Great stories of change from Mara region


Increased participation of community at Kibara B Primary School
In Kibara B primary School, there was poor relationship between parents and teachers that led to high rate of truancy among pupils and poor teaching morale for teachers. The formation of PTP motivated parents and teachers to have joint meetings, reconciliation meetings and the use of sports and games platforms.
After series of meetings, community realized the value of teachers, there is now good relationship between teachers, parents and the community in general. Pupils’ attendance has improved; teachers’ morale on classroom teaching has also improved.

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JUU club brings pupils together
Lwamlimi ‘B’ Primary School in Musoma Municipal
In the school, a standard seven girl was being mocked every day by fellow students and male teachers for the fact that she was more aged compared to all others, the girl was lived in a very poor family with difficult. The girl could not take any more and decided to drop out from school.
The presence and reaction from JUU Club members was very powerful, through their efforts they talked to the head teacher and teachers concerning the situation of the girl, and how the girl has being affected with several mocking from fellow pupils. JUU club organized a meeting with pupils and explained to them and all pupils were advised to give full support to the girl instead of mocking her.
Not only that, Some of JUU club members went home and spoke to the girl and her parents, they asked her to return to school for the better future. She understood and returned to school until she completed last year.

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In Musoma DC, there was a great challenge of truancy at Kulugongo B Primary School. There were two cases of a standard seven female pupil who dropped out of school for about a year and taken to town by her Aunt for petty business and a standard four male pupil had been out of school for 3weeks at home helping his father with construction activities.
JUU club members initiated a move to bring them back to school. They visited their families, talked to their parents on the impacts of drop out and truancy. Finally, the parents agreed to release the pupils from household chores and petty business, they are now back to school. Through the efforts made by JUU Club members, parents are now aware on the importance of education and they do not let their children to stay at home unless they are sick and needs medical attention.


EQUIP-Tanzania showcase the programme achievements during the British Week


EQUIP-Tanzania participated in the British Council Open Day as one of the event to celebrate British week. The aim of British Week is to showcase what the UK is doing in Tanzania with focus areas being youth, prosperity and education.#BritishWeek #UKaid.

Several communications materials, training manuals, big story books, reports were displayed during the exhibition, and EQUIP-Tanzania staff were there to educate and explain to visitors what the programme is doing and the impact so far in improving education sector in the country.

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The SRP is having more impact on learning


102,308 (63%) of all children attended SRP centres in 2016 have been enrolled to standard one this year

School Readiness Programme (SRP) is having more impact on children’s learning, total of 102,308(63%) children from SRP have been enrolled standard one this year from 161,527 who attended SRP in 2016 in more than 2,700 SRP centres across seven EQUIP-Tanzania regions.
SRP also contributed 17% of total Standard one enrolment in 2017 for the seven EquipT Regions .This is a milestone for SRP programme whereby out of 576,325 Standard one enrolment in EQUIP-Tanzania regions, SRP contributed 102,308 (17%) with no significant differences between boys and girls (almost 50/50).

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The initiation of SRP programme aimed at improving access to pre primary education to students who don’t attend pre primary education. One key factor limiting children attending Pre School is farthest distance to mother school and thus the basis for establishing SRP centres .From baseline study conducted in 2015 long distance to the nearest pre-primary school is a key reason why many of the 53% of correct age children are not enrolled in pre-primary in Tanzania. It was also found that 77% of children attending primary schools do not speak Kiswahili at home, and that these children are also more likely to be economically disadvantaged.

Crucially, baseline data found that by Standard 3 the learning outcomes of non-Kiswahili speaking children are well below average in Kiswahili and Maths. The larger the learning gap at school entry, the harder it is to close – hence the importance of SRP.

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Through SRP high number of children who did not speak Kiswahili at home and who had little or no access to pre-primary education attended SRP centres created and initiated by the community. SRP centre have caused many children to attend pre-primary school in all seven regions and thereafter to join Primary education. These are marginalized children who otherwise would likely have not had any pre-primary education.

Children who attended SRP classes have shown confidence and they are very active compared to those who did not attend SRP nor pre-school instructions. There are now close to 3,000 centres, 3000 CTAs with 160,000 children enrolling in 2016.

The School Readiness Programme (SRP) began in 2015. The main objective was to help ensure equitable access to quality Pre-Primary Education in Tanzania, particularly focussing on the most marginalised children. The aim is to ensure that all learners arriving in Standard 1 are ‘ready’ for primary school and that the school is ready to accommodate all learners, no matter what their home background or education experience.

