United Republic of Tanzania

 Country Basic Information

Official name of the country

United Republic of Tanzania

 

 

 

Region

Sub-Saharan Africa

Area (km2)

945 087

Population (2006)

38 369 113

 

 

Type of economy (2006)

Low income

Gross Domestic Product per capita (2004)

US$ 288

Human Development Index, HDI (2004)

0.430

HDI rank out of 177 countries (2004)

162

 

 

Duration of compulsory school (2006)

7 years

Education for All Development Index (EDI) (2004)

...

EDI rank out of 125 countries (2004)

...

 

 

General statistics

UNESCO Institute for Statistics

Education statistics

UNESCO Institute for Statistics

 

 

 

Sources: United Nations Population Division and Statistics Division ; United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization ; UNESCO Institute for Statistics ; EFA Global Monitoring Report ; United Nations Development Programme ; World Bank ; Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
[…] Data not available.

 

 

Revised version, September 2006. PDF Version

Principles and general objectives of education

The United Republic of Tanzania is comprised of two former sovereign states, namely Tanganyika (currently Tanzania Mainland) and Zanzibar, which merged to form the Union Government in 1964. The Union Government operates under the Union Constitution and has full responsibility for some main sectors (i.e. foreign affairs, home affairs, defence) and some sub-sectors such as higher education. The Government of Zanzibar has full autonomy over its basic education programme and has its own administrative structure of the sub-sector.

The general aims and objectives of education in Tanzania Mainland are the following:

·        to guide and promote the development and personality enhancement of the citizens of Tanzania;

·        to promote the acquisition and appreciation of the culture, customs and traditions of the peoples of Tanzania;

·        to promote the acquisition and appropriate use of literacy, social, scientific, vocational, technological, professional and other forms of knowledge, skills and understanding for the development and improvement of the condition of man and society;

·        to develop and promote self-confidence and an inquiring mind, understanding and respect for human dignity and human rights, and readiness to work hard for personal self-advancement and educational improvement;

·        to enable and expand the scope of acquisition, improvement and upgrading of life-skills needed to meet the changing needs of industry and the economy;

·        to enable every citizen to understand the fundamentals of the Constitution as well as the enshrined human and civic rights, obligations and responsibilities;

·        to promote the love of and respect for work and improved performance in the production and service sectors;

·        to inculcate principles of the national ethic and integrity, national and international co-operation, peace and justice through the study, understanding and adherence to the provisions of the national constitution and international basic charters;

·        to enable a rational use, management and conservation of the environment.

The primary goal of education in Zanzibar is to adequately equip the individuals with knowledge and skills for their own well-being and the overall development of the society. The ultimate goal is to meet learning needs and knowledge requirements of all citizens to achieve an improved quality of their lives and overall development of the society.

Current educational priorities and concerns

Tanzania Mainland, as of mid-1995, has an estimated population of 27.3 million. Rain-fed, low-technology agriculture is the predominant economic activity employing about 80% of the population.

The national policy of liberalizing the economic and social sectors, started in the mid-1980s, has been extended to education. Ownership and management of schools and colleges is no longer the government’s monopoly. While private secondary schools have appeared for many years now, since 1993 permission has been granted to run non-government primary schools as well as teacher colleges, provided that they adhere to established regulations. The move is meant to relieve the government of the burden which is increasingly becoming unbearable. Private teacher colleges will reduce teacher shortages, especially at the secondary level.

The privatization of education and the redirection of education financing towards parents and users has already adversely affected the development of the sector. The most affected are the disadvantaged groups, such as girls and women, the disabled, minority ethnic groups and underdeveloped regions. Most of communities which have to bear the burden are poor and it is estimated that 51% of the people live in poverty with average incomes of less than US$1 per day. Under these circumstances it is unlikely that any significant development will be made. On the other hand, the government, due to a recorded low economic recovery, is not in a position to allocate enough funds for education.

The implementation of the Universal Primary Education policy is far from satisfactory. It is estimated that only about 60% of school age children are enrolled in primary schools, and about 30% of those enrolled do not complete the primary cycle (data refer to 1994). Learning achievements are also very low as manifested by poor mastery of the 3Rs (reading, writing, arithmetic) by a great number of primary education graduates, and by the poor performance in the Primary School Leaving Examination. Contributing factors to this situation include:

·        a poor learning environment, characterized by overcrowded classes with inadequate teaching and learning materials, poor buildings and furniture, especially desks;

·        low teacher quality;

·        poor working conditions of teachers, resulting in low motivation and morale;

·        absenteeism and early drop-out due to declining motivation, economic hardship in the family, and pregnancies;

·        inadequate government funding for education, and ineffective collection of school fees and contributions.

The vision of the education sector is derived from the Tanzania Development Vision 2025. As a long term goal, the sector aims at attaining high quality livelihood to all Tanzanians through the realization of Universal Primary Education and the eradication of illiteracy by 2015.

The major objectives of current reforms are as follows: improving the management of education and training; strengthening educational research; streamlining the curriculum, examinations and certification; relating class activities to out-of-class activities; improving school/college physical facilities and the availability of teaching/learning materials; improving teacher training; strengthening the teaching of Kiswahili and English; establishing Teachers  Resource Centres; improving equitable access to education; promoting science and technology; coordinating the provision of technical education; strengthening vocational education and training; expanding the financial resource base through cost-sharing and cost recovery; promoting community participation; rationalizing unit costs for education and training.

The performance of the education sector has rapidly deteriorated over the years. The main concern continues to be the rapid growth of the sector as compared with available resources. Although attempts have been made to mobilize community participation, the sector still needs foreign aid.

The major problems faced by the education system in Tanzania Mainland include dilapidated physical infrastructure––especially in primary schools––decreasing enrolment rates, high drop-out rates, lack of teaching and learning materials as well as low morale among the teaching staff. In order to address these problems, the government has tried to increase the participation of local communities to supplement its efforts. However, as pointed out earlier, the resources required are large and community participation alone will not be sufficient.

The Primary Education Development Plan (PEDP) 2002-2006 articulates the vision of Universal Primary Education within the wider Tanzanian policy frameworks of the Education and Training Policy and the Education Sector Development Programme, the Local Government Reform Programme, and the overarching Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper and Vision 2025. The PEDP consists of four main components: (a) expanding enrolment; (b) improving the quality of teaching and learning processes; (c) building capacity within the education system and other public and private sectors with a stake in education provision; and (d) strengthening the institutional arrangements that support the planning and delivery of education services. Furthermore, in 2004 the Secondary Education Development Plan (SEDP 2004–2009) started to be implemented. The PEDP and the SEDP guide the current education provisions and reforms.

In order to achieve the objective of enrolling all children 7-12 years old into Standard I by 2005, the PEDP focuses on issues of enrolment and access, teacher recruitment and deployment, and classroom rehabilitation and construction. It also includes interim plans for expanding non-formal educational programmes for out-of-school children and youth.

The objective of improving educational quality will be met by strengthening three areas. In human resources, the primary focus is on the in-service professional development of the teacher, with complementary efforts focused on head teachers, school committees, and training college tutors. With regards to teaching and learning resources, the emphasis is on textbooks and materials, the quality and relevance of the curriculum, and the school environment. The capacity building objective concentrates efforts on establishing an awareness and familiarity with governance and management principles amongst all education stakeholders, especially school committees and communities. This complements efforts to improve financial management skills, with a focus on transparency and accountability throughout the system. A strengthened Educational Management Information System will provide much of the data needed by managers and planners, and will be a mechanism for achieving educational accountability. Finally, pre-service teacher training will be rationalised and improved in order to increase its capacity to produce the large number of newly trained teachers demanded by enrolment expansion, as well as to improve the quality and relevance of the training that new teachers undergo. (Government of Tanzania, 2001).

