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ERIC Number: ED529255
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 252
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1246-1906-4
Access, Quality, and Opportunity: A Case Study of Zambia Open Community Schools (ZOCS)
Mwalimu, Michelle
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Michigan State University
Community schools and other approaches to Alternative Primary Education or APE have increased access to primary education for underserved populations in Africa, Asia, and Latin America as a major goal of the Education for All (EFA) movement. In Zambia, a country where an estimated 20 percent of the basic education enrollment now attends community schools, such efforts are undoubtedly the most significant responses to the Zambian government's incapacity to provide a sufficient number of school places to primary-aged children. While community schools make meaningful contributions to the goals of EFA by increasing access for various populations, it remains unclear how Zambia's estimated 2,500 community schools are monitored and evaluated. Indeed, while advocates have praised community schools more generally for their focus on disadvantaged children, community control, and relevance to students' everyday lives, critics argue that these schools are "second-rate education for second-rate students" that perpetuate a system of inequality in which country governments play a minimal role in ensuring both access and quality for all students. In this case study, I attempt to understand how various community schools in Zambia function, raising questions about why some families send their children to community schools and what lies ahead for community school students upon completion. In addition, I assess various successes and challenges faced by Zambia's largest community school organization, (Zambia Open Community Schools or ZOCS) analyzing perceptions, expectations and outcomes of schooling among students, teachers, and representatives of agencies who work directly or indirectly with ZOCS specifically and other community schools more generally. Considering multiple actors and perspectives within schools, communities, and ZOCS as an organization, I apply my understanding of community schools within Zambia's larger social, political, and economic context to argue that despite national statistics illustrating the discouraging odds of progression through public secondary school and onto college or university, community school students in Zambia's urban and rural areas maintain a steadfast belief in the power of schooling to ultimately improve their living conditions by securing access to higher education and skilled employment. Utilizing interview and survey data collected over 14 months in the context of literature to date, I build a case for both praise and critique of community schools and the role of educational non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in a southern African context. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Zambia