme had established 521 reading camps that have benefited from 49,194 books supplied by the organisation. The programme has also trained 1,064 teachers in the five core reading skills (Fluency, Vocabulary, Phonemic awareness, Comprehension and Letter knowledge) and has supported the creation of 1,294 stories that are used to enhance reading among children.