Education Advisor – Catch Up/TaRL

Website VVOB Zambia - Education for Development

VVOB is an international NGO with projects in 10 countries.

VVOB is an international NGO with programmes and projects in 10 countries worldwide. Our head office is based in Brussels, Belgium.

When you join VVOB, you become a key player in VVOB’s mission to ensure quality education as a key enabler for achieving the sustainable development goals. We implement our programmes and projects with one shared passion: to ensure the improvement of quality education. Our teams of national and international experts achieve this by providing technical assistance to governmental and other education actors. In doing so, worldwide we ensure capacity building of governmental and other education actors.

We are looking for Education Advisor who will operate from one of our offices in Zambia, to contribute to the remedial learning interventions in the Catch Up/Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL) Project in Zambia. Do you want to take on this challenge? Then continue reading!

VVOB in Zambia

In Zambia, VVOB is working in partnership with the Ministry of Education (MoE). We are building capacity on Early Childhood Education (ECE), Structured pedagogies, Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL) and use of digital solutions to reach and educate out of school children.

Our ambition is to support MoE in scaling the ‘Learning through Play’, ‘Emergent Literacy’ and ‘Teaching at the Right Level’ work in Zambia to enhance foundational literacy and numeracy. We are also working with government to support out of school adolescents through the digital school program.

The evidence-based TaRL approach helps learners in Grades 3, 4 and 5 to develop basic reading and numeracy skills. TaRL (or Catch Up – as it is known in Zambia) now reaches more than 5,500 primary schools and close to 300,000 learners spread over 9 provinces.

Catch Up/Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL):

The evidence-based Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL) approach, pioneered by Pratham in India, helps learners develop basic reading and numeracy skills. It has been evaluated and proven to be effective by many randomized evaluations. In a TaRL classroom learners are assessed on basic reading and numeracy using a simple tool then grouped by learning level or ability, rather than by grade, for a dedicated time when they focus building foundational skills through activities and materials appropriate for each group. As learners progress, they move to the next learning group and continue to grow.

In Zambia, the TaRL approach is known as “Catch Up” and was piloted by MoE in 2016-17 with support from partners, including VVOB. It is currently being implemented by MoE in more than 5,500 primary schools across Zambia, with support from several partners. MoE has an ambition of making Catch Up/TaRL a national remedial teaching programme.

You will:

  • You will coordinate and maintain close working relationships with districts and other relevant partners for the implementation, monitoring, institutionalization and further scaling of the programme.
  • You will develop and implement capacity development of the operational partners on Catch Up/TaRL.
  • You will prepare and oversee the quality of professional development trajectories.
  • You support the implementation of frequent monitoring and learning cycles at different levels of the education system (classroom, school, zone, district and province level).
  •  You are open to learning, actively formulate lessons learned and participate and contribute to joint learning cycles with VVOB and TaRL Africa colleagues and partners.
  • You keep abreast with policy trends, new developments and latest research and thinking in education and international development by external and internal networking and share new insights with partners and VVOB colleagues.

If you’re our education advisor , your workweek at the office will include the following highlights:

1.  In one of the regular catch-Up project team meetings, you give an update on activities and status of implementation in your districts, highlighting issues where you need guidance from colleagues, or an action to be taken by the central team.

2. Your main tasks will include mentoring and coaching districts zones and schools and some of your time in the office so that you share findings with MoE officers at the district Education Board Secretary (DEBS) office in your base districts.

3. You take part in a Teams/zoom meeting with technical experts from TaRL Africa and VVOB to co-design content for an upcoming catchup training. You are well prepared with ideas based on your work in the field of what training elements will be useful to MoE.

4. You will do joint monitoring with District Resource centre Coordinators (DRCCs) and planners in district to help them learn how to use the updates data collection tools. You train a group of zonal in-service coordinators (ZICs) on how to use the online portal application for more efficient assessment data collection and consolidation.

5. Compile field reports on key project deliverables outlined in the approved work plan and share highlighted lessons learnt with your colleagues during reflection meetings.

6. Lunch! A perfect time to nurture relationships with VVOB colleagues and have an informal exchange on best practices.

Who are you?

This is a national position, open to Zambian Nationals

Your expertise and experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in education (or similar), with at least 2 years of relevant working experience.
  • At least relevant knowledge of the international development sector.
  • Knowledge and experience with developing and implementing professional development trajectories for a wide range of education stakeholders (teachers, school leaders, and officials).
  • Strong time and project management skills (planning, budgeting and report writing).
  • Excellent computer skills in a full range of software, including MS office, Adobe photoshop and/or other graphics programs, and social tools.
  • Excellent communication skills in English, including writing, conversing and presenting.
  • Knowledge of Teaching language(s) in the assigned province.
  • Excellent knowledge of the Zambian Education system.
  • Knowledge about working in a multicultural team.
  • Able and willing to travel frequently for short periods of time.
  • Language skills: Fluent in English.

Matching competences

VVOB core competences:

  • Results orientation
  • Continuous improvement
  • Cooperation

Function specific competencies:

  • Creativity
  • Development oriented
  • 360° empathy
  • Communication skills
  • Problem analysis and judgement

What we’re offering:

1. A full-time contract running up to December 2024.

2. 25% gratuity at year’s end.

3. Education allowance for your legal children

4.In-patient and out-patient medical package for you and your legal dependants (as proven by marriage certificates and birth certificates)

5. Communication allowance.

6. Transport allowance in line with the Zambian employment legislation.

7.Supportive environment enabling continuous professional development

8. An opportunity to work in a very well liked, evidence-based project aimed at ensuring that learners across Zambia acquire foundational literacy and numeracy skills!

What’s next?  

Your motivation letter and a detailed CV are expected to be sent by e-mail no later than 1st July 2024 to [email protected].

Shortlisted candidates will take a written test, go through an interview process and reference checks,before a final offer.

VVOB firmly believes that quality education can only be achieved if equity is ensured. Qualities of people prevail, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or disability.

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