Power of JUU clubs in Kigoma


JUU club members of Mpeta Primary School in Kigoma conducted a campaign to advocate for construction of new classrooms. They made small banners and sang songs which carried different messages and walked around the village for the whole day to tell parents, community members and leaders at large that, it is their duty to make sure they are provided with better and conducive environment for learning at their school. This initiatives assisted in bringing awareness and as a result in two weeks time parents joined hands and started construction of the classrooms.
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JUU clubs in schools have addressed truancy problem in schools, In Lugongoni B Primary School in Itebula ward, Kigoma, most of truants have started to attend at school because of a home visit campaign introduced by JUU club members to find truants and advise them to return back to school.

Some JUU clubs have introduced ‘Morning speech” session to build pupils communication skills and confidence. Example of schools doing this are Umoja P/School, Airport P/School and Mumbara Primary School in Uvinza DC.
Beyond controlling of truancy initiatives, one Standard Seven Pupil was brought back to school, was identified being married and she was pregnant. She was taken to Department of Social Welfare where her case is now being handled.

School clubs are an intervention to support students, especially girls, to develop their own voice to address their learning and welfare issues, build confidence and foster greater collaboration and understanding between girls and boys. The clubs help students to address the issues they want to raise amongst themselves, from learning, to welfare at school and the home environment. The clubs are aimed at supporting participation and empowerment of boys and especially girls in primary schools.

School Information System – data management tool


A tablet-based School Information System (SIS) was introduced to all programme schools in late 2016. It provides more timely and accurate data and supports performance management at all levels, from school upwards.
This is a highly innovative recent development which has seen a tablet-based school data management system introduced. The system can capture real-time daily data and upload to central servers. This enables it to be used by school level actors for school management and quality improvement; and government actors for more accurate planning and resource allocation. The system is at an early stage of development with potential for national scale up and high Government commitment to its roll-out from PO-RALG.

Recently, School Information System training for the LGAs was conducted in all seven regions, the competent National facilitators guided Head Teachers and Ward Executive Officer in all stages and steps of installation of the SIS Version 2 which enables schools to now track and report information on capitation grant.

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Roll out of Gender Responsive Pedagogy


Gender Responsive Pedagogy (GRP) has been rolled out in all seven regions. There are 13 modules of the GRP.The main aim of the GRP training developing Gender responsive teaching and learning materials, transform gender biased messages in existing teaching and learning materials into gender-balanced contents and Gender responsive classroom interaction.
The module is not as independent subject to be taught in the class rather a practical guide to equip teachers with knowledge and strategies that enable them to be gender responsive in teaching and learning at the same time to help girls and boys a habit of respect among themselves


Efforts toward gender and girls education


Gender clubs in empowering girls

Justergirls education

School clubs are an intervention to support students, especially girls, to develop their own voice to address their learning and welfare issues, build confidence and foster greater collaboration and understanding between girls and boys. The clubs help students to address the issues they want to raise amongst themselves, from learning, to welfare at school and the home environment. The clubs are aimed at supporting participation and empowerment of boys and especially girls in primary schools.
In Kasino Primary School (Rorya, Mara) Elizabeth Sombe’s mother refused for her to go to school. Through gender empowerment (JUU) clubs, fellow students discussed it and consulted teachers and parents who went and talked to her mother. Elizabeth came back to school and sat her Standard 7 examination last year.

Students with special needs are also involved in gender JUU club activities to create equality and cooperation among pupils.
“Juster Malima” is a special education student and a member of the gender club Mara region
At Mazoezi Primary School, in Bunda, Mara there are 25 students with special needs enrolled under the special education, these pupils receive a special diet meal from the capitation grants. However, due to some social and economic difficulties only 10 pupils can attend the classes.

Female teachers as role models
A shortage of female teachers in rural areas means young girls often have few role models in schools. The School Readiness Programme (SRP) aimed to tackle this by encouraging the recruitment of female Community Teaching Assistants.
“As a female, I want to be a role model for these young girls, for them to understand from the early age that as a woman you can be a teacher and anyone you desire, we have few carrier women in our community” Elika Mjelwa, a CTA from Mkombola SRP center in Dodoma.

Use of comics’ books from Shujaaz magazine to campaign for girl’s education issues.

EQUIP-T has partnered with Shujaaz magazine to campaign for girl’s education issues. Shujaaz is being distributed in all of the regions in Tanzania.
Analysis and comments from Shujaaz’s fans
There is a shared understanding among Shujaaz fans that girls do not have enough time for reading and studies because of their chores. A lack of support often leads to child marriage and early pregnancy.
“Self-respect of girls should start from their homes. Parents need to prioritize on the needs of the girl child just like they do for their male counterparts”

“First the girl child should know what she wants, secondly our community should know the importance and value of the girl’s education, and help the girl child to go further in education”.
“Girls should have a stand, but the government should also announce great punishment to parents who do not let their girl child attend school”.