Zanzibar is comprised of the islands of Unguja and Pemba and the islets within its territorial waters. It is essentially an agricultural country and its main export is cloves, which used to account for about 90% of the country’s foreign exchange earnings. Administratively, Zanzibar is divided into five regions and each region has two districts. According to the 1988 population census, the population amounted to about 640,685 people of whom 329,269 were female.

After the 1964 revolution, the country underwent drastic changes in the field of social development. The Zanzibar Revolutionary Government initiated many innovative programmes aimed at ensuring an equitable distribution of vital services and resources. These programmes included access to free education and health services, water supply and housing. Important as they are, these programmes, however, can no longer be realistically sustained through government financing alone due to the serious economic setbacks that have befallen the country. Consequently, a deterioration of services has been widely experienced.

In terms of education, the economic and social realities posed formidable challenges to the government’s financial capacity to support education, in view of the expanding needs and dwindling resources. Over the last three decades, enrolments increased a lot faster than the capacity of the system to inject essential inputs, such as well-trained teachers, textbooks, equipment, appropriate curricula and furnished classrooms, into the system. As a result, the quality of education has suffered at the primary education level with serious consequences to the subsequent educational levels. The need for reforms has become more urgent with the advent of recent political and economic reforms that advocate political pluralism, free market economic policies, and participation of the private sector in the delivery of educational services. The guiding objectives in the current educational efforts are outlined in the Zanzibar Educational Policy (1992). The basic philosophical underpinnings that shape the policy objectives are expressed in the following two broad statements: (a) education for academic and intellectual excellence nurturing sound cognitive development; and (b) education for self-reliance and for effective and psychomotor development.

The policy was revised in 1995 to accommodate new demands such as reducing government’s role as the sole provider of educational services, increasing the private sector’s role in educational development, decentralization, and community participation and ownership. The revised policy also allowed the inclusion of issues of international importance such as gender equality, education for peace and international understanding, population issues, and the promotion of science and technology education. A sector review was carried out in 1995 to make a critical analysis of the state of education in the country. The review was followed by the preparation of the  Zanzibar Education Master Plan (ZEMAP).

The Zanzibar education system is currently faced with several problems both quantitatively and qualitatively. The enrolment rate at the basic education level is about 69% and there is therefore a long way to go before achieving universal basic education. The major factors affecting the system include shortage of classrooms, high drop-out rates, reluctance of some parents to send their children to school, and cultural factors such as early marriage and pregnancies. With regard to quality, there are significant numbers of unqualified teachers (28%), a shortage of instructional materials, inadequate professional support to teachers, poor working conditions, and poor home background of most pupils.

Increasing access to education at all levels is one of the major educational objectives of the government. The Zanzibar Education Master Plan (ZEMAP) for the 1996-2006 period has set the following targets with respect to increasing access:

·        to attain a pre-school gross enrolment rate of 100% for the 4-6 age group by the year 2006;

·        to increase access to basic education (primary and junior secondary education) from the current gross enrolment rate of 69.3% to 80%  by the year 2001 and to 100% by the year 2006;

·        to increase the secondary education gross enrolment rate for the 14-16 age group from 37% to 50% by the year 2001 and to maintain it to 2006;

·        to increase the transition rate to senior secondary education from the current 30% to at least 40% by the year 2001 and to 50% by the year 2006;

·        to increase the literacy rate from 61.5% to about 85% by the year 2006.

The ZEMAP includes several programmes aimed at increasing access and retention rates at all levels, such as: improving the school environment, not only by rehabilitating the physical infrastructure of schools, but also by discouraging the use of corporal punishment and encouraging the introduction of recreational programmes such as sports and cultural activities; supporting girls’ education; supporting the education of children with special needs; integrating Koranic schools into the formal system by introducing elements of secular education into madrasas; developing cost-sharing strategies for the financing of education; motivating teachers through training and re-training activities and through the improvement of their working conditions; introducing alternative education programmes that provide skills training to young people who have dropped out of school; alleviating poverty through income-generating programmes; introducing guidance and counselling programmes in order to reduce the incidence of problems such as early marriages, early pregnancies, drug abuse, alcoholism, and juvenile delinquency; encouraging NGOs, community-based organizations and individuals to establish and run educational institutions; encouraging communities to initiate development projects by completing the projects they begin; re-introducing private schools in order to relieve the burden of government schools.

There has been some progress since the admission rate at primary school in Zanzibar reached 92.2% in the year 2000 (100.3% in 2004). The corresponding figure at the basic education level (primary and junior secondary) was 81.3% in 2000 and 91.5% in 2004. This increase can be attributed to several factors such as the social demand for education, community participation in the construction of classrooms, and the re-introduction of private schools (started in 1993). However, there is also a distortion to these figures due to the redefinition of the primary school official age range from 6-13 to 7-13 following the one-year reduction of the primary cycle from 8 to 7 years.

Four main strategies have been adopted in implementing the ZEMAP. These were: (i) professional upgrading of teacher competence and improving teachers’ welfare; (ii) mobilization of non-governmental organization for educational development, including liberalization of provision and offering appropriate incentives; (iii) promotion of school-based management, parent-teacher associations, community and local government support;and (iv)  promotion of the principle of cost sharing and self-reliance.

Laws and other basic regulations concerning education

The Education Act No. 25 of 1978 (amended in 1995) is the basic legal document governing the provision of education in Tanzania. It stipulates the roles and powers of different actors in education including the Ministry, the Commissioner, Local Authorities as well as private owners and managers of private institutions. There are also the Local Government Council Acts of 1982 and 1986 concerning the management of primary schools.

Administration and management of the education system

Education and training in Tanzania Mainland is undertaken by several ministries, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), communities and individuals. However, formal education is the responsibility of three ministries, namely the Ministry of Education and Culture (MOEC), the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Administration and the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology. Additionally, the Ministry of Labour, Youth and Sports Development is responsible for vocational education.

The MOEC is headed by the Minister who is assisted by the Deputy Minister and an Advisory Council. The Principal Secretary (PS) acts as the main custodian of the Ministry’s resources and as the chief accounting officer of the Ministry. Under the PS there is a Commissioner for Education (CE) who is the chief academic advisor in all aspects of professional departments and parastatal organizations (i.e., the Tanzania Institute of Education, the Institute of Adult Education, and the National Examinations Council of Tanzania), which provide services to schools and colleges of education. Two other institutions, namely the Tanzania Library Services (TLS) and the Tanzania Elimu Supplies––which distribute educational equipment and materials––report directly to the PS.

The MOEC has recently been reorganized and is composed of seven departments and units. The departments are: Primary/Basic Education, Secondary Education, Teacher Education, Adult Education, Administration and Personnel as well as the Department of Culture. The units are: Planning, Research and Statistics, Archives, Antiquities, Accounts and Internal Audit. The establishment, management and administration of primary schools are the responsibility of the Department of Regional Administration and Local Government in the Prime Minister’s Office.

Most public secondary schools and all colleges are established, managed and controlled centrally by the MOEC. However, in recent years many communities through the self-help scheme have built a number of secondary schools. The Ministry is responsible for their management and control. During the period 1994-96, a total of 105 secondary schools were established.

Private education establishments are administered and managed by the owners according to the guidelines and regulations issued from time to time by the MOEC. The Inspectorate is responsible for inspection of all schools and education colleges, both public and private. Functionally, the department is divided into seven zones with representatives up to district level. The National Examination Council of Tanzania (NECTA) was established in 1973. NECTA is the agency responsible for the administration of all national examinations in Tanzania. It also awards official diplomas (primary, secondary and post-secondary education, excluding universities).

The management of each primary school is the duty of the headteacher who is assisted by the school committee. Secondary school heads and principals of colleges are assisted by school boards and college boards, respectively. School/college committees and boards play an advisory role in respect of administrative matters as well as in the discipline of students.

