Tanzania: More than 12 million Children to Benefit from Improved Preprimary and Primary Education

WASHINGTON —More than 12 million children in mainland Tanzania will benefit from a new World Bank-supported program that aims to make preprimary and primary education better and more accessible across the country.

Primary enrollment in Tanzania increased by more than 2.5 million since 2013. Mainland now has 12.3 million students attending preprimary and primary classes. Nevertheless, Tanzania’s education sector remains constrained by several key factors including inequitable access to early learning and primary education for rural marginalized and vulnerable groups, inadequate school learning environments exacerbated by declining financing and increasing school populations, and a shortage of teachers and low teacher competencies.

The $500 million BOOST Primary Student Learning Program for Results that was approved today by the World Bank Board of Directors will help make Tanzania primary schools safer, more inclusive and child friendly, enhance teachers’ subject content knowledge and pedagogical competencies, and strengthen education finance and decentralized service delivery capacity. The overall goal is to ensure an education system that supports all children, including the most marginalized, to enroll early, develop strong foundational skills, and complete a quality education.

“Tanzania has made important progress in education by expanding access and reducing gender disparity in basic education. Investing in the education of young and vulnerable children, especially girls, is a critical building block to accelerating the country’s progress towards inclusive growth, poverty reduction and stronger upward mobility of all Tanzanians,” said Mara Warwick, World Bank Country Director for Tanzania.

BOOST which was jointly formulated with the government and other development partners will support the Government’s Education Sector Development Plan in the next five years by providing results-based financing to catalyze reforms and implement interventions in three main areas:

Improving Public School Learning Environment. Supports the provision of safer and learning-conducive environments for pre-primary and primary pupils, helping schools meet minimum infrastructure requirements and implement a Primary Safe School Program (PSSP). This component will also support building at least 12,000 classrooms and associated facilities mainly in vulnerable rural communities.
Improving Teacher Competencies and Quality of Classroom Teaching. Supports the nationwide implementation of Tanzania’s Teacher Continuous Professional Development policy, using a sustainable school-based approach complemented by a network of at least 800 primary hub schools empowered with ICT-smart classrooms and a Learning Management System that provides digitized teaching learning resources.
Strengthening Education Financing and Decentralized Service Delivery Capacity: Support focuses on enhancing education financing, increasing community empowerment, and strengthening the oversight of local government authorities in improving the quality of education services delivery.
BOOST will also strengthen the capacities of the implementing agencies–the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology and President’s Office, Regional Administration and Local Government–as well as core education technical agencies, such as the Tanzania Institute of Education, the National Examination Council of Tanzania, and the Teacher Service Commission.

“The new program carefully balances system strengthening with direct provision to fill important service delivery gaps especially in rural and vulnerable communities. It builds on the strong foundation laid by the previous program for results but goes beyond to expand access to preprimary education, leverage ICT for teaching and learning, and strengthen decentralized education governance,” Xiaoyan Liang, World Bank Lead Education Specialist and Task Team Leader (TTL) for BOOST.

The Government of Tanzania’s decision to remove barriers to access education, including those that prevented pregnant girls or young mothers from attending formal school, underscores the country’s commitment to making education better, safer, and more accessible for its next generation, and to advance Tanzania’s social and economic development. BOOST will join the suite of education sector projects in Tanzania financed by the World Bank that will support implementation of this policy. BOOST will provide training for staff at the local level to enhance their understanding of Tanzania’s legal framework, adherence to a code of conduct concerning the rights of all children, and a move towards abolishing all forms of violence, whether gender-based, against children, persons with disabilities, pregnant girls, and other vulnerable and marginalized groups.

* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 74 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.3 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has provided $458 billion to 114 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $29 billion over the last three years (FY19-FY21), with about 70 percent going to Africa. Learn more online: IDA.worldbank.org.

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