Tanzania is a country in East Africa with over 60 million people. Like many countries in the region, it faces significant challenges in providing quality education to all.
Education in Tanzania is an important issue that has received increased attention over the past few years. However, while the country has made significant progress in expanding access to education in recent decades, there are still significant challenges to ensuring that all children have access to quality education.
One of the critical challenges facing Tanzania’s education system is the shortage of qualified teachers, particularly in rural areas. The lack of teachers has led to a situation where many children are taught by untrained or underqualified teachers, which can significantly impact the quality of education they receive. The government has been working to address this issue by increasing the number of trained teachers and providing incentives for teachers to work in rural areas.
Another challenge facing the education system in Tanzania is the lack of resources, particularly in rural areas. Many schools do not have adequate facilities, such as classrooms, textbooks, and other learning materials, making it difficult for children to learn effectively. The government has been working to address this issue by investing in infrastructure and providing resources to schools in rural areas.
Despite these challenges, Tanzania has made significant progress in expanding access to education in recent years. The country has achieved near-universal primary school enrollment, and the number of children enrolled in secondary school has also increased significantly. The government has also been working to improve the quality of education by introducing new curricula and assessments designed to better prepare students for the workforce.
Several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are also working to improve education in Tanzania. These organizations are focused on a range of issues, from improving access to education to providing resources and training to teachers. In addition, some NGOs are also working to address broader issues, such as poverty and gender inequality, which can significantly impact children’s ability to access and benefit from education.
In conclusion, education in Tanzania is a complex issue that requires a multifaceted approach. While the country has made significant progress in expanding access to education, there are still significant challenges to ensuring that all children have access to quality education. Therefore, the government, NGOs, and other stakeholders must continue to work together to address these challenges and ensure that all children have the opportunity to reach their full potential.
Coulson, A. (2013). Tanzania: A Political Economy (Second edition, Vol.). Oxford University Press.
Ito, K., Madeni, F. E., & Shimpuku, Y. (2022). Secondary school students and peer educators’ perceptions of adolescent education in rural Tanzania: A qualitative study. Reproductive Health, 19(1), 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12978-022-01418-6
Lugalla, L. P., & Ngwaru, M. (2019). Education in Tanzania in the Era of Globalization: Challenges and Opportunities. Mkuki Na Nyota Publishers.
By: Macy Janine Pamaranglas – Art in Tanzania Intern
The African Charter on Human and People’s Rights came into force on the 21st of October, 1986. It established a solid foundation and standards to promote and protect Africans’ human rights.
According to Article 2 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, “Every individual shall be entitled to the enjoyment of the rights and freedoms recognized and guaranteed in the present Charter without distinction of any kind such as race, ethnic group, color, sex, language, religion, political or any other opinion, national and social origin, fortune, birth or any status.”
Despite the efforts to improve the lives of the African people, the continent still suffers from increasing human rights violations. These human rights abuses include violating socio-economic and cultural rights, illicit killings, discrimination and harassment, suppression of dissent, environmental deterioration etc. Unfortunately, with the COVID-19 pandemic, Africa’s human rights situation worsened; thus, many people were obliged to halt their education and even forcibly lose their homes.
Here are some of the numerous human rights violations which have been occurring across the region:
Restriction of Expression:
Tiseke Kasambala, Chief of Party of Advancing Rights in Southern Africa Program at Freedom House, says that some African countries have been introducing cybercrime and cybersecurity laws; these aim “to prevent the type of organizing and mobilization of social movements, and civil society organizations on the ground”. Kasambala adds that it is not merely shutting down the internet, but it also involves preventing people from discussing and criticizing the State in the online space. Such shutdowns can be observed in southern African nations such as Lesotho. These cybercrime and cybersecurity laws were also under discussion in Malawi and Zimbabwe.
In addition, internet disruptions occurred in countries like Eswatini, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, and Zambia. As a matter of fact, on June 2021, the Nigerian government suspended Twitter after the latter “deleted a controversial tweet from President Buhari for violating its community rule”. On September 2021, the Tanzanian Ministry of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports suspended the operations of a privately owned media outlet called Raia Mwema, for a month. The Tanzanian government justified such action since Raia Mwema was constantly “publishing false information and deliberate incitement”.
