EQUIP Tanzania has supported the Government of Tanzania (GoT) to improve access to quality education in primary schools through an approach that can be scaled up nationally, as national data and programme impact evaluations show. Initially a four-year programme, its early successes and opportunities for further improvements saw the programme receive a two-year extension. Over its lifetime, £84.5million of UK Aid was invested in the programme.
EQUIP Tanzania has had a positive impact on both literacy and numeracy skills. Reading speed has increased from 21 to 30 words per minute. Improvements in girls’ learning have been more pronounced than for boys in schools and teacher interactions with pupils became more gender-balanced. The in-service teacher training, which focused on Kiswahili in the first two years and on maths in the second two years, has made a big contribution to impact. Teachers’ interaction with pupils across the classroom, a measure of inclusion of all pupils in the lesson, has improved substantially. Teachers are also using different instructional materials more frequently in their lessons.
Over 540,000 children who previously had no access to pre-primary education were enrolled through the school readiness programme (SRP). Results from an international development and early learning assessment (IDELA) found that Standard 1 pupils who had attended the SRP had significantly stronger skills than those who had no access to early childhood education, and moderately stronger skills than those who had attended formal pre-school.
The provision of motorbikes enabled ward education officers (WEOs) to cut down on travel time and increase the frequency of their visits to schools within their jurisdiction. WEOs were also given additional training on school leadership and management to increase their capacity to support the schools in their jurisdiction. All head teachers of schools participating in EQUIP Tanzania have received training and support, on school development planning.
According to the EQUIP Tanzania endline impact evaluation as a result of EQUIP Tanzania there have been some positive improvements in head teacher leadership and management: head teachers are managing teachers’ performance through checking more lesson plans; holding more staff meetings; and they are giving more rewards for teachers. In addition, some head teachers were provided with tablets and trained on the school information system (SIS), which provided up-to-date enrolment and teacher data to support performance management and inform decision-making.
EQUIP Tanzania worked on engaging communities in improving school governance and strengthening the response to issues affecting learning. Rolled out across all schools in regions where EQUIP-Tanzania worked, parent-teacher partnerships (PTPs) were 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. According to the EQUIP Tanzania endline impact evaluation almost all schools in the nine regions where EQUIP Tanzania operated have now a parent-teacher partnership (PTP).
Training on gender-responsive pedagogy supported teachers to ensure both girls and boys can achieve their potential. School clubs were also established to provide a safe space for pupils – especially girls – to discuss issues affecting their learning and confidence. According to the EQUIP Tanzania endline impact evaluation most schools received trained on gender-responsive pedagogy and now have JUU clubs.