Ministries other than that of education have a role to play in the establishment and management of schools and colleges. Facilities other than learning materials, such as water and sanitation, health services, transport and food and nutrition, are provided for by the respective ministries. Some NGOs own and manage educational institutions from pre-primary to teacher education and one of them is planning to create a university. In addition, NGOs offer educational programmes for the handicapped. All special schools except one at the primary level are owned and managed by NGOs; they receive meager subventions from the government.

The responsibility for the planning and administration of education in Zanzibar is entrusted to the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports. The Minister of Education is assisted by a Deputy Minister. The chief executive officer of the Ministry is the Principal Secretary. He/she is assisted by two deputies, one responsible for planning and administration and the other for professional services––curriculum, inspectorate, teacher training, and other professional matters.

The Ministry has its coordinating office in Pemba and Regional and District Education Offices throughout the islands. The regional and district offices are headed by regional and district education officers, respectively. These officers are administratively answerable to the regional and district governments, but professionally accountable to the Ministry of Education. There are also National, Regional, and District Education Boards which have advisory roles to the Minister of Education on matters related to policy, reforms, and developments in education within their jurisdiction. At the local level, there are school committees entrusted with the responsibility of developing education in their respective communities.

Higher education is a Union matter and most Zanzibar students continue their studies in Tanzania Mainland universities and higher education institutions.

Structure and organization of the education system

Tanzania Mainland: structure of the education system

Pre-school education

In Tanzania Mainland pre-school education caters to children aged 5 to 6 years and lasts two years; attendance is not compulsory. Pre-school education in Zanzibar is provided by both public and private schools; it is not compulsory. Public nursery schools cater to children aged between 4 and 6 years.

Primary education

In Tanzania Mainland primary education is compulsory and lasts seven years. The official entry age is 7. The completion of the cycle is marked by sitting the Primary School-Leaving Examination, which is mainly used for secondary school selection purposes. In Zanzibar compulsory basic education lasts ten years and comprises two levels: the seven-year primary education and the first cycle of secondary education (junior secondary), lasting three years. The official entry age is 7 years; however, due to the shortage of classrooms, late entrants are quite common. In most cases, basic education (primary and junior secondary education) is provided in the same school, but, where possible, efforts are made to separate primary and secondary schools.

Secondary education

In Tanzania Mainland secondary education is divided into two cycles: the first cycle, of four years  duration, prepare students for the General Certificate of Education, Ordinary-level (GCE O-level) examination; the second cycle, lasting two years, leads to the GCE A-level examination. Graduates of primary education may also follow two-year craft courses offered at post-primary vocational training centres. Post-basic education in Zanzibar comprises two cycles: the second cycle of secondary education––both general and technical––lasting two years; and the advanced cycle of secondary education, which covers Forms V and VI, as well as technical education (three-year course).

At the tertiary and university level the duration of studies varies between three and five years, depending on the field of study. Higher education is centralized at the national level and most Zanzibar students continue their higher education studies in Tanzania Mainland, although two private higher education institutions have been established since 1997. Higher education in Tanzania Mainland is offered in eight universities (of which five are in the private sector), six university colleges (of which four are privately operated) and twelve tertiary-level institutions.

At the pre-primary and primary levels the school year consists of 200 days (a minimum of thirty-seven five-day weeks of classes). There are two terms per year, from January to early June and from mid-July to November. There is a one-week mid-term holiday in April and September. The vacations are in June and December. At the secondary level, the school year consists of 270 days; the vacations and terms correspond with those of primary schools but are shorter. At the university level, the academic year starts in September and lasts forty weeks, with two vacation periods (in December and July).

The financing of education

In Tanzania Mainland the financing of education and training is a shared burden among the government, communities, parents and NGOs. According to 1995/96 estimates, the government’s financial contribution for education and training represented 15.3% of the total governmental recurrent budget.

The Government of Zanzibar has committed itself to providing free education to all citizens at all levels. Though the policy allows the establishment of private education institutions, private participation in education is insignificant and the government still funds the bulk of education. The share of the education budget as compared to the total government expenditure is among the lowest in Africa. During recent years, a percentage varying between 11.8% (1993/94) and 13.2% (1995/96) of the total government budget was allocated to education, excluding higher education and training. From 1996 to 2001, the government allocated between 3.6% and 3.8% of the GDP and between 10.1% and 13.7% of its budget to education. Over 90% of the education budget is spent on salaries and other allowances for teachers.

Though the official government policy is to provide free education, communities are encouraged to contribute in various ways in the development of education. Currently, major contributions include the construction of classrooms on a self-help basis, the purchase of uniforms and of school materials (pencils, rulers, pens, exercise books when in short supply) and ad hoc cash contributions set by school committees and agreed by parents. Several donors are also engaged in supporting the government’s efforts to improve education services in Zanzibar.

The educational process

In Tanzania Mainland, the Tanzania Institute of Education (TIE) is the main body responsible for developing the curriculum. It prepares programmes, syllabi, and pedagogical materials such as handbooks and laboratory manuals. It also specifies standards for educational materials and class sizes; trains teachers on new teaching methods and on curriculum innovations; initiates and guides basic research and evaluation projects with regard to teaching and learning; follows up and monitors curriculum implementation in schools; and evaluates and approves manuscripts intended for school use.

The TIE made significant changes in the design of the primary school curriculum, reducing the number of subjects from thirteen to seven. The secondary school curriculum has also been changed, with the introduction of new subjects such as unified science, social studies, computer literacy and computer science.

In Zanzibar, the school curriculum is prepared and controlled by the Ministry of Education, through the Curriculum Division in the Department of Professional Services. Teachers, college tutors and inspectors help to develop the curriculum.

Private institutions may have their own curriculum but it has to be approved by the Ministry of Education. Most private schools follow the national curriculum. At the secondary level and above, Zanzibar schools generally follow the Tanzania Mainland school curriculum developed by the TIE, but some modifications may be made to suit Zanzibar's specific needs.

The major criticism of the current curriculum is that it is too academically oriented, has too many subjects, and does not prepare the young people for the kind of life they will experience after completing school. A task force has been appointed to review the school curriculum so as to address those limitations. Curriculum reforms have been initiated at the primary level, aimed at reducing the number of subjects from 14 to 8 and streamlining the curricular content.

In addition, the task force has aimed to include in the curriculum issues of international importance such as gender, environmental education, human rights, and international understanding. Recent innovations include: (i) the Child to Child Project, which addresses the issues of environmental cleanliness and health education (its activities have been integrated into the mainstream primary curricula); (ii) the Science Camps Project, which has helped improve science teaching; (iii) the Moral Ethics and Environmental Studies Project, which has been integrated into the mainstream curriculum for upper primary and lower secondary to address the issues of moral ethics, population, and the environment; and (iv) the MENA programme, which was designed to introduce into the curriculum a new subject entitled “life skills”.

The curriculum reform has resulted into the designing and production of new textbooks. Textbook production followed a phased approach, with the initial phase concentrating on the lower primary education level. Textbooks on four subjects have been produced with UNICEF support and distributed to schools at a ratio of one book to two pupils.

Kiswahili is the national language and the medium of instruction in primary schools. At the secondary school level, English is the medium of instruction. 

Pre-primary education

In Tanzania Mainland pre-primary education has been incorporated in the formal education structure since 1993 and its aims and objectives are: to encourage and promote the overall personality development of the child, i.e. his/her physical, mental, moral and social characteristics and capabilities; to identify children with abnormal patterns of development and educational potentials and devise special programmes for them; to mould the character of the child and enable him/her to acquire acceptable norms of social conduct and behaviour; to help the child acquire, appreciate, respect and develop pride in the family, his/her cultural background, moral values, customs and traditions as well as in the national ethic and identity; to provide the child with opportunities to acquire and develop communication, numerical and manual skills; to prepare the child for primary school education.