Gender-Based Violence and Discrimination
Females still struggle to fulfil their rights as Africa remains subordinate to women and girls. Hence, issues such as child marriage, restricted access to sexual and reproductive health services, and discrimination against pregnant students are prominent in the region.
In South Africa, there was a significant increase in crime rates related to sexual offences, and there were at least “117 cases of femicide in the first half of the year”. For instance, a 23-year old female law student named Nosicelo Mtebeni, was killed, mutilated, and placed in a suitcase and in plastic bags by her partner. In Chad, a 15-year old girl was gang raped, and the cruel act was recorded and posted on social media.
Furthermore, child marriage remains rampant in Africa. For example, a 4-year-old Namibian child was forced to marry a 25-year-old man when she was 2 years old. In Tanzania, pregnant girls were banned from attending school, and these girls were forced by the government to participate in a “parallel accelerated education program”, which is known to be an “alternative education pathway”. The problem with the latter is its inaccessibility in terms of distance and cost. Fortunately, the Tanzanian Ministry of Education officially declared on November 24, 2021, that adolescent mothers are now allowed to attend public schools.
Abductions, Torture, and Evictions
The lives of human rights activists are prone to abduction, torture, and eviction in Africa. In the case of Zimbabwe, the government fails to hold security forces accountable for their serious human rights abuses, particularly during the “August 2018 post-election violence” and the “killings and molestations during the January 2019 protests”. In Rwanda, a YouTuber named, Yvonne Idamange, was sentenced a 15-year imprisonment as he condemned the State’s policies.
Jon Temin, Director of the Africa Program at Freedom House, mentions their organization’s research on NGO legislation in Africa. Their studies have shown that over the last 15 years, 12 Sub-Saharan African nations “have adopted various versions of repressive NGO legislation”, and such legislation aims to limit NGOs’ ability to register and receive funding. For instance, in Togo, granting and renewing NGO licenses are suspended.
Violation of Refugee Rights
Refugees carry a great burden since not only are they forced to flee their lands, but they are also victims of threats, harassment, and arrests. Tanzania is one of the most important hosting countries for refugees. As of January 1, 2022, it has 246, 780 refugees who are originally from Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. According to Human Rights Watch, Burundian refugees were being maltreated by Tanzanian security forces. Moreover, the latter forcibly returned Mozambican refugees to their conflict-ridden northern part of the country. Therefore, the UNHCR raised this concern by stating that Tanzania violated “the principle of non-refoulement under international standards and regional refugee law.”
In South Africa, refugees were being discriminated particularly in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Refugees were not provided with COVID-19 aid programs such as food packages during lockdowns.
Despite Africa’s commitment to promote and protect human rights, there still remain flaws in the government’s response. States should respect media freedom and freedom of expression, for they are human rights. Governments should allow human rights activists to speak for their fellow citizens since criticism is the start of positive change.
African governments must prioritize the well-being of women and children. Females should have equal rights to men regarding education, health, jobs etc. Additionally, victims of malicious gender-based crimes should be protected and given remedies to recover. Whereas perpetrators of the crime should be held responsible for their abusive actions.
Lastly, refugees should not be mistreated; instead, they have the right to be protected and taken care of, considering the unfortunate evacuations they need to execute.
In short, according to Article 4 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, “Human beings are inviolable. Every human being shall be entitled to respect for his life and the integrity of his person. No one may be arbitrarily deprived of this right.”
Weeks have gone by, my national exams were nigh, since Mr. Martin Saning’o had passed away from COVID-19. I had a dream. In the dream, Mr. Martin said to me, in Swahili, with rough translation to english as, “Dare to dream big, never give up and always have a spirit big enough to achieve your dreams. Never give up my son and remember I love you!”. I woke up emotional that day but I also had a thought. He has done great works that most don’t know of. I wouldn’t want his works to go unnoticed – I would want people to know of the works that he did and the benefits he has brought to the Maasai community in Terrat, Simanjiro. This is his story.
