Education in Tanzania – History, Public, Private, Primary, Secondary and More

Education in Tanzania – History, Public, Private, Primary, Secondary and More

The sector of education in Tanzania is being ventured into both by the private and the public sectors for all the different levels of education[ tertiary, secondary, primary, and pre-primary]. All Tanzanians have the right to free and accessible education. Shortly after the independence of Tanzania in 1961, the government started to speak so strongly on the importance of education. Although they have attended certain levels of achievements, some factors still stop children from getting the education they desire. These factors include learning disabilities, poor access to education, family needs, and the lack of resources for the need of special education pupils. Tanzania is bent on inclusive education and looking into disadvantaged learners’ situations, as it was cited out in the Educational sector review of 2006 AIDE-MEMORE. The governmental strategy in 2015 on reduction of poverty and growth firmly pinpointed literacy and education.

So free education in Tanzania was introduced by the government for both primary and secondary education for own government schools in 2016.

History of Education in Tanzania

There is a heavy emphasis on education in Tanzania as an essential aspect of social and economic development, which the Tanzanian government started shortly after independence. Access to education was so much restricted before independence. “Learning for self-reliance,” which was implemented in 1967 in response to the Arusha Declaration, gave education an essential part of Tanzania’s transition to a socialist economy.

In 1974 the Musoma Declaration was taken as a means of the change of agriculture and rural society as emphasized by the Universal Primary Education [UPE], for this was the area where the most significant part of the population derived their livelihood.

At the beginning of 1980, the crisis that hit the low coffee prices, the oil crisis, the war between Tanzania and Uganda, the drought, and the pull-down of economic policy led to a financial break that needed to be fixed by economic recovery restructuring. The IMF[International Monetary fund] and the world bank had a healthy relationship with Tanzania because of the significant cause of the crises and how to deal with them.

The two bodies attributed the crises to poor economic policies and institutions, while the government attributed it to an exogenous shock. So the sector of education in Tanzania saw a great pull down from all the progress made by the UPE in the 1970s at all levels due to lack of resources.

With all the progress made by the end of 1980 and the early 1990s from the economic reforms, social indicators stayed unchanged like the progress towards the UPE. Training and an education master plan were prepared by the ministry of education in 1995. The Educational Sector Development Program[ESDP] of 1997 saw an update and elaboration of the master plan and was later revised in 2001; it was meant to run from 1998 to 2007 and had to see a significant change that will cause the progression of the indicators of education in Tanzania. The was also an outstanding commitment to the World Declaration on Education for All goals: Issued in Jomtien in the year 2000 in Thailand of meeting basic learning needs.

Looking into the wider Educational sector Development Program, the government developed collaboration with partners, donors, and civil society. A Primary Education Development Program [PEDP] that began on the 2 of January 2002 and ended in 2009. In 2001, the World Bank provided a $150,000,000 Sector Adjustment Credit to the PEDP, which was augmented by a US$50,000,000 commitment from the Netherlands.

The Primary Education Development Program aims were to:

  • Enhance school access
  • Improve the standard of education in Tanzania
  • Improve retention at the primary school.

These goals would be met by better resource utilization and allocation, more robust institutional frameworks, and better educational inputs for successful delivery of education in Tanzania at the primary level. Another change includes the Primary Education Development Program (PEDP) instituted fee for services and Development Grants for direct distribution to elementary schools.

In 2005 the government’s National Strategy for Growth and Poverty Reduction in the second cluster, which spoke on quality of life and social well-being, inclusive education in Tanzania was highlighted. Particular materials were said to be made available for “disadvantaged learners” by teachers who were also urged to learn sign language. The Schools are increasingly focusing on those that have typically been excluded from educational opportunities, irrespective of their social, physical, intellectual, or other problems.

