Learning outcomes are broadly improving in lower primary and in results from the primary school leaving examination (PSLE) as a result of EQUIP-Tanzania’s interventions. In particular, there has been a six per cent increase in girls’ performance lead in Kiswahili between 2014 and 2016. Innovations introduced through EQUIP-Tanzania are influencing national education systems and processes beyond the regions in which the programme works and may also have valuable lessons beyond Tanzania’s borders. EQUIP-Tanzania continues to look for pioneering ways to deliver educational improvement for the children of Tanzania in collaboration with the Government and civil society.
Literacy and numeracy learning outcomes have improved since 2014 as a result of a concerted effort to ensure supplementary reader books and teaching toolkits are available in all schools. Reading speed, for example has increased by 43% from 21 wpm to 30 wpm, with the biggest impact on the lowest performing pupils and a higher improvement amongst girls.
Since 2016, over 160,000 children who previously had no access to pre-primary education have enrolled in over 2,700 School Readiness Programme centres and are showing greater competencies two months into primary school than those without any pre-primary education and similar competencies to those who attended a year of formal pre-primary education. The Kiswahili language skills of those who come from non-Kiswahili speaking homes have also improved thanks to the SRP. In 2016, there were 16.7% less in the lowest performance band and a 9% increase of children from these homes in the highest performance band.
The provision of motorbikes has enabled Ward Education Officers (WEOs) to cut down on travel time and increase the frequency of their visits to schools within their jurisdiction. In combination with additional training on school leadership and management, the support WEOs can provides to schools has been strengthened.
All head teachers of schools participating in EQUIP-Tanzania have received training and support, which has greater focus on teaching quality and learning, including school development planning. Since 2014, there has been a 32% increase in the number of schools with a school development plan and a four-fold increase in those with clear teaching and learning objectives. In addition, the School Information System - used by 25% of the total number of primary schools in Tanzania's primary education system - is providing more timely and accurate school data, supporting performance management and informing decision-making.
A focus on community engagement is improving school governance and strengthening the response to issues which are affecting learning. Rolled out across all schools in regions where EQUIP-Tanzania works, successful parent-teacher partnerships (PTPs) have been involved with monitoring teacher and pupil attendance, supporting those who are most marginalised and mediating on sensitive issues such as providing menstrual health advice to girls. In addition, scorecards are providing communities with the information they need to hold their schools accountable.
Training on gender-responsive pedagogy is supporting teachers to ensure both girls and boys can achieve their potential. At the same time, the establishment of school clubs, which provide a safe space for pupils – especially girls – to discuss issues affecting their learning and are focused on empowerment, are helping to build pupil’s confidence.