Martin was born in the early 1960’s in the Simanjiro district of northern Tanzania. This is in the Maasai heartland – the high arid plains south of Arusha. In common with many Maasai of his generation, Martin and his family cannot be sure exactly when he was born. But Martin believed it to be born in 1960 or 1961.
Martin was one among the minute number of Maasai children to have received education at the time. He used his education well. He wanted to give back to society that brought him up, so in the early 1990’s he founded IOPA – Institute for Orkonerei Pastoralists Advancement. Although IOPA’s first priority was to deal with land rights, it also eyed health problems and water supply problems that the Maasai in Terrat faced.
Martin became an activist, and made critical moves to ensure that the Maasai aren’t displaced from their traditional lands – The government had been displacing the Maasai at the time from areas they claimed to be ‘National Park areas’. His moves were seen to be ‘too critical’ to some in high places, and as a result the government initially refused to register IOPA.
As impossible as it may seem, Martin sued the government for displacing the Maasai from their traditional lands. At the time, more than 6000 Maasai had already been displaced by the government form National Parks. IOPA, led by Mr. Martin, filed a number of cases against the government which later on resulted in a landmark ruling by the High Court in IOPA’s favour.
Martin recognized that education was the key to enlighten the Maasai on a number of things: land rights, their own health, their livestock, the ongoing changes in the outside world, and a number of other things. He figured that a community radio would effectively serve this purpose. He took measures to establish a community radio, the first ever in Tanzania. He worked his fingers to the bone – a lot of sleepless nights – and finally the ORS FM first broadcasted news in 2002. The radio was in fact the first ever community radio in Tanzania – or in a larger perspective East Africa. It broadcast news in Kimaasai (the Maasai native language) and also played Maasai music.
After the idea of the community radio, Martin also realised that there was a need for electricity – not only for the radio station but also for the receivers of the information they portrayed. He worked on a number of projects, in association with different international organisations, to bring electricity to the Maasai people.
Martin also worked to help women facing different challenges, most especially those in the maasai areas – they were more prone to treacherous practices – such beatings from husbands, mutilation and harassment. IOPA created a safe haven where beaten women would go to and tell their stories. It also tried to prevent female genital mutilation, FGM, child marriage, and women oppression. IOPA dedicated some of its resources to educate women and raise the status of women in the Maasai society. IOPA also sought to help women economically. IOPA established dairies in Simanjiro with a long-sighted view of enabling women to sell milk and get money, they used to acquire their needs and the needs of their families. In the maasai culture, the only resource that belongs to women is milk.
Martin had broad and liberal outlook in his work, which touched each and almost every age group and social class by the time. For children, IOPA helped establish more than 50 pre-primary and primary schools across the region.
Martin’s work didn’t go unnoticed – he was elected an Ashoka fellow in 2003 and got the attention of a Dutch philanthropist, Dini de Rijcke, and began to work with her through her foundation, Strichting Het Groene Woudt (SHGW). Through working with Ashoka and SHGW, IOPA achieved many of its objectives. The Dutch foundation provided IOPA with 5 dairy plants and generators to power them across the region, and each dairy could process up to 2000 litres of milk into yoghurt, cheese, ghee and butter per day. These products were sold throughout the country. In cooperation with these organizations, IOPA was also able to work on a number of water supply projects, that bore fruits as the people in the dry Maasai lands got water with much more ease than before.
The women’s refuge centre was expanded to also be guest houses that could accommodate visitors to the area. IOPA also added additional generators to build one of the first mini-grids in the country to supply more than 1000 people in Terrat village with electricity, since the government had considered it too expensive to connect Terrat to the national electricity grid.
The IOPA centre in Terrat with guest house, community hall and dairy
Martin was bestowed various awards for his great work such as Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2014 by the Schwab Foundation and World Economic Forum Africa, the Ford Global Community Leadership Award, and Dubai Global Innovator Award.
Martin suggested that IOPA had to try and create viable micro businesses, so that even after funders ended their collaborations, IOPA would still be able to run its activities and thrive. As of today, IOPA’s remaining running projects include