In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of registered pre-primary schools––both public and private––, from 218 and 692 to 515 and 884, respectively (data refer to 1993/94). In addition, there is a large number of unregistered pre-schools which have yet to fulfill the requirements for formal recognition.

The major factor adversely affecting the sub-sector of pre-primary education in Tanzania Mainland has been a lack of coordination. While curriculum and policy issues are controlled at the central level, the establishment and management of schools is the responsibility of the owning agencies, e.g. local governments, local communities, religious bodies and NGOs.

At the pre-school level, eight subjects are taught and the weekly load includes a total of twenty-two teaching periods, each lasting twenty minutes. The subjects and the number of periods allocated to each of them are shown below:

Pre-primary education (Tanzania Mainland): weekly timetable

Subject

Number of weekly periods

Elements of mathematics

2

Elements of music

2

Elements of science

3

Elements of language

5

Elements of arts and crafts

3

Elements of health

2

Elements of physical education

2

Elements of civics

3

Total weekly periods

22

Note: Each teaching period lasts 20 minutes.

The average number of pupils in a class is normally 25. However, due to lack of resources, the classes are larger––especially in urban areas. The number of pre-primary education institutions in Tanzania Mainland have increased from 2,039 in 1997  to 2,335 in 1999. Enrolment also increased from 47,867 children in 1997 to 57,446 in 1999.

Pre-school education is not compulsory in Zanzibar. Non-government pre-schools have been established by communities, religious organizations, and individuals. According to official statistics, there were 22 government-owned and 93 private registered pre-schools, with a total enrolment of 13,019 children (of which 6,768 girls) amounting to an enrolment rate of 13% in the year 2000 (15.5% in 2002). This compares favourably to the 1995 situation where there were only 30 pre-schools with an enrolment rate of 6.2%. In 2002 there were 139 pre-schools, most of them privately owned or community based.

Efforts are underway to integrate the traditional Koranic schools into the formal school system, so that they could provide both religious and secular education as well as address the issue of holistic approach to early childhood education and development. According to the recent survey (1998), there were 186 unregistered pre-schools with a total enrolment of 11,280 children, of whom 5,934 were girls. The survey also revealed the existence of 1,902 Koranic schools enrolling 200,111 pupils, out of whom 62,294 pupils were not attending any formal school. (Ministry of Education, 1999).

Generally speaking, pre-primary education aims at promoting the children’s full development––physically, mentally, morally, emotionally and culturally––and preparing them for school. The curriculum is centred around the following subjects: mathematics, Kiswahili, environmental studies, arts, religious education, games, sports, and handicraft.

According to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, in 2005 in the country (Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar) there were 638,591 children enrolled at the primary level (gross enrolment ratio: 29%), and the total number of teachers was 11,148 (22% trained).

Primary education

In Tanzania Mainland, fundamental reform initiatives have included decentralizing the management, administration, and financing of primary schools. Community contributions, involving cost-sharing, have been introduced in order to promote democratic participation in, and ownership of, the education system. In addition, the government intends to improve the learning and teaching environment by rehabilitating and increasing classrooms, reducing the pupil-teacher ratio, strengthening inspectorate services, and removing the inequities in the provision of education. The primary school curriculum was reformed in 1993 for the purpose of streamlining and making it more relevant to learners  and societal needs.

Seven basic subjects are taught: Kiswahili, English, mathematics, social studies, science, practical arts and religion. Social studies and practical arts are new subjects introduced into the curriculum after the 1993 reform. The subject social studies includes elements of history, geography, civics, commerce, accounting, environmental studies, political science and family life education. Pupils in Standards I and II study elements of health instead of English and social studies. All these subjects are compulsory. The medium of instruction in pre-primary and primary schools is Kiswahili. However, there are a few English pre-primary and primary schools which are basically meant for foreign children whose parents work in Tanzania. The primary education curriculum and the number of weekly teaching periods are shown in the table below:

The average number of pupils in a class is 45. However, due to lack of resources, the classes are larger––especially in urban areas. The teacher-pupil ratio in primary schools is higher in urban areas than rural areas and the national average for 1995 was 1:36.8. According to national estimates, the net enrolment ratio (NER) increased from 66% in 2001 to 90% in 2004, while the gross enrolment ratio (GER) increased from 84.4% in 2001 to 106.3% in 2004.

Pupils are allowed to repeat any of Standards I-IV if they have not mastered the skills required for each class. Drop-out rates for both boys and girls have increased over recent years. The reasons for drop-outs mainly include truancy, early pregnancies and early marriages. The table below shows repetition and drop-out rates in recent years:

Primary education, repetition and drop-out rates 1990-95 (Tanzania Mainland)

 

 

1990/91

1991/92

1992/93

1993/94

1994/95

Standards I-II

Repetition (%)

4.2

3.6

3.9

3.7

3.5

Drop-out (%)

7.1

5.1

6.3

5.2

5.7

Standards II-III

Repetition (%)

3.1

2.5

2.5

2.1

2.2

Drop-out (%)

3.8

3.1

3.4

4.4

4.6

Standards III-IV

Repetition (%)

2.2

1.7

1.6

1.3

1.3

Drop-out (%)

4.6

4.2

3.8

3.6

5.4

Standards IV-V

Repetition (%)

14.0

12.3

11.6

11.4

4.7

Drop-out (%)

5.4

6.8

3.5

8.4

7.2

Standards V-VI

Repetition (%)

0.0

0.0

0.1

0.1

0.0

Drop-out (%)

4.1

4.3

4.6

5.2

7.0

Standards VI-VII

Repetition (%)

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

Drop-out (%)

3.8

4.9

3.2

7.0

7.7

Promotion, repetition and drop-out rates 1997/98

 

Standard

I

II

III

IV

V

VI

VII

 

Promotion rate

91.1

93.5

93.2

79.6

94.0

90.5

90.6

MF

Repetition rate

3.4

2.2

1.3

11.6

0.2

0.2

0.2

 

Drop-out rate

5.6

4.4

5.5

8.8

5.8

9.4

9.2

 

Promotion rate

90.3

93.1

92.9

78.8

93.5

90.4

89.5

M

Repetition rate

3.3

2.2

1.3

11.3

0.2

0.2

0.2

 

Drop-out rate

6.4

4.8

5.7

9.9

6.3

9.4

10.3

F

Promotion rate

91.9

93.9

93.5

80.3

94.5

90.5

91.7

 

Repetition rate

3.4

2.2

1.3

11.9

0.1

0.1

0.2

 

Drop-out rate

4.7

3.9

5.2

7.8

5.4

9.3

8.2

Source: Ministry of Education and Culture, 1999.

Beyond Standard IV and at the secondary school level, students are normally not allowed to repeat any class––except under special cases such as long periods of absence from school due to illness. The completion of the primary education cycle is marked by sitting the Primary School Leaving examination, which is mainly used for secondary school selection purposes. Successful pupils receive the Primary School Leaving Certificate. It is estimated that only about 60% of school-age children are enrolled in primary schools, and about 30% of those enrolled do not complete the primary cycle (data refer to 1994). The transition rate from primary to secondary education was only about 20% in 2004. In 1998, the gross enrolment rate (GER) was 76.4% and the net enrolment rate (NER) was estimated at 56.7% (Ministry of Education and Culture, 1999). According to most recent estimates, the NER increased from 66% in 2001 to 90% in 2004, while the GER increased from 84.4% in 2001 to 106.3% in 2004.

Quality as measured by pass rate in National Examinations improved during the period 2001-2003. The percentage of pupils who passed Std. IV examinations increased from 70.6% in 2001 to 88.7% in 2003. During the same period, the pass rate in the Primary School Leaving Examinations increased from 28.6% to 40.1%.

In Zanzibar, the school curriculum is uniform and is defined by the Ministry of Education (MOE, now the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports), through the curriculum division in the Department of Professional Services. Private institutions may have their own curriculum, but it must be approved by the MOE. With the exception of a few private institutions and the Koranic schools where a standard curriculum has not yet been developed, most private schools follow the national curriculum.

