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Are Our Children Learning? Annual Learning Assessment Report Tanzania 2010

Rakesh , R., (2010) Are Our Children Learning? Annual Learning Assessment Report Tanzania 2010. Other. Twaweza.

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Across Tanzania, huge progress has been made in basic education in the last decade. Enrolments are
up in both primary and secondary education, and millions of children are able to go to school.
Tanzania is ahead of schedule in meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) related to
education access and gender parity. Tens of thousands of classrooms have been built and tens of
thousands of teachers recruited. The budget for education has tripled over this period; the
Government now spends over a billion dollars annually or about 20% of its budget on education.
Parents too have scrambled to cover their share, for even free education is never quite free, with
costs of uniforms, books and pens, extra tuition, transport and whatnot.
These achievements are no easy feats; they have required significant political commitment. The key
question is: what have these massive efforts and investments yielded? To what extent have these
achievements translated into concrete improvements in children’s competencies? The point of
schooling is to enable children to develop the knowledge and wherewithal to thrive in the world –
starting with basic skills in literacy and numeracy that form the foundation of the ability to be
curious, think, listen, ask questions, analyze, synthesize, and communicate with confidence. Are our
schools succeeding in this responsibility? Are our children learning?
Uwezo seeks to answer this key question. This report presents the findings of its first assessment.
Uwezo, meaning capability in Swahili, is a four year initiative to monitor the quality of learning in
schools by assessing the basic literacy and numeracy skills of children aged 5-16. The initiative is
housed within TEN/MET (Tanzania Education Network, in Tanzania, and it is part
of an East Africa wide effort also involving Kenya and Uganda coordinated by Twaweza
( The assessment is based on a proven methodology developed by the ASER
Center in India, and it uses scientific methods to obtain a random sampling of households around
the country. Trained Uwezo volunteers visit the households to assess the mathematics and reading
(Kiswahili and English) skills of each child using a short, Standard 2 level assessment. The Standard 2
level is chosen because according to both Tanzanian and international Standards, by the end of the
second year of primary education children should have acquired basic skills in literacy and numeracy.
The first Uwezo Tanzania assessment was conducted in May 2010 after extensive preparation and
pre-testing. It involved 38 out of 133 districts. In each district 30 villages were randomly selected,
and in each village all children aged 5-16 in 20 households were assessed. In total, 42,033 children in
22,800 households were assessed. The six key findings are presented below.

Item Type: Report (Other)
Keywords: Learning, School performance, Education assessment, Tanzania,
Subjects: Health Systems > Community Health
Divisions: Twaweza
Depositing User: Dr. Youdi Schipper
Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2012 15:08
Last Modified: 05 Oct 2012 15:08

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