Parent Teacher Partnerships (PTPs) supporting girls’ aspiration and attendance

A number of stories highlighting the positive role PTPs have played in supporting girls’ education have been shared across the EQUIP-T regions.
In Chemba District, parents prevented their children from taking exams, asking them to fail purposely so that girls could get married and boys could continue helping the family with income-generating activities. PTPs in all schools conducted sensitisation meetings with parents and educated them on the importance of education.
“Every year, girls performance was very poor in this school, while we were thinking on what to do, we talked to girls in school and it was realized that the main obstacle for success were parents, we had to use PTP and School Committee to talk and educate fellow parents to understand the great need of educating girls. Last year 25 girls passed compared to 9 girls last year” Mwasala WEC in Nzega district.
At Kilulu Primary School (Simiyu), “it was observed that the issue of menstrual hygiene was affecting girls’ education. Most girls did not attend school during their menstrual period every month due to unavailability of safe and private girl’s toilets. Community, through PTP involvement, were able to build two toilets with special facilities for disposal of sanitary towels” Kanali Msesi (Ward Education Coordinator).
In Dodoma, the parents of a girl in Standard 4 prevented her from taking the exam. The PTP spoke to the family about the importance of educating girls and she was allowed to take the exam.

SRP achievements as reported in The Citizen newspaper



Strengthening community engagement in schools


image 2Strengthening community engagement in schools

All 4,400 schools involved in EQUIP-Tanzania have created Parent Teacher Partnerships (PTPs) to better connect parents and teachers. In all seven regions, PTP have made significant contributions in increasing community participation in school development and performance;
PTP members have been able to improve truancy, ensure the provision of school meals and assist in construction efforts. .All schools have received a PTP grant for school improvement activities and, in order to improve transparency within the school communities, have received a notice-board.

In Uhelela Primary School (Dodoma), PTP members’ efforts have resulted in a reduction in truancy from (30%) in 2015 to (8%) in 2016. Parents were sensitised on the importance of their children attending school, while PTP members monitor attendance in all classes twice a week, and followed up on those children who did not attend.
“Establishment of PTP have increased the effort to follow up on those children who do not attend school frequently. Before, School committees were not much involved in this, we now have reduced truancy which was also a cause for poor performance of the school”
Assistant Head Teacher of Uhelela Primary School.
“It was difficult to get parents to understand the importance of education, but thanks to PTP members for talking to parents, things have improved, children are taking their exams and this year our performance has improved.” Chemba Ward Education Coordinator.

In Mwanulu Primary School (Shinyanga), parent involvement has resulted in a coordinated effort with teachers to encourage acceptable behavior and ensure pupils are well behaved and improve their academic performance.
“Parents are more active, they attend meetings and we plan together, pupils’ attendance has increased from 68% last year to 85% this year and performance from 71% to 100%.” PTP chairperson, Mwanulu Primary School.
In Msalala DC (Shinyanga), the Kolandoto School Readiness Programme Centre has had a significant effect. There are now 150 children enrolled in SRP, and the community, who now sees the importance of early primary education, have started building a classroom and “If the community is inspired to do something it can be achieved to the maximum”, motto of the Kolandoto community.
Before the introduction of the SRP centre, many children stayed home and were not enrolled in neither pre-primary nor primary one class because of the 16 kms they had to walk to and from school every day.

At Imalampaka Primary School, Tabora, PTP members have made bookshelves to keep all school reading materials.
PTP effort at Uvinza Primary School (Kigoma) have reduced high truancy rates. Children in this village used to spend their time selling salt at train and bus stations and working as labourers in salt farms instead of going to school. After several community sensitization and PTP effort to talk to parents, 90% of children are back to school.

Parents across the Kakonko District (Kigoma) have contributed five bags of maize each to the schools feeding programme, ensuring all 59 schools could provide food. This has contributed to improved schools attendance and academic performance. It has also helped in removing the fear of food poisoning acts that were going on in many parts of Kakonko Districts where seven teachers and two Ward Education Coordinators (WECs) were poisoned and died through food poisoning.
Leopard Michael, a PTP member of Kanyamanza Prmary School in Kakonko: “I now feel that I am part of school, I visit the school without any fear and am able to talk to teachers.”
“The food programme in schools is one of the solutions for controlling pupils’ truancy, and it is big catalyst for pupils learning and increased pupil motivation while in class.” Mr. Eliud Kayingwe, Mugunzu Ward WEC

PTP membersIn Isenegaja Primary School (Tabora), the PTP has worked with the community to educate and mobilise the school community on the importance of providing meals to pupils. Now pupils are having porridge at school.
Community participation in education issues at Tumbelo Primary School has improved in all aspects. There was poor participation a high truancy rate and limited awareness of the importance of education amongst parents. The creation of a PTP enabled regular meetings between the community and teachers, engaged with pupils on the importance of education and supported the development of a school readiness class. School attendance has improved by 37% between 2013 and 2016, and the school received a prize for its improved performance from Tanzania’s Minister of Education.

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