Tag Archives: equity

Chart of the Week #4: Distribution of new teachers in Tanzania’s Primary Schools

HakiElimu published a statement last week on the allocation of new primary school teachers to different regions, including this chart:

Pupil teacher rations in Tanzanian primary schools, by region, 2013 and 2014. Source: HakiElimu

Pupil teacher ratios in Tanzanian primary schools, by region, 2013 and 2014. Source: HakiElimu

Their main point is that although the teacher-pupil ratio has dropped in most regions, there doesn’t seem to be any effort to send new teachers to the regions where they are needed most. Even in regions where the ratio is below the national target of 1:40, more new teachers are being added – see Pwani, Morogoro, Iringa, Kilimanjaro, Katavi, Arusha – while regions like Tabora, Mara, Geita, Mwanza and Kagera remain below the target.

“Someone is shortchanging our children. We must refuse to put up with it.”

Tanzania Daima described it as “a national disaster“. Illiteracy haunts public school pupils,” was the Daily News headline. The Citizen wrote of “literacy shame” and “primary education in a mess“.

They are talking about the latest set of Uwezo results, which came out this week for Tanzania, and a week earlier for Uganda. For those who are unfamiliar, Uwezo is a large annual survey of primary school-age children in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda, asking them to complete short tests in English, Swahili and numeracy, based on Standard 2 curriculum. The idea is to see whether children are actually learning in school, rather than simply whether they are attending school. The latest reports are for surveys carried out in 2012, and the results are not good. Continue reading

Are our children learning?

Let’s start with the good news. If you are a final year (St 7) Primary School student in Bukoba Urban, with parents who completed secondary education and who are not very poor, you went to pre-school and your family speaks Swahili at home, then you have a 95% chance of being able to completed Standard 2 level tests in Numeracy, Swahili and English.

And the bad news: If you are a St 7 student in Kibondo District, with parents who didn’t themselves attend school and are poor, the chance of you being able to complete the same tests is only 9%. Continue reading

Water supply in #Tanzania is political not technical, so where’s the politics? #uchaguzitz

The challenge of making clean and safe water accessible in rural Tanzania is political rather than technical or administrative. As this blog has discussed a couple of times in the past (see here and here), deciding where new water supply infrastructure should be built as well as keeping that infrastructure functioning are political challenges. We’ll take this argument further in this post, in the context of Tanzania’s current general election campaign, but let’s begin with a brief recap of why water supply is a political issue.

First, someone has to make a decision over which villages get priority for new projects. That’s a political decision, as evidenced by the fact that in practice it is generally villages that have some kind of political influence over decision makers that get priority. Many of these villages already have relatively good access to clean and safe water, but that fact doesn’t carry much weight when decisions are made. (See TAWASANET’s Water Sector Equity Reports for 2008 and 2009 for more detailed analysis). Continue reading

Water Supply Challenges in #Tanzania are Political not Technical

This week is Maji Week, an annual opportunity to focus wider attention on the water sector. It includes an exhibition of related organisations, this year in Kibaha, and the media typically use the opportunity to persuade many of these organisations to pay for articles and advertisements in special supplements.

But just a quick look at the exhibition stands reveal that the sector is still failing to recognise that delivering safe and clean water to people is a political issue at least as much as it is technical. On display are a range of drilling, pumping and purifying technologies, while hardly anybody is talking about the role of governance, politics and management. Continue reading

Water and sanitation in Tanzania’s Poverty and Human Development Reports

I prepared the chapters on water and sanitation for the 2007 and 2009 Poverty and Human Development Reports for Tanzania.

The 2007 report did not really cover any new ground, but the 2009 report included an analysis of household wealth, access to clean and safe water, and the percentage of household income that is spent on water supply: Continue reading

Out of sight and out of mind? Are marginalised communities overlooked in decision making

Out of sight and out of mind? was Tanzania’s second annual water sector equity report, published in September 2009. I wrote most of the report, with the exception of the section on water resource management.

This time, the most interesting analysis was qualitative, looking to explain why district’s were targeting most of their water sector funding at relatively well-served communities. (This had been a major finding of the previous year’s report.) In particular, we looked at two wards in Nzega district, Mwakashanhala and Itobo, asking why Itobo, which already had reasonably good access to clean and safe water, continued to benefit from new funding, while Mwakashanhala, which had no improved waterpoints, didn’t get any funding.  Continue reading