Tanzanian Sign Language Bible translation team - Wycliffe Bible Translators
Tanzanian Sign Language Bible translation team – Wycliffe Bible Translators

System of Education in Tanzania (Private vs. Public)

Less than 30% of children complete secondary school because the system of education in Tanzania is focused on the rich; also, the language barrier between elementary and secondary school is a significant factor. Kiswahili is the primary school language, whereas English is the secondary school language. Many pupils have almost no previous knowledge of English, and there is usually no supplementary or private free support in place. The government has been debating whether to standardize the language of instruction for the entire school process. Approximately 60% of all instructors are unskilled, there is a shortage of motivation and teaching resources, and the majority of the public schools are located in impoverished neighborhoods. There are just a few private primary schools, and they are mainly English-medium and unaffordable. Private secondary schools are also expensive; more so, they have a greater demand since pupils who fail the Primary School Leaving Exam after class 7 are unable to enroll in a public secondary school. Private schools have less population and superior resources, but they demand roughly 1.5 to 2 million Tanzanian shilling per year in tuition fees, which is beyond the reach for most families. The government is seeking to standardize education and at a lower expenditure.

National Budget for Education in Tanzania

The national budget for the sector of education in Tanzania was 2.283 trillion Tanzanian shilling for the fiscal year 2011–12, which commenced on the 1 of July 2011. It saw an 11.6 increase in the percentage of the amount projected for the fiscal year 2010–11. However, after taking inflation into account, the increment was just about 1%.

The amount planned for the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training is often substantially more significant than the amount spent, based on actual performance in prior fiscal years. The ministry paid 85.1 billion Tanzania shilling of the 128.5 billion Tanzania shilling budgeted in the fiscal year 2008–09. Since then, the difference between what was budgeted and what was spent has grown. Out of the 139.7 billion Tanzania shilling planned for the fiscal year 2010–11, the ministry only paid 76.8 billion Tanzania shillings.

In the previous 3 years, a sum total of 155.1 billion Tanzanian shillings has gone unspent. According to the anticipated expenses of building one home at 40 million Tanzanian shillings described by [part 2 of the Secondary Education Development Program], this sum might be enough to build 3,875 residences for teachers. By constructing these dwellings, we may have alleviated the problem of teachers’ inability to find somewhere to live, particularly at schools residing in rural or remote rural communities.

During the fiscal year 2008–09, the sector of education in Tanzania was said to have to consume 20 percent of the national budget. In 2011, this had fallen to 17 percent.

Buildings and teachers’ houses were only 10.2 percent of the total amount set aside for education in Tanzania between years 2011-12. As opposed to Uganda’s 20-24 percent and Kenya’s 14-15 percent.

Pre-primary Education in Tanzania

In Tanzania’s 1991 Declaration of the Rights of the Child, two points highlighted the importance of early childhood education in Tanzania. In it, it claims that it should be a fundamental right for all young children and that it provides economic benefits to a country. Tanzania was one of the 1st African countries to adopt this policy, as well as some others like the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. While they are progressive and believe that pre-primary education is a fundamental right, it is not compulsory. It is up to parents to make the decision to whether or not their children attend before the age of five. The value of early education in Tanzania is little understood by the general people, particularly in rural areas. It is now only available to roughly 40% of pre-primary school-aged children, and the government is making no efforts to expand this number. Physical health, nutrition, and mental well-being are not interests of the system, and only 8.6% of instructors in pre-primary school are adequately prepared.

Primary Education in Tanzania

Teaching Statistics and Enrollment

Tanzania is required by the Arusha Declaration 1967 to adopt a community-based education system in which each area, regardless of its wealth, urban or rural character, assesses its own needs and formulates appropriate policies to address them. Except for school supplies, primary education in Tanzania is free and compulsory, and public schools are required to teach in Kiswahili. The private primary education system, on the other hand, is an English medium system that is much more expensive.

In Tanzania, approximately 8,247,000 children are enrolled in primary education, accounting for an estimated 80% of all students in the country. Tanzania’s primary school-aged children are enrolled at an average of 86.5 percent, down from 97% in 2007. As enrollment grew in tandem with accessibility, the educational quality deteriorated. The number of classrooms is insufficient, particularly in rural areas, resulting in 100-200 pupils being crammed into one classroom, and in government schools, there was only one teacher to teach them. The average teacher-to-student ratio was 1:51, and the books proportion was around 1:10. (as of 2018). Tanzania intends to hire approximately 10,000 school teachers this year and has been concentrating on their credentials.

