Zambia Open Community Schools (ZOCS) is a Non-Governmental and non-profit making organization mandated to complement the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training, and Early Education (MESVTEE) in the provision of quality education to orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) especially the girl child and children with Special Education Needs (SEN).

ZOCS supports 524 community schools in 38 districts with an estimated population of 117, 000 learners (46, 800 boys and 70,200 girls). The learners are taught by over 2,340 volunteer teachers (936 male and 1, 404 female) who have dedicated their time to ensuring access to education for all children in their communities. The organization in its work is directed by an Annual Work Plan derived from the ZOCS 2011-2015 Strategic Plan and from communities through Annual General Meetings. The strategic plan reflects the three pillars on which ZOCS builds its approach

Sekelela Community School


Approaches aimed at influencing governement and legislation to Benefit OVC’s access tp quality education 

Capacity Building 

Increasing Teacher and community capacity to provide quality eduction to OVC

Service Delivery

Supporting the development of schools, providing teaching and learning materials, bursaries, school feeding and communities to create an enabling environment for enhanced environment for enhanced educational opportunities for OVC

For all practical purposes, ZOCS have been advocating for inclusive access to quality education for the OVC especially the girl child and children with Special Education Needs (SEN). While Zambia has made strides through the provision of free primary education and eliminating compulsory school uniform and fees, access to education is not yet universal. Barriers in accessing education include long distances covered to reach schools, the negative impact of HIV and AIDS, high poverty levels in communities, lack of infrastructure and limited schools especially in rural areas. Challenges faced by learners with special education needs include inaccessible infrastructure, lack of relevant teaching and learning tools and stigma within communities. ZOCS believes in complementing the MESVTEE through the provision of quality, free and compulsory access to education especially the OVC and SEN. Quality is guaranteed when we provide basic training to our volunteer teachers, provision of teaching and learning materials to our schools as well as training of Parent Community School Committees (PCSCs) in school management and resource mobilization skills and infrastructure development, water and sanitation facilities.   

Vision Every OVC in Zambia, especially the girl child, SEN, receives quality education which enables him or her to build a sustainable livelihood.  Legal status ZOCS is registered as a Non-Governmental Organisation in 1996 under the registrar of societies in Zambia  Vision Every OVC in Zambia, especially the girl child, receives quality education which enables them to build a sustainable livelihood. 

Mission ZOCS exist to enable Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) in Zambia especially the girl child and children with disabilities, access quality education. ZOCS hope to achieve this through advocacy, capacity building, and support to community schools through service delivery, mainstreaming cross cutting issues Gender, HIV and AIDS and Disability, as well as monitoring and evaluation of its interventions. 


Integrity: ZOCS upholds integrity in all her work, by striving for high quality, sustainability and accountability. Commitment: We are committed to our cause. The welfare of OVC touches our hearts deeply. Therefore we are deeply motivated and persistent in our work. Creativity: If a new idea comes up that seems to add to our efficiency or effectiveness, it will be included in our work. We do not purely stick to old ways but are actively stimulating creativity.

Professionalism: All ZOCS staff members are highly qualified professionals. We aspire to provide quality services, while staying accountable to our stakeholders. Vibrancy: We have heart for our work, and we want others to feel our energy and enthusiasm when they engage ZOCS. ZOCS Overall Programme Goal for the period 2011 to 2021 is to: “Achieve increased access to quality education, skills development and other social services for OVC, especially the girl child and children with disabilities, in ZOCS catchment areas on a sustainable basis”.   ObjectivesZOCS has defined the following Strategic Objectives (2011-2021):By 2021, there is increased support (financial, material etc) to community schools as outlined in the Education Act of 2011 and in the Operational Guidelines for community schools of 2007.By 2021, there is improved pupil performance in all ZOCS member schools.By 2021, ZOCS Secretariat with financial, human capacity, governance and monitoring systems in place.By 2021, gender, HIV and AIDS and disability mainstreamed as cross cutting issues in all ZOCS programs.


ZOCS exists to brighten prospects of Community School Learners by empowering Community Schools, building partnerships, influencing policy, supporting learners and creating conducive learning environments.


“A Zambia where all Community School Learners, especially Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC), girls and Learners with special education needs, obtain quality and equitable education that enables them to realize their fullest potential”.

  • Accountability
  • Collective excellence
  • Commitment
  • Professionalism
  • Respect for Human Rights Integrity