Time to Learn


Community schools act as a vital lifeline to education for one-fifth of all students in Zambia, yet these schools face many challenges. Teachers are often unpaid volunteers, and books and basic classroom resources are limited. Many students have to walk for miles just to get to class. As a result, student achievement at community schools is often lower than at government-run schools.

EDC improved services and structure of these community schools through the USAID-funded Time to Learn project. In conjunction with Zambia’s Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Vocational Training, Time to Learn worked to make education available to young people in Zambia who are living in some of the most challenging circumstances. The project was an essential part of the country’s efforts to meet national education goals as well as the 2015 Education for All and Millennium Development Goals, and its impact lays out next steps to improve community schools and programs for vulnerable children.

Key Activities

The Time to Learn project activities included the following:

  • Developed and delivered a reading program package, including learning materials, teacher training, and improved teacher supervision and support
  • Connected communities with psychosocial support services and scholarship opportunities to mitigate the effect of poverty and HIV/AIDS on children’s learning
  • Tested a suite of ICT-mediated training, coaching, and assessment tools that can support teachers, principals, and ministry employees in making sustainable improvements in reading instruction

Learn more about EDC's work in Zambia
"Learning from Community Schools in Zambia"
"Going High-Tech in Low-Resource Classrooms"
"Making Time to Learn"


  • Reached 13,750 community school teachers through in-service or intensive coaching programs (exceeding target by 22 percent)
  • Trained 6,650 head teachers and administrators in education leadership and literacy instruction
  • Distributed more than 900,000 teaching and learning materials to schools
  • Supported 859 parent-school committees in community mobilization around reading
  • Provided 48,550 orphans and vulnerable children with scholarship packages to support them in graduating secondary school
  • Successfully tested mobile phone-based coaching and training packages as well as tablet-based reading resource and assessment suites in community school classrooms

Learn More

U.S. Agency for International Development

Forum for African Women Educationalists in Zambia (FAWEZA); Campaign for Female Education (Camfed); EnCompass, LLC