Haymu Primary School in Karatu Tanzania
Haymu Primary School in Karatu Tanzania

Standard Primary Curriculum

The main body in charge of curriculum development is the Tanzania Institute of Education. It creates programs, lesson plans, and teaching materials like lab manuals as well as handbooks. It also establishes educational materials standards, trains instructors in curriculum technologies, monitors curriculum incorporation in school systems, and evaluates and endorses manuscripts for school use.

Mathematics, Science, Civics, Geography, Kiswahili History, English language, French, vocational subjects, Religion, Information and Communication Technology, and school sports make up the curriculum. Poetry, art, sports, music, and drama are examples of cultural activities. The curriculum emphasizes the development of critical and creative thinking, numeracy, communication technology literacy, personal and social life skills, and independent learning among students. Agriculture is also being added to the curriculum, which is beneficial in getting into the employment market after education, particularly in rural areas. After Tanzania’s independence in 1968, Kiswahili became the official language of primary education, resulting in a linguistic divide between primary and secondary education in Tanzania. Language is a barrier to higher education unless children are enrolled in a private primary school that teaches in English.

National Examinations and Achievement Rates

A student had to pass the National Standard 4 Exams before progressing to Standard 5 until 1973. Even though passing the exams is no longer required, they are still conducted as an important stage for attaining education in Tanzania. The pass rate in 2001 was 70.6 percent, 88.7 percent in 2003, and 78.5 percent in 2007.

To attain a primary school certificate and be eligible to attend public secondary school, a student must pass the Primary School Leaving Evaluation at the finish of Standard 7. 49.4 percent of the 999,070 students who took these exams in 2009 passed. The pass rate had dropped from more than 70% in 2006 to less than 50% now. Dar es Salaam had the highest success rate (69.8 percent), while Shinyanga had the lowest [31.9 percent]. The national pass rate for male students (55.6 percent) against females was significantly different [43.2 percent]. Except for the Kilimanjaro Region, this disparity existed to some extent in every region. 90.4 percent of those who passed the exam in 2009 were accepted into public secondary schools for the 2010 school year. There was insufficient space in those schools to cater to all who graduated.

On the Tanzanian mainland, 89.9 percent of kids in Standard 6 had reached or surpassed reading level 4, “independent reading.”. Which became the second-highest among the 14 nations and regions in southern and eastern Africa where this data was available [Namibia 61.3 percent, Lesotho 47.5 percent, Zanzibar 78.6 percent,  Seychelles 78.0 percent,  Botswana 75.8 percent, Mauritius 78.9 percent, Malawi 8.3 percent,  South Africa 51.7 percent, Kenya 80.2 percent, Zambia 27.3 percent, Mozambique 56.5 percent,  Zimbabwe 62.8 percent, and Swaziland 93.0 percent,]. Although only 56.9% of those children were at or above mathematics level 4, “beginning numeracy,” this was the fifth-highest among these countries and regions [Namibia 18.4 percent, Mozambique 30.8 percent, Kenya 61.7 percent, South Africa 30.8 percent,  Malawi 26.7 percent, Zanzibar 52.3 percent,   Mauritius 78.9 percent, Swaziland 55.7 percent, Lesotho 18.9 percent, Zambia 8.2 percent, Zimbabwe 62.8 percent, Seychelles 57.7 percent,  and Botswana 43.6 percent,].In 2007, the Tanzanian mainland had the highest pupil reading score of 577.8 among the 15 nations and regions in eastern and southern Africa where data was available. Their 552.7 percentile in mathematics was third-highest, behind Mauritius and Kenya. This was one of the great highlights and fruits of hardworking in the sector of education in Tanzania.

Curriculum, on the other hand, is relative to success. According to UNICEF, only 8% of students in the second-grade students could read properly and do simple math like adding and subtracting based on results from 2014 leaving exams of primary education in Tanzania. Life skills such as self-confidence, grit, and problem-solving were demonstrated by less than 0.1 percent of the participants.

Secondary Education in Tanzania

Levels

Secondary education in Tanzania is divided into two levels. Ordinary Level [O-Level] is comprised of Forms 1 through 4. After Form 4, all students who pass the Certificate of Secondary Education Examination (Tanzania) receive a certificate. Selected students may continue their education to the Advanced Level [A-Level] that is for Forms five and six – or study for an ordinary diploma in a technical college. A-Level classes are not available in every school. This level’s students are all boarding students. A-Level schools limit enrollment to one sex due to the potential complications involved with boarding both male and female students.

