Kudos / NORAD / Ukategorisert / 2011 / Evaluation report of Zambia National Union of Teachers (ZNUT) activities in educational policy development and programme implementation

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Evaluation report of Zambia National Union of Teachers (ZNUT) activities in educational policy development and programme implementation

Background:The Zambia National Union of Teachers (ZNUT) and the Union of Education Norway (UEN), (formerly the Norwegian Teachers Union – NL), have had a long standing co-operation which, among, other things, focused on improvement of the education policy and developments in Zambia.The study was initiated to get a full picture of the strengths and weaknesses of ZNUT as a trade union in the Zambian society. The findings of the report will be central to the future strategic priorities of ZNUT, and to the cooperation between ZNUT and UEN.Purpose/objective:The study aimed at evaluating the Zambia National Union of Teachers (ZNUT) activities in policy development and programme implementation. The main objectives of the study were: (i) To assess the role of ZNUT in Zambia’s educational policy and development, and how they meet a rapidly changing education sector;(ii) To evaluate the role of ZNUT in enforcing an ethical code of conduct and in developing a professional attitude amongst the teachers;(iii) To investigate women’s possibilities within the union; and(iv) To find out the capacity in ZNUT to further develop the organisation without the economic support from Union of Education Norway/Norway Assistance for Development (NORAD).Methodology:The planning of the study started in August, 2007 and was conducted from May to July, 2008. The study obtained cross-sectional data using primarily qualitative methods. Key informants and discussants at national, provincial, district and local schools provided the bulk of the information. Other approaches included area truncation and participant observations. In addition, literature on ZNUT has been examined.Key findings:The study has found that ZNUT is still the most popular and influential teachers’ union in the country. The Union also has the necessary qualified staff and structures to run the educational matters in the country. It is therefore a very key player in policy development, and programme implementation. The study discovered that most stakeholders, notably, the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) through various departments, non-governmental organisations and civic societies involved in educational matters collaborate very closely with the Union. The creation of other unions in the country was seen not to be helpful to the general membership as it advantages the government. The study also discovered, however, that most of the education policies that have been implemented in the country have not been evaluated. ZNUT should therefore advocate for such evaluation, and make it an integrated part of their strategy.The study further revealed that ZNUT has got no ethical code of conduct for its members on its own. However, there is a national ethical code of conduct which all parties ascribe to. The study discovered that the Union nevertheless helps to implement the existing code of conduct.The evaluation exercise has also revealed the critical position that women have in the Union. Accordingly, the Union has established a women committee within itself to further the status and position of the women. It was found that a number of provincial and district structures are appreciating the roles women can play. However, the involvement of women is not very pronounced in rural and remote areas. To improve on that, information-sharing with areas doing well is critical.For the Union to work effectively, there must be efficiency in its use of innovative information, education and communication (IEC). Also, the communication strategy should inform ZNUT members how to qualify for Union sponsorship.   The study discovered that the main resource for the Union is monthly subscription by members. There are also few other income generating activities that the Union has recently started. Other new partnerships have also been created with the Union. Regardless of all these ventures, the Union would still find it difficult to implement all its planned activities without the financial and material support of external partners. Such support has been critical in establishing new projects and programmes.Recommendations:The study recommended that:1. The various Teachers’ Unions should formulate a memorandum of understanding (MOU). This will improve their bargaining powers with the government on common issues. The current fragmentation among unions has worked to the advantage of the government and other employers. 2. Unions should consider coming back into one body. This will strengthen their capacity to deal with various issues affecting their members. 3. The ZNUT should develop new strategies and intensify on already existing ones in fostering Information, Education and Communication (IEC). 4. The Union should promote and support inter-provincial and inter-district visits and exchange of ideas, knowledge and best practices. 5. The Union should put in place clear guidelines on educational development and disseminate to its members the criteria for sponsorship. 6. ZNUT should build more capacity in research and information generation at provincial, district and local levels.  7. The Union should intensify mechanisms in starting and consolidating existing businesses and also acquiring assets and property for various income generating activities from national to lower structures. 8. The Union should continue using local media such as radios and drama groups to maintain its positive image and in sharing acquired best practices. 9. ZNUT should consolidate existing external and internal partnerships and at the same time identify and create new ones. The many partners should assist in the provision of financial, material, technical assistance and other needs in the wake of the Union of Education Norway ending its financial support. 10. The Union should be more innovative and rigorous in wooing more new members to it. 11. ZNUT should provide incentives to maintain and appease its members, such as provision of t-shirts on teachers’ days and giving special recognition and awards to outstanding members; and 12.  The Union should continue to deliberately promote women involvement in the union matters. Also there should be moves to encourage and secure positions for women within the Union structures. This should be in line with global and regional policies on engendering developmental programmes.  Comments from the organisation, if any:Union of Education Norway and ZNUT arranged a seminar in April 2009 where dr. Malunga and his evaluation team presented their findings and recommendations. It was agreed that the future three years’ planning of the project cooperation should use some of the key recommendations as the base :The promotion of women in the unionThe elaboration and implementation of their communication and information strategyStrengthening of their leadership capacity and their services to membersImproving the economical basisActively work to stop the fragmentation of the teachers’ unions in Zambia by initiating cooperation and possible merger between unions. So far, three unions have had initial meetings. These points and observations is the framework of the cooperation between our two unions for the 2010-12 periods.