The Impact of reforms on the quality of primary education in Tanzania

Autor(es): Mbelle, Amon V.Y.

Organisation(s): Research on Poverty Alleviation (Tanzania UR)

Date: 2008

Pages: 44 p.

Serie: Research reports

Series Volume: 08.1


Investing in education is defended for economic and non-economic reasons. Primary education provision is considered as the minimum education needed to equip citizens with skills required in life. It is a human right. It is for this reason that countries invest in primary education. Tanzania started implementing a comprehensive programme, the Primary Education Development Programme (PEDP) in 2002, designed to improve both access and quality. Due to pressure resulting from high pupils/classroom ratio and high pupils/desk ratio, the government introduced a number of reforms to cope with the situation. One such measure was to introduce a double shift system in government primary schools. Dar es Salaam region was chosen as the pilot region, with the aim of extending to other regions. This study attempted to analyse the impact of these reforms on quality, with Dar es Salaam region as the case study. The method of analysis included regression analysis and correlation analysis on primary data, covering issues related to learner performance. A comparison of performance is made between government and non-government primary schools. The findings of the study show no strong evidence of the impact of multiple shifts per se, but rather inadequate attention given to key ratios that improve performance, like availability of enough textbooks and teachers, i.e. implementing different foundation programmes. In order to safeguard quality, it is recommended that a common foundation programme be defined and implemented, with respect to levels of inputs and cost. In light of the aspirations of Tanzania's National Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty, provision of universal secondary education is suggested.

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