Benjamin Mkapa secondary school in Dar es salaam Tanzania
Benjamin Mkapa secondary school in Dar es salaam Tanzania

Enrollment and Teaching Statistics

Throughout 2008, there were 1,164,250 students enrolled in Forms 1-4 and 58,153 students enrolled in Forms 5–6. The estimated population of teachers and schools was 32,835 and 3,485. The gross enrollment rate for Forms one -four was estimated to be 36.2 percent in the same year, as well as the net enrollment rate was calculated to be 24.4 percent. Forms 5 and 6 had 4.0 percent and 1.4 percent rates, respectively.

In 2012, there were 78,438 students enrolled in Forms 5–6.

There were 65,086 teachers in total.

Nearly 70% of children aged 14–17 were not enrolled in school in 2014, and only 3.2 percent of them were registered by the time they reached the final two years of secondary school.

Secondary schools with the highest national examination results employ good teachers, as well as competent graduates. Better salaries and reliable school authorities encourage good teachers to move to non-government schools and seminaries. Fifty-eight percent of all university-educated teachers work in non-government schools, and 75 percent of all Bsc of Arts and Bsc of Science graduates with education degrees are employed in the same sector of education in Tanzania. The majority of the remaining teachers work in government schools, so very few community-built schools.

In order to increase secondary school attendance, the government provides free education in Tanzania for the first four years of secondary school, though quality varies by school. Furthermore, even as secondary education often sees a significant drop in female enrollment due to financial constraints, Tanzania has achieved gender balance in enrollment. By the age of 18, one-third of the female are wives, and the majority of them emerge from lower-income families.

Curriculum and Student Activities

As previously stated, English is the primary language for education in Tanzania, which is secondary schools, both public and private, posing difficulties for the bulk of students who attended Kiswahili-focused elementary schools. Only 35.4 percent of students passed the English section of the National Standard 7 Exam in 2009; however, this does not prevent them from enrolling in secondary school. Secondary school English is divisive because, although some feel that pupils would be better equipped to grasp the global economy as a result of the time spent learning English, others fear that other courses will suffer as a result of the time spent learning English. It is challenging to remember knowledge and think critically if communication is impossible and questions are tough to ask.

Mathematics, Geography, Physics, Chemistry, civics, Kiswahili, Biology, History, and Religion are the fundamental and obligatory courses given by all schools in Forms 1 and 2. Home Economics, Information and Computer Studies, extra Mathematics, foreign languages, Islamic studies, music, Bible knowledge, fine arts, and physical education in Tanzania are all optional courses in Forms 1 and 2. Students may select none, one, or two of the mentioned topics if they are available in their school.

Mathematics, English, civics, Kiswahili, Biology, Religion, Physics, History, Geography, and Chemistry are the key topics taught in Forms 3 and 4. Home Economics, music, Information and Computer Studies, Fine arts, Additional Mathematics, Arabic, Islamic Studies, Bible knowledge, French and physical education in Tanzania are among the elective courses in Forms 3 and 4.

In 2009, system of education in Tanzania re-emphasized the importance of sports such as football, while debate and religious organizations are also critical after-school programs. Parents and teachers are gradually beginning to recognize the importance of these programs in their children’s development and progress.

National Examinations

At the end of Form 2, a national standardized test is administered, although there are no repercussions for having failed it.

The Certificate of Secondary Education Examination is another nationwide standardized test conducted at the conclusion of Form 4. A successful student receives a school-leaving certificate from their school. The National Examination Council of Tanzania also awards the student an academic diploma. This certificate denotes the student’s level of performance in several disciplines, with ”Division I” being the highest and ”Division IV” which is the worst.

After finishing Form 6, a student’s secondary education in Tanzania is completed when he or she passes the Advanced Certificate of Secondary Education Examination and obtains a diploma. Based on the success of the tests, the student might well be chosen to attend university.

Only around 3% of students finish secondary school, and even fewer reach university.