The seven-year primary education programme, or the first cycle of basic education, is divided into three sections: Standards I and II; Standards III and IV; and Standards V-VII. The weekly lesson timetable is shown below:

At the end of primary education, examinations are set and administered by the MOE. The primary school examination serves two purposes: evaluation of the primary education curriculum and selection of a few students to join the more prestigious streamed secondary schools, which, in addition to core subjects, provide specialization in the fields of technical education, science, Islamic studies, commerce and French language. The number of students in these schools is, however, very small (less than 5% of total secondary school enrolment).

At the classroom level, continuous assessments and end-of-term examinations are carried out regularly. With the exception of national examinations where students have to pass at a certain level to be promoted to the next education level, there is generally a system of automatic promotion from one grade to another. Repetition of the same grade may however be allowed, after obtaining consent from the school, the pupils and their parents.

The internal efficiency is generally poor due to high drop-out rates. Some studies have shown that out of a cohort of 1,000 pupils who start Standard I in any particular year, less than 500 students complete the basic education cycle within the desired duration of ten years.

Zanzibar: promotion, repetition and drop-out rates (1996)

 

Grade

S.I

S.II

S.III

S.IV

S.V

S.VI

S.VII

S.VIII

Form I

Form II

MF

Promotion rate

86.2

89.3

89.2

93.4

91.8

88.4

83.6

99.3

84.8

98.6

Repetition rate

10.8

8.2

6.0

4.3

3.8

4.7

3.2

0.8

5.3

1.4

Drop-out rate

3.1

2.4

4.8

2.3

4.4

6.9

13.2

-0.1

9.9

0.0

M

Promotion rate

86.0

87.8

89.4

93.0

91.3

88.4

78.8

103.1

82.5

98.9

Repetition rate

11.9

9.4

7.4

5.6

4.8

6.3

4.5

0.8

6.9

1.1

Drop-out rate

2.2

2.8

3.2

1.4

3.8

5.4

16.7

-3.9

10.7

0.0

F

Promotion rate

86.4

90.9

89.1

93.7

92.2

88.4

88.4

95.5

87.3

98.3

Repetition rate

9.6

7.0

4.6

3.0

2.8

3.1

1.9

0.9

3.7

1.7

Drop-out rate

4.0

2.1

6.3

3.3

5.0

8.4

9.7

3.7

9.0

0.0

Source: Ministry of Education, 1999.

In 1995, the national average number of pupils per class was 88. The introduction of the double shift system improved the situation to about 47 pupils per class, but in densely populated areas it varies between 50 and 70 pupils. However, there is hope to address the problem in the coming years through the active participation of communities in the construction and rehabilitation of classrooms.

In 1999, the gross enrolment rate (GER) at the primary level (Standards I-VII) was 85.4% and the net enrolment rate was estimated at 67%. At the basic education level (ten-year programme), the rates were 75.7% and 54.7%, respectively (Ministry of Education, 1999). A further examination of the 2000 GER figures reveals the existence of disparities in enrolment between the various districts of Zanzibar. For example, the GER was 59.9% in one district and 176.1% in another. Low enrolment in some places is often due to the parents’ low awareness of the importance of education. In 2003, there were 191,959 pupils enrolled at the primary level.

Secondary education

In Tanzania Mainland, the secondary school curriculum was diversified in the early 1970s into streams, namely commerce, home economics, technical and agriculture. The options offered as well as the compulsory subjects vary from stream to stream. The 1992 curriculum reform introduced into each stream three subjects, i.e. social studies, computer science and unified science. Unified science is taught as an alternative to biology, chemistry and physics, whereas social studies is offered as an alternative to geography, history and political education. At the high school level, students study subject combinations of their choice, depending on their performance in the examinations at the end of the first cycle of secondary education. Secondary schools, teacher education at the diploma level, and all tertiary institutions use English as the medium of instruction for all subjects.

            Currently, the core curriculum for secondary education contains twelve compulsory subjects resulting in a very heavy workload for students. However, this issue will be addressed in the Secondary Education Development Plan (SEDP) so that students will study 8 core subjects, the rest being options.

The first cycle of secondary education, of four years  duration, prepare students for the General Certificate of Education, Ordinary-level (GCE O-level) examination; the second cycle, lasting two years, leads to the GCE A-level examination. National examinations are designed and administered by the National Examination Council of Tanzania (NECTA). In addition to the final examinations, there are regular tests known as continuous assessment. Successful students are issued two types of certificates, namely the school-leaving certificates which are issued by the respective school and the academic certificates issued by NECTA. The academic certificates indicate the level of performance in different subjects tested and are issued to students who reach a set minimum mark. The certificates are graded into divisions I to IV, where the latter is the lowest. Private candidates are certified on the basis of the results of the final written examination only.

The total number of public and private secondary institutions increased from 365 in 1990 to 927 in the year 2000 (of which about 400 schools were in the private sector). Both the number of students and teachers increased over that time span. In May 2003, there were 1,083 registered secondary schools and of these 856 enrolled students at least up to the end of Form IV. Around half (51%) of the schools were community built, one third non-government (33%), and the rest were government schools (9%) and seminaries (7%). In 2000, the GER was estimated at 7.4%. In 2003, the GER for Forms I–IV was estimated at 12.9% and the NER at 6.4%. The figures for Form V and VI were lower.

The pass rate in the Form IV examinations has varied between 76 and 87.7% in recent years and has been higher for boys (average of 85%) than for girls (average of 69%). Of those who passed in 2001, 49% received the lowest grade. Again, girls’ grades were lower than boys’. The pass rate in the Form VI examination is much higher reaching 97.3% in 2003, and the distribution across grades is better with only 9.1% gaining the lowest. The schools which perform highest in the examinations are those who employ better-trained teachers, including experienced graduates. Higher pay and efficient school management attract the higher qualified teachers to non-government schools and seminaries. Fifty-eight per cent of all teachers who have a university degree work in non-government schools and of all B.A and B.Sc graduates with education degrees, 75% are absorbed in this sector. Most of the rest teach in government schools with the result that very few are in the community-built schools. Most teachers in secondary schools are certified and trained either as graduates or diploma holders. There were 12,344 teachers in 2002 and the figure has risen to 12,983 in 2004. Provision is made for in-service professional development for teachers and head-teachers according to needs.

At the secondary level and above, Zanzibar schools generally follow the Tanzania Mainland curriculum (developed by the Institute of Education and revised in 1996), but some modifications are introduced to suit the Zanzibar situation. The major criticism of the current curriculum is that there are too many subjects, it is examination driven and is inadequate and inappropriate to the realities of life. A task force has been appointed to review the curriculum so as to address those limitations as well as aspects of international importance such as gender issues, environmental education, democratization and human rights, and the promotion of a culture of peace, tolerance and international understanding. The secondary education curriculum follow three streams: general (grammar type) education which is purely academic and for further education; skill oriented biased and comprehensive education branched into the science and arts streams, with both streams taking a soft life skills course aimed to promote entrepreneurial and self employment skills among students. The biased education includes technical, commercial, languages and sciences, and Islamic studies, and is aimed at combining theory and practice in everyday life.

