Creating the framework for implementation in Zambia
By Grace B. Manyonga, Zambia National Education Coalition, Zambia
Zambia joined the rest of the world in committing to achieving Education for All (EFA) goals that would ensure quality access to education by 2015. As such, the Zambia National Education Coalition was born to provide a platform for coordinated civil society advocacy for attainment of the goals. One of the requirements for EFA was the creation of a national EFA Steering Committee which would ensure that there was dialogue among various stakeholders in the education sector in the country and enhance collaborative efforts. However, Zambia has not had such a committee since agreeing to EFA. This has affected information flow, monitoring of progress and resulted in disjointed reporting among other things. It can be said that the lack of the EFA Committee has been a large contributor to the lagging of implementation of EFA goals as there has been no body specifically focused on overseeing it.
Because of the importance associated to having an EFA Steering Committee, ZANEC Secretariat has been advocating for the establishment of the EFA Committee since 2013 and was further boosted when it was one of the key recommendations that came out of the EFA review and Post-2015 civil society consultative meeting held in March 2014.
Thereafter, ZANEC Secretariat started engaging the Ministry of Education Planning Department which is the focal point for EFA. The consistent engagement resulted in an agreement on the composition of the Committee and the convening of the initial meeting. The Committee, chaired by the Ministry of Education and co-chaired by ZANEC, consists of the various Ministry departments, UNICEF, UNESCO, the Project Coordinating Committee Chairperson, and ZANEC members including Teacher Trade Unions and the Secretariat. The first meeting was held in November 2014. During this meeting the committee looked at terms of reference for conducting a review of the implementation of EFA in Zambia as well as commissioning the study.
By pushing for the creation of the EFA steering committee to help guide the implementation of the EFA goals, the advocacy work that went into creating that committee also contributed to a EFA and Post 2015 Agenda common position that was carried to Sub-Saharan Meeting on EFA held in Kigali, Rwanda in March, 2015.