The youth unemployment rate is at 6.5 percent, with more females than males failing to find work. Agriculture still accounts for over 90% of Tanzania’s GDP.

Special Needs Education in Tanzania

Cultural History and Stigma

Whereas roughly 7.9% of Tanzania’s population has a disability, just about 1% of children enrolled in pre-school, primary, and secondary education in Tanzania have a disability. Like many other Sub-Saharan African countries, Tanzania has no program to screen children for physical or mental disabilities before entering the school system. There is a big gap in knowledge about how to work on improving disabled students’ access to education when many of their disabilities are unknown or unproven. In traditional society and culture, disabled people are typically disadvantaged in terms of social ties and economic standing. The vast majority of the public is religious, generally Muslim, or Christian, and this could be used in the past to justify the exclusion of handicapped people from “regular society.” The Church Missionary Society of Tanzania established a school for visually impaired children in 1950. Teachers were educated overseas, and the curriculum was focused on the children, despite the fact that there had never been a distinct learning environment for students with disabilities prior to this time. Several students have been and continue to be compelled to stay at home owing to superstition, shame, and misinformation, and as a result, they are frequently viewed as useless or a liability.

Children with disability at the Carman International Fellowship in Tanzania
Children with disability at the Carman International Fellowship in Tanzania

Ever since the Tanzanian government has launched several development plans and programs for kids with hearing and physical challenges, instructors still do not receive adequate training in this area.

Effects of Malnutrition to Education in Tanzania

Malnutrition is associated with cognitive impairments and problems with mental development in children. Malnutrition is mentioned as a vital cause of these issues in the bulk of texts covering special needs schooling in underdeveloped nations. While the majority of malnutrition-related neurological problems are avoidable, most individuals are unaware of this, and a lack of vitamins and other nutrients cannot be recognized without frequent healthcare checks. Chronic malnutrition affects 34 percent of Tanzanian infants-age five and under, and anemia affects 58 percent of the same age group. Because of the inadequacies that might result in peripheral neuropathy, nerve sensitivity, visual blindness, retardation, and mental development delays, malnutrition can also lead to a lack of focus and curiosity in Tanzanian schoolchildren. According to a World Health Organization research, children with disabilities are 3.7 times most vulnerable and at risk of any type of violence, whether sexual or physical, and children with mental impairments are the most susceptible. Since the school system could not accommodate these children for most of the nation’s history, the alternative to staying at home was frequently attending school and facing bullying or isolation, which was not suitable for students.

Language Impairment and Speech Deficits

Children with language difficulties are sometimes detected considerably later than usual due to cultural influences and a lack of practical assessment pertaining to education in Tanzania. Other cognitive problems, social and environmental circumstances, and a range of other illnesses, such as cleft lip, can all contribute to language difficulties. Language disability frequently impacts a child’s psychosocial development as well as his or her capacity to be educated in a setting where others speak at their level and their pace. Teachers are seldom willing to change their curriculum when children cannot follow what they are being taught, but it is preferable if children are identified at the pre-primary level so that instruction and exercise may commence at an early age. It’s indeed tough in the public secondary school system since the linguistic shift from Kiswahili to English is a big transition for ordinary students. Tanzania has a scarcity of speech-language pathologists and therapists. Because there is no personalized training in the diseases and speech deficiencies are seldom the same in two persons [perception, production, etc.], developing an effective curricular solution is complex.

Moving to an Inclusive Curriculum

With this in mind, Tanzania has emerged as one of Africa’s most innovative special needs policy implementers. Their disability policy from 2002 underlined the importance of educators being well-versed in assessing kids’ developmental needs, including being able to build an inclusive curriculum and classroom environment. While they have promised to establish training centers for these talents, there is still controversy as to whether enough has been done or if it is all policy is yet to be executed. Religion and marginalization of handicaps persist and play an essential part in the issue’s progression. On the other hand, Tanzania appears to take satisfaction in the transition from isolation to integration and now to inclusion. Organizations for handicapped people and their allies have been formed. Schools are more and more inclusive. All children may connect over situations and create relationships, and families can participate in support groups. Lately, policy changes have been positive in the overall system of education in Tanzania.

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