Uwezo released their latest report last week, looking at learning outcomes across Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. They surveyed well over 300,000 children aged 6 to 16, across all but a handful of districts in these three countries, with each child taking a short test in maths, English and Swahili (other local language in Uganda).
The tests are designed in line with the Standard 2 syllabus – though the vast majority of children taking participating are in higher classes.
Here’s my favourite chart from the report, showing test pass rates for older children (10+) in each country and each subject.
1. The chart suggests the quality of primary education is higher in Kenya than in either Tanzania or Uganda. (Though none of the results are “good”: even the top score in the chart (74%) means a quarter of children over 10 in Kenya can’t read very basic Swahili).
2. Tanzania is doing really, really badly at teaching English. With Secondary Schools using English as the medium of instruction, this could go a long way towards explaining the appallingly bad Form 4 exam results.
Is it time to reconsider the use of English in Secondary Schools? Or to focus a big push on improving English teaching in Primary Schools? Or both?
My colleagues on Twaweza’s Sauti za Wananchi mobile phone-based surveys are scaling up their output this year, in a big way. After the fascinating briefs they launched in last month on water supplies and the new constitution, they have a new one out today, on health services.
This blogpost was originally published on the Ideas for Africa blog, run by the International Growth Centre (IGC) of the London School of Economics and Oxford University. It is co-written with Ruth Carlitz of UCLA.
A few weeks ago, the Tanzanian NGO Twaweza released a research brief detailing the ongoing challenge of access to clean water in the country. The brief showed that just over half of all Tanzanians (54%) obtain their drinking water from an ‘improved’ source; the figure for rural citizens is even lower at just 42%. These findings become even more striking when put in the context of recent investments. As shown in the figure below, Tanzania’s current level of access is similar to that of 20 years ago, despite a lot of money having been spent.
Figure 2 from “Money Flows, Water Trickles,” Sauti za Wananchi Brief No. 10.
Some charts from Twaweza’s latest Sauti za Wananchi brief this week, asking Tanzanians about their views of the second draft new constitution – the one that’s supposed to be under discussion by the Constituent Assembly in Dodoma at the moment.
This survey was conducted in parallel with a similar survey on Zanzibar, Wasemavyo Wazanzibari, run by the International Law and Policy institute (ILPI).
The survey did ask about the hot topic of the moment – the Union between Tanzania mainland / Tanganyika and Zanzibar – but I will focus instead on some of the other issues raised in the draft. Because we should not forget that these are also important. Continue reading →
Inequality in learning outcomes. Source: Jones et al
So what does it tell us? Well, the main conclusion as far as Tanzania is concerned is that less-poor children do a lot better in the Uwezo tests. In all four charts above, the percentage of children who passed the tests was much higher for non-poor children than for the poor.
This may not sound surprising. But what I think makes it particularly interesting is that in Kenya and Uganda, the difference in pass rates between poor and non-poor children were much smaller. In other words, the disadvantage of being from a poor family in Tanzania is worse than the disadvantage of being from a poor family in Uganda or Kenya.
Twaweza has a new policy brief out*, on a subject that’s close to my heart: water supply in Tanzania. Money flows, water trickles is the title, and it’s hard to argue with that. A lot of money has been spent, with worryingly very little to show for it.
Over the 10 year period of 1995-2005, Tanzania received USD $57 per beneficiary in aid flows earmarked for rural water supply, but coverage fell by 1%. Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda all received considerably less aid per beneficiary, but managed to improve their coverage significantly. Continue reading →
Justice Warioba: “Of the almost 38,000 citizens who gave their views on the Union, 19,000 expressed an opinion on the form of the Union. The breakdown of these statistics show that on the mainland, 13% supported One Government, 24% supported Two Governments and 61% supported Three Governments. In Zanzibar, 34% supported Two Governments and 60% supported a contract-based Union, and 0.1% (25 people) supported One Government.”
President Kikwete: “There are those who claim the Commission’s statistics don’t show the truth. They say that the information of the Commission shows that 351,664 Tanzanian gave their views to the Commission. Of them, 47,820 citizens (13.6%) were unhappy with the form of the Union and raised the issue. 303,844 citizens (86.4%) didn’t see the form of the Union as a problem, which is why they didn’t raise the issue at all. So people are asking how today 13.6% of all Tanzanians who gave their views has become the majority of Tanzanians!”
They’re talking about the same data. How many people gave their views to the Constitutional Review Commission? How many people discussed the Union question? How many supported which form of the Union?