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
In 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.
Chem Chem primary school is located at Mbugani Ward in Tabora Municipality the school has 14 teachers of which 12 female and 2 male.
At Chem Chem primary school we held meeting with SC chair person Mr. Ally Masudi, 8 PTP members (standard 1-4), Standard 1-2 teachers and finally all teachers. The aim of our visit was to share with teachers and the PTP members on school development and find out the influence of training on teachers classroom practices. On the other hand learning more on the role of PTP in improving pupils participation in learning. The Head Teacher Ms Hafsa S. Juma at the middle.
PTP grant: Observed all meeting reports documented and form 2 for fund request well filled and approved by the DEO. Five PTP members participated and contributed to the discussion of their responsibilities towards school development. These included Mr. Rashid Nassoro, Hamisi Karatuli, Salima Ally and Mwashum Tefik.
One PTP member contends on their responsibilities. She started by acknowledging what EQUIP is doing, and importantly on coming with the idea of establishing PTP for the development of the schools and their children education.
She says: ‘Before establishment of PTP, pupils’ absenteeism was very high. Now we have managed to control because we have organize to visit school frequently by rotation. Usually we trace all those who do not go to school and do follow up to their homes and bring them back to school’. We talk with their parents of why we want their children attend school every day.
Another member explained how they spend the PTP funds allocated to their school. He says: ‘we have renovated 49 pupils’ desks; we have also orginised inter classes sport competition for standard I-VII. Small presents like small exercise books, sweets, pencils and pens are organized. These presents have motivated pupils like schooling and stay longer at school; hence improved attendance and pupils’ performance.
He continued, apart from school competitions parents do follow-up their children learning progress and have increased the relationships between teachers and parents or relatives.
Teacher voices of changes: teaching that count
It was also interesting listening to teachers on the importance of school based professional development training attended. Group picture of Chem Chem teachers
Fatuma explains how both cluster and school based training has improved her teaching capacity due to developed methods of teaching and understanding of her pupils’ learning needs.
She says: I use a range of teaching methods such as role plays, question and answers, and dramatization. I involve pupils collect and bring simple made materials to use during the lesson. My teaching has changed I talk less during the lesson because I use teaching and learning materials and pupils participate in inn their learning. I have started to see a big change happening to my pupils in class 1 and 2 and most of them can read and write clearly.’
Puipils use break time working on their assignments and sometimes they just gother themselves and start working in their excise books. It was during break time these pupils were along a corridor working on their own.
The process of preparing teaching and learning materials has motivated pupils participate in their learning and learn on their own during breaks time and sometimes peer learning by using the displayed materials. Pupils help each other and no time is being wasted.
All teachers acknowledged benefiting from school based training through reading and discussion of modules twice in a month.
Winfrida teaches class 3 and seven, said that through reading modules 4-13 she feels to be a different person in her teaching. She has changed her ways of teaching; involving pupils prepare teaching and learning materials, uses teaching materials and monitor pupils’ learning progress are dominating her teaching.
She says: ‘Participating in school based training has improved my teaching skills of Kiswahili pronunciations and phonology in general. I now enjoy teaching my pupils than before training.’
Sara a class 2 teacher also feels she has improved her ways of teaching and assisting pupils. Use of teaching and learning materials in lessons has contributed to pupils’ read Kiswahili fluently with fewer problems.
The teachers at Chem Chem primary school acknowledged being involved in the 3Rs training because they see themselves being different in many areas, of pedagogical skills of understanding their pupils’ learning needs, involving inn their learning preparation and use of teaching materials and application of a range of teaching methods. This is the team
The chairperson of PTP Mr. Shabaann Ramadhan, said: ‘Mpigwa Primary school for a long time had no latrine for teachers. Teachers used to nock doors to nearby fellow teachers houses. Sometime was difficult to be helped especially when the owner is away, a situation that caused teachers not working effectively because in some cases they were forced go home and leaving classes’.