The first year of (lower) secondary education (Standard VIII) is normally taken as a preparatory year and students concentrate mainly on English language, mathematics and environmental studies. By 1996, there were 159 government and five private schools offering basic education, among which 66 were primary schools, 80 were mixed primary and secondary schools and 13 were exclusively secondary schools. In 1996, the total enrolment at the primary and basic education levels was 127,707 and 149,167 respectively and accounted for a gross enrolment rate of 81.2% at the primary level and 69.3% at the basic education level. In 2003, the total enrolment at the basic education level (Std. I to Form II) was 237,242 pupils

At the end of the basic education level (Form II), the examinations are set and administered by the Ministry of Education, whereas GCE O-level and A-level examinations are set and administered by the NECTA. The NECTA also sets and administers teacher training examinations for primary and secondary school (diploma in education) teachers. Examinations at the end of basic education are used to select students for further education. The policy is to have a transition rate of not less than 20%. In 1995, 36% of the students were selected to continue to the next level. Students have the opportunity to enroll in several post-GCE O-level professional institutions in Zanzibar and many other institutions in Tanzania Mainland. In 1996, there were 25 schools offering post-secondary education with total enrolment of 5,242 students. There were also two institutions offering teacher training courses, one college of health sciences, one tourism institute, and one language institute, all of which were public. There were also a few private institutions offering courses in computing and commercial studies. In 2003, the total enrolment at the senior secondary level (Forms III and IV) was 9,098 students.

The number of candidates taking examinations at Form II level increased from 8,545 in 1999 to 10,835 in 2003. The percentage of candidates passing the examinations improved from 31.2% (2,479) to 43.1% (4,643) during the same period. At Form IV level, the number of candidates sitting the examinations increased from 2,443 in 1999 to 3,478 students in 2003. The number of successful students also increased from 2,011 (or 82.3%) in 1999 to 3,206 (or 92.2%) in 2003. At Form VI level, the number of candidates sitting the examinations grew from 173 in 1999 to 261 in 2003. The pass rate has been 95.3% in 1999 and 98.9% in 2003.

Assessing learning achievement nationwide

In 1995, Zanzibar participated in the research project of the Southern Africa Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality (SACMEQ). A test was designed to provide a valid measure of basic literacy skills of Standard VI pupils. The test items, which were originally designed in English, were translated into Kiswahili––the medium of instruction at the primary level. A total of forty-four essential test items were picked out of 59 test items and administered to 2,286 pupils selected randomly in all the five regions.

The national mean for Zanzibar was 19.1 out of maximum possible score of 44 and it has been concluded that the mastery of reading literacy of Standard VI pupils is low. In general, the performance of boys was slightly better than that of girls at both minimum and desirable level of mastery. Pupils from high- and middle-income families performed twice as a high than pupils from families with low socio-economic status. It was also observed that pupils in urban schools performed better than pupils in rural schools.

Higher education

In the academic year 1994/95, the total enrolment at the University of Dar es Salaam and other post-secondary education institutions was 10,409 students. The total number of teaching staff was 1,470––including universities, university-level institutes and other higher education institutes. The total number of students studying abroad in the same academic year was 1,224 students. In 1993, there were three advanced technical colleges and three universities. In the year 2000, there were eight universities (of which five in the private sector), six university colleges (of which four were privately owned) and twelve tertiary-level institutions.

Most tertiary and higher education institutions in Tanzania are owned by different ministries. Some of these institutions have statutory and autonomous powers, while others are managed either as part of the central ministries or units of  companies and/or organizations.

Statutory institutions such as universities, tertiary and other higher education establishments design and administer their own examination and are therefore responsible for the certification of candidates under their jurisdiction. The performance of institutions of higher learning are evaluated by Councils or Boards established for each institution.

The number of graduates from universities and other institutions of higher learning does not match the needs of the employment market. These institutions admit all students who qualify according to their capacities. The main objective of higher education and training is not only to prepare students for the employment market, but also to provide knowledge and technology for national development. This situation has led to unemployment among graduates of higher learning in different fields.

As far as Zanzibar is concerned, higher education is mainly provided on the mainland and abroad. Various institutions in Zanzibar provide post-secondary education, including  teacher’s colleges, institutes of foreign languages, the College of Health Sciences, the College of Agriculture, and the College of Hotel and Tourism Management. Two private higher education institutions started to operate during the 1997/98 academic year. These institutions are Zanzibar University, and the Chukwani College of Education. The new State University of Zanzibar is now (2004) operational.

Special education

Children with disabilities in Tanzania are provided with educational services at various levels ranging from primary through secondary to higher learning institutions. Pre-primary is yet to be introduced to this group of children with educational needs. Categories of disabilities include those with visual, hearing, mental, and physical impairments.

There are 140 primary schools for children with special needs in Tanzania Mainland. Fifteen of the 140 special primary schools are run jointly by the government and charity organizations; the rest are run by charity organizations. Special education establishments include: 25 schools for the blind; 18 schools for the deaf; 89 schools for the mentally handicapped; four schools for the physically handicapped; and one school for the deaf and the blind. There are also twenty-two resource centres for the visually impaired.

There is one private secondary school for the visually impaired; otherwise at the secondary school level the disabled attend mainstream schools and receive assistance from special education teachers.

Disabled students follow the official curriculum. However, the blind, due to the nature of their disability, do not study mathematics beyond the primary school level. It is estimated that only about 3% of the disabled receive basic education. Efforts are being made to ensure that more disabled individuals get access to education. The steps being taken to achieve this goal include: integration of special education into normal schools;  establishment of centres to prepare special education teaching/learning materialstraining of teachers; establishment of centres for early identification of disabilities. A special needs teacher training college was established in 1993.

Despite the progress, special education provision in Tanzania faces the following problems: Lack of specialised equipment and teaching/learning materials; insufficient specialist teachers for special needs education, limited education opportunities. For example, visually impaired students cannot study mathematics or science at post-primary levels.

Special education in Zanzibar is still an innovation. Only a few mainstream schools have some special education facilities and, in 1999, only 88 disabled pupils attended school (Ministry of Education, 1999). However, despite having very limited facilities, enrolment of disabled students in those schools is still not encouraging. Low awareness of parents with disabled children, distance from schools to homes, and lack of qualified teachers have been cited as the major reasons for poor enrolment of disabled children. Plans for the future are to involve NGOs in the provision of special education and to include special education courses in the current teacher training curriculum.

Private education

Private educational institutions in Tanzania Mainland are known as non-governmental educational establishments. NGOs, communities and individuals are allowed to establish, own and manage educational institutions of all levels. However, they must abide by laws and regulations issued by the Ministry of Education or any other ministry responsible for the type of education and/or training concerned.

Non-governmental educational institutions include pre-primary, primary and secondary schools, teacher education colleges and vocational training centres. The establishment, ownership and management of all post-secondary institutions including universities has also been liberalized, but so far no such institution has been established. Private schools at all levels follow the same curricula as public schools. In 1995, the total number of students enrolled in private secondary schools was 104,309, while in public secondary schools it was 92,066 students.

In Zanzibar there have been recent efforts to promote private education in response to the government policy to allow the private sector to play a role in the educational process. The Ministry of Education through its office of the Registrar oversees the registration and licensing of private schools. A few of these schools use their own syllabi, which must be approved by the Ministry. Efforts to introduce private schools have concentrated mainly on the pre-primary and primary education levels, but their number is not yet significant.

Means of instruction, equipment and infrastructure

Inadequate supply of school textbooks and other instructional materials characterizes the education system in Tanzania Mainland at all levels. The major contributing factor has been lack of financial resources on the part of the government––the major supplier of these materials. Donor assistance has been invaluable in this area. It is hoped that the introduction of the cost-sharing policy will alleviate the problem.

At the pre-primary and primary levels, all textbooks are produced within the country. At secondary school level, most of the textbooks are produced within the country except for some science titles and most of those used at the high school level. However, schools at these levels face a shortage of textbooks due to lack of funds. Most textbooks at post-secondary school level are produced outside the country; however, due to a relatively large budgetary allocation to these institutions, the problem is not as acute as at lower levels.

Most primary schools in both rural and urban areas face a shortage of classrooms. However, efforts are being made to solve this problem through an increased participation of the communities. All government primary schools except one are day schools and pupils attend schools near their homes. The secondary schools are of two types: boarding and day schools. Day school students face transport problems, especially in urban areas, due to lack of reliable public transport.

