In 2015 Camara began a two-year Irish Aid funded project in Zambia. This project focuses on improving educational outcomes for Junior Secondary girls and boys across three provinces – Copperbelt, Lusaka and Southern. It will achieve this by focusing on the new, compulsory Computer Studies curriculum. This was introduced as an examinable subject at this level from 2015, however, many schools lacked the resources to effectively deliver the curriculum. This presented Camara with an opportunity to help improve the educational outcomes of Zambian students. This will be achieved through the following activities:
- Curriculum aligned Computer Studies training for Computer Studies teachers;
- ICT leadership training for school leaders and education officials;
- Installation of ICT equipment with learning content in project schools;
- ICT skillbuilder training for Computer Studies and non-Computer Studies teachers;
- Systematic educational support for schools, district education offices and Ministry of General Education
- Technical support to schools.
Across the 51 project schools 13,476 students sat the Computer Studies with 10,395 of these achieving a passing grade. The mid-term results for the project, in the form of the 2015 Computer Studies exam results, were released in February 2016. These results were highly encouraging for the project and the Camara model of project delivery.
The specific figures from the analysis of the results are as follows:
- Project schools had an overall pass rate (male and female) 14.14% higher than comparison schools. The pass rate for project schools was 77.14% against 63% for comparison schools.
- For female students, project schools had a pass rate 15.40% higher than comparison schools (75.24% vs 59.84%).
- For male students, project schools had a pass rate 12.73% higher than comparison schools (79.35% vs 66.62%).
- 4,039 students (29%) achieved a grade higher than they would have been expected to achieve in a non-project school.
These figures show that the project had a greater impact on female students when compared to male students. Female students generally underperform when compared with male students in Zambian schools so this project goes some way to addressing this gap. Furthermore, the project had a greater effect on low to mid performing students as the highest grade improvements were seen at the merit, credit, and pass grades.
The project proved Camara’s theory of change that access to higher levels of ICT equipment has an effect on student education outcomes in the short term. The results from project schools show that more time with access to computer labs of 10 computers or more is correlated with higher results.
Read the full report here Camara Educaton Junior Secondary Education Project Mid-Term Outcome Results Report – Zambia