Parent Teacher Partnership (PTP) realized the problem and difficulties teachers face due to lack of toilets at their school but also pupils missing lessons. The PTP chairperson contacted the Headtecher, introduced the idea and agenda of building toilet for teachers at their school. The idea was communicated to teachers, the pupils and was positively accepted by the school community. Pupils were excited and planned to support some activities in order to make it happens within a short time. Pupils made local bricks for building and 2 doors.
Through PTP mobilisation the community dug the pit hole and build two holes, one for female teachers and one for male teachers. The latrine has been completed and all teachers are happy.
The Headteacher reported that Mpigwa primary school has 442 pupils (standars 1-7) 226 are girls and 216 boys, Pre-primary children are 167 of which 77 boys and 90 boys. There are 8 teachers, 4 female and 4 men. In addition 13 PTP members 7 male and 6 female.
Mr. Meshack Mponjoli the Ward Education Officer is very close to communjity and PTP members in particular. He said that community support and recognition of efforts contributed to school development has build a sustainable cooperation and collaboration.
Lindi local government officers handed over motorbikes to WEC to enable their more regular visits and increased support to schools.
Here are the WEC from Lindi DC – it is particularly great to see the female WEC with their motorbikes. (October 15th)
Lindi REO Gift Kyando, Lindi WECs and the EQUIP-Tanzania regional office were all featured on a recent TV news report.
EQUIP-Tanzania has been featured in the latest International Basic Education Update, produced by the Basic Education Coalition.
The article mainly focuses on the work done by the programme in the areas of teacher professional development on 3Rs and the new School Readiness Programme.
If you’d like to read the article, click on the link below and scroll to the bottom of the page. http://us1.campaign-archive2.com/?u=65b99d1aff39d8c822bf5b5a1&id=bb30ad469e
GOVERNMENT LAUNCHES TSH 100 BILLION PROGRAMME PUTTING QUALITY AT THE HEART OF TANZANIA’S CLASSROOMS
A major investment to put the highest standards at the centre of education will be launched by His Excellency Dr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, The President of the United Republic of Tanzania on Saturday the 10th of May 2014 at Jamhuri Stadium Dodoma, with the aim of improving teaching processes and learning outcomes for Tanzania’s children as the President said, “Improving education is the greatest challenge of our times; one that all of us – government, parents and communities – must tackle together.”
EQUIP-Tanzania – the Education Quality Improvement Programme – is a four-year programme guided by PMO-RALG and MOEVT aiming to transform education delivery, ensuring children achieve better exam scores, able to play part in Tanzania’s ambition for rapid growth and development.
Supported by the Department for International Development (DFID – UKAID), EQUIP-Tanzania is working in 48 districts, in 3,700 schools and reaching 2.1 million pupils and is focused on:
- Improving teacher performance – with school-based training and performance incentives reaching 49,000 teachers developing core skills in Early Grade Reading and Mathematics
- Enhancing school leadership – a National Quality School Standards Framework, and professional development for more than 7,200 head teachers and 755 Ward Education Coordinators
- Strengthening District Management – supporting district and regional education managers in 48 districts in 7 regions to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of schools and the systems that support them
- Extending community participation – involving civil society so parents can see how schools are performing, communities see how funds are spent, increasing accountability and demand to help schools improve.
EQUIP-Tanzania is working in 7 regions: Dodoma, Kigoma, Shinyanga, Simiyu and Tabora, and in 2015, extending to include Mara and Lindi.
Within the last few months, EQUIP-Tanzania has already supported the Government of Tanzania to review the National Teacher Competency Framework to focus on improving
teacher quality, is supporting the development of National Minimum School Quality Levels to determine the minimum level of quality expected in every classroom in the country, and is helping strengthen the annual school census with agreed education indicators and improvement in data collection procedures and tools, to be rolled out in 7 target regions in July 2014.
James Sangoro Ogondiek
Deputy National Coordinator
For and on-behalf of EQUIP- Tanzania
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