During the last ten years, the Zanzibar education system experienced an acute shortage of classrooms and teaching materials, poor school buildings, lack of furniture, and the presence of a large number of unqualified and under-qualified teachers. Under-funding of the education sector was to some extent responsible for this undesirable situation. Several measures were taken to address these problems. During the period 2002–2003 about 139 classrooms were constructed with the support of SIDA-Sweden. Under the Education II Project some 200 primary school classrooms were rehabilitated.

Adult and non-formal education

Non-formal education can be viewed as out-of-school education. It focuses on and promotes general and functional literacy. These courses and programmes serve as an alternative for those who lack the opportunity to gain access to formal schooling. They also serve as an extension of formal schooling for those who need additional training for productive employment or who become self-employed, as well as a means of upgrading the skills of those already employed.

Existing non-formal education programmes in Tanzania Mainland include basic literacy, functional literacy, post-literacy, vocational skills training, and continuing education. The latter is supported by various programmes, i.e. correspondence education, self-study and extra-mural studies. The last ten years has witnessed a sharp decline in basic literacy and post-literacy activities. This decline is a setback toward achieving universal literacy. The major contributing factors have been inadequate funding as well as inadequate learning materials.

The literacy programmes are provided according to the following structure: (a) functional literacy, Levels I to IV; (b) post-literacy, Levels V-VII, or lower, intermediate and advanced levels. Functional literacy programmes are designed to achieve the main objective of eradicating illiteracy among the adult population. Periodic literacy achievement tests are undertaken to determine the learning outcomes.

Post-literacy programmes provide a solid base for adult literates to pursue further education in professional training programmes. These are designed to enable participants to make use of the acquired functional literacy skills as well as making learning a permanent feature in their lives. While Levels V-VII of these programmes largely cover the academic-related subjects, the lower, intermediate and advanced levels aim at the development of functional skills.

Progress in the provision of functional literacy and post-literacy has not been encouraging. The illiteracy rate has increased from 10% in 1986 to 16% in 1992. It is important to mention that the literacy tests given periodically to adult learners are primarily used to establish the level of literacy achieved. They have also been used to measure progress in the eradication of illiteracy nationwide. However, this method needs to be revised to allow making valid conclusions on national literacy rates.

Notwithstanding the prevailing difficult economic conditions, and the slow progress in the eradication of adult illiteracy, efforts continue to be made to encourage and support adult learners who are still motivated to follow literacy and post-literacy programmes. Significant steps are being undertaken to move away from a centrally planned, developed, and managed curriculum. Programmes and activities addressing the needs of illiterates and allowing for community empowerment and ownership have been developed. Reforms in this area include developing a learner-centred and community-based approach for adults and out-of-school youths. The Integrated Community Based Adult Education Programme (ICBAE), was introduced to revitalize adult education, and integrates literacy training with self-help income-generating projects. The Complementary Basic Education in Tanzania Programme (COBET) is an initiative to offer primary schooling to out-of-school children in a non-formal setting. Capacity building for the successful implementation and improvement of these programmes is assured through trained village managers and full-time programme facilitators.

The Tanzania Institute of Adult Education offers a variety of distance learning courses designed to cover primary education, secondary education as well as specialized and professional courses. The continuing education structure enables the participants to move from non-formal to appropriate formal vocational and professional training, and to formal education at professional level, including access to the Open University of Tanzania.

The expanded formal school system is still unable to meet the public demand for further education. Hence continuing education is offered to those who missed formal school under the direct entry scheme to attain either secondary, professional, or university education at the end of primary education. The Institute of Adult Education has prepared over 10,000 students to sit the GCE examinations (O- and A-level). The Institute also offers various academic and skill-oriented courses to a cross-section of adult learners through correspondence courses, and evening short courses. During 1993, 1,877 adults enrolled in academic courses, while in 1992 a total of 11,500 participated in various work- and skills-oriented short courses, e.g. tailoring, typing, accountancy, etc.

Continuing education programmes are also offered by non-governmental agencies, religious organizations, various youth groups, associations and institutions. These institutions develop training programmes in response to the needs of primary school leavers, unskilled workers, as well as semi-skilled workers who wish to upgrade their professional skills.

The vehicle for promoting non-formal education in Zanzibar is the Department of Adult Education, established in 1978. The Department is responsible for both adult literacy and post-literacy programmes conducted mainly in the form of vocational training, upgrading and continuing education programmes. The situation in adult education has been worrisome. The shortage of places in schools and the increase in the drop-out rate has increased the number of adults who require literacy skills. Literacy classes have not been performing well for a number of years primarily due to the poor attendance of learners, inappropriate curricula, and the increase in poverty levels among the households.

Recent statistics on literacy in Zanzibar are not available, but 1986 figures indicated that Zanzibar had about 126,000 adults who were illiterate which was about 38.5% of the adult population Most of the illiterates were women. Due to a limited capacity to enrol students in schools, high drop-out rates, and reluctance of some parents to enrol their children in schools, it is estimated that the illiteracy rate has increased.

In 1996, there were 383 adult education classes with a total enrolment of 5,528 adults, of whom 3,962 were women. A monthly adult education newspaper and a weekly radio programme are available to supplement classroom teaching. Future plans for combating illiteracy include targeting particular groups such as fishermen, co-operatives constituted by women, and farmers, so as to provide literacy programmes concurrently with skill training related to their areas of interest. By 2000, there were 351 literacy classes with a total enrolment of 5,236 adults. Seventy-one percent were women.

Post-literacy programmes are provided mainly in the fields of vocational training and continuing education. In 1996, there were forty-four vocational centres with a total enrolment of 784 adult students. By 2000 there were 57 post-literacy centres with a total enrolment of 1,211 learners. Most of the centres offered training courses in home economics, carpentry, blacksmithing, catering, fishing and agriculture. With respect to upgrading and continuing education programmes, there were 2,042 adult students taking secondary education courses and 130 adults taking professional courses in the fields of technical education, accounting and law. Few adult students are enrolled at the Open University of Tanzania. Some private institutions also offer continuing education programmes in the areas of computer studies, hotel, tourism and foreign languages. By 2000 there were 3,541 learners enrolled in continuing education classes out of whom 56.2% were women.

Teaching staff

In order to ensure quality and competence of school teachers, the minimum entry qualification for their training in Tanzania Mainland has been recently revised. The Grade “A” Teacher Certificate course is a two-year training programme for students who have passed the General Certificate of Education (O-level) examination with a minimum qualification of “division II”.

The in-service upgrading course from Grade “B” or Grade “C” (i.e. Standard VII leavers with four and two years of teacher training, respectively) to Grade “A” is a one-year programme admitting teachers with a minimum qualification of two credits and two passes in the GCE examination.

The Diploma in Education is a two-year course for students who have a minimum qualification of “division III” in the GCE A-level examination. There are thirty-one public teacher colleges offering courses at  the Grade “A” certificate and diploma levels. Two of these colleges offer courses at the diploma level only, twenty-one offer pre-service training at the Grade “A” certificate level, while eight cater to in-service training. In 1995, the total number of students in these colleges was 16,388, of whom 1,584 students were in diploma courses, 10,833 in Grade “A” courses, and 3,007 students in Grade “B” courses. Teacher education programmes leading to a degree are offered at the faculty of education of the University of Dar es Salaam.

In order to alleviate the shortage of teachers, the government liberalized the training of teachers in the country  and six new teacher colleges have been registered in recent years. Four of these private colleges offer diploma courses, while two of them offer both diploma and Grade “A” courses.

Teacher students study educational psychology, curriculum and educational evaluation, as well as methods of teaching different subjects. Teaching practice also forms an essential component of teacher training at all levels. The certification of students at the Grade “A” and diploma levels is based on continuous assessment, block teaching, and the final national examination administered by the NECTA.

In principle, pre-primary and primary schools are staffed by trained teachers with certificates in teacher education (Grades C, B and A). Secondary schools and teacher colleges are staffed by teachers with either a diploma in education or a university degree. However, due to a shortage of teachers, there is quite a large number of untrained teachers––especially in private secondary schools.

Teachers at the pre-school level are required to teach twelve hours per week on average. Teachers at the primary, secondary and teacher education levels are required to teach approximately sixteen hours per week. In addition, they are required to supervise extra-curricular activities as may be prescribed by the head of school. They are normally required to stay at their places of work for eight hours per day, five days a week. In some cases educational activities such as lesson preparation, marking students  texts and/or examination scripts may compel a teacher to work outside the normal working hours.

Compared with other professions, teachers’ salaries can be considered satisfactory. However, teachers do not have fringe benefits that other workers enjoy, such as adequate housing allowance, lunch allowance, and transport allowance. Teachers in private schools are better off than those in public schools in terms of salaries and other benefits.

Teachers are evaluated by headteachers as well as school inspectors. The headteacher is supposed to assess teachers in their schools on a daily basis and at the end of each year he/she has to fill in an evaluation form which constitutes the basis for promotion. Inspectors are supposed to visit schools regularly; however, due to shortage of funds, inspection is confined to schools close to the inspectorate offices.

Eight colleges specialize in in-service training programmes for Grades “B” and “C” teachers. In addition, the Open University and the Institute of Adult Education provide facilities for self-improvement. The main existing programmes are the following:

·        Three-month residential courses in the teaching of mathematics, science, English, the 3Rs (reading, writing, arithmetic) and pre-school education. This programme is designed for primary school teachers, with an intake of about 2,400 teachers per year.

·        One-year certificate course in agriculture for about 240 trainees per year.

·        Correspondence courses for academic upgrading of Grades “B” or “C” teachers.

·        One-year courses on different subjects, including music, physical education, theatre, arts, fine arts and special education.

Headteachers, principals, inspectors and other staff are normally selected among serving teachers. They then attend a six-month course in management, administration and school inspection. However, due to financial constraints most of the headteachers have never been trained.

According to 1996 statistical figures, the total number of teachers in Zanzibar was about 5,000. About 28% of the teachers at the basic education level were untrained and about 36% of secondary school teachers were unqualified to teach at that level. About 52% of teachers are females, most of whom are concentrated in urban and semi-urban areas. There is disparity among districts concerning the distribution of teachers in general, and of qualified teachers in particular. In 2000, untrained teachers constituted about 21.4% of all basic education teachers.

There are two main teacher training institutions in Zanzibar namely: the Nkrumah Teacher Training College (TTC), which trains primary (Grade “A”) and secondary (Diploma in Education) school teachers; and the Muslim College, which specializes in training teachers at the primary and secondary levels for Arabic language and Islamic studies at the certificate and diploma levels, respectively. Some teachers are also trained at the Institute of Kiswahili and Foreign Languages––where, in addition to language diploma courses, students also take education––and at the University of Dar es Salaam. The Nkrumah TTC also offers a diploma course in educational management and administration designed for headteachers and other personnel in leadership positions. There is also the College of Education, a privately-run institute established in 1998, which provides undergraduate education in Arabic language and Islamic Studies, geography and history, physics and mathematics, chemistry and biology together with education. Finally, the School of Education established in the new State University of Zanzibar offers undergraduate courses in education. There are no training facilities for Early Childhood Education (ECE) or special education. However, in-service training for ECE teachers is provided at the Saateni Nursery School Teacher’s Centre (government owned) and the Zanzibar Madrasa Resource Centre of Aga Khan Foundation (privately owned).

The diploma in education course is a two-year training programme including teaching methodology, education psychology, and either two science or two arts subjects. The entry qualification is the GCE A-level. The Grade “A” certificate course is a two-year training programme and the entry qualification is the GCE O-level.

The Nkrumah TTC trains about 150 pre-service and 75 in-service primary school teachers per year and 70 secondary school teachers––mostly in-service. The Muslim College trains about 70 primary school teachers and 40 secondary school teachers per year. Compared to an estimated annual requirement of about 450 trained teachers, the output from the teacher training institutions is not sufficient. Consequently, a number of untrained teachers must be recruited each year so as to cope with the intake of about 15,000-20,000 pupils who are admitted into the school system each year.

Because of the large number of untrained and under-qualified teachers, various in-service training programmes are conducted. Newly recruited untrained teachers are usually given about a month of intensive training before starting work. Headteachers and other senior staff are also required to offer in-house training opportunities to these teachers. However, due to limited resources, some new teachers start work without any training and have to rely heavily on support from their headteachers and school inspectors. The establishment of the Teachers’ Centres in all the districts and the National Teachers’ Resource Centre is another initiative taken by the Ministry to provide systematic in-service training opportunities. Distance teacher training programmes for untrained teachers have also been developed.

Educational research and information

In Tanzania Mainland there is a unit within the Ministry of Education and Culture which co-ordinates educational research and serves as a research documentation centre. The Unit renders advisory services to those undertaking educational research, facilitates research clearances, and organizes and takes part in collaborative research endeavours with other institutions. This Unit also participates in research networking in Tanzania and in Eastern and Southern Africa. Research is normally the responsibility of tertiary and higher education and training institutions.

In Zanzibar educational research was formerly entrusted to the Department of Curriculum Development and Educational Research and is now under the Department of Planning. The current major areas of research include: factors affecting the quality of education and school enrolment; parents  involvement in education; the impact of the inspectorate in educational quality improvement; factors affecting literacy programmes. The main constraint in the research activities is the availability of qualified and competent professionals. Most of the research has been carried out by consultants recruited abroad.

References

Government of the United Republic of Tanzania. Education Sector Development Programme. Primary Education Development Plan (2002-2006). Basic Education Development Committee, Dae es Salaam, July 2001.

Ministry of Education and Culture, Tanzania Mainland. Education For All 2000 Assessment: country report of the United Republic of Tanzania. (Under the co-ordination of S. Mjagila). Dar es Salaam, November 1999.

Ministry of Education and Culture, Tanzania Mainland. Ministry of Education of Zanzibar. The development of education 1990-1992. National report of the United Republic of Tanzania. International Conference on Education, 43rd session, Geneva, 1992.

Ministry of Education and Culture, Tanzania Mainland. Ministry of Education of Zanzibar. The development of education 1993-1994. National report of the United Republic of Tanzania. International Conference on Education, 44th session, Geneva, 1994.

Ministry of Education and Culture, Tanzania Mainland. Ministry of Education of Zanzibar. The development of education 1995-1996. National report of the United Republic of Tanzania. International Conference on Education, 45th session, Geneva, 1996.

Ministry of Education and Culture, Tanzania Mainland. Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports of Zanzibar. The development of education. National report of the United Republic of Tanzania. International Conference on Education, 46th session, Geneva, 2001.

Ministry of Education and Culture, Tanzania Mainland. Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports of Zanzibar. National report on the development of education 2001-2004. International Conference on Education, 47th session, Geneva, 2004.

Ministry of Education of Zanzibar. Education For All 2000 Assessment: country report of the United Republic of Tanzania (Zanzibar). (Under the co-ordination of K.A. Mohammed). October 1999.

Web resources

Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology: http://www.msthe.go.tz/ [In English. Last checked: October 2006.]

Ministry of Education and Vocational Training: http://www.moe.go.tz/index.html [In English. Last checked: October 2006.]

National Examinations Council: http://www.necta.go.tz/ [In English. Last checked: October 2006.]

Tanzania Institute of Education: http://www.tie.go.tz/index.html [In English. Last checked: October 2006.]

Tanzania Education and Information Services Website: http://tanedu.org/ [In English. Last checked: October 2006.]

For updated links, consult the Web page of the International Bureau of Education of UNESCO: http://www.ibe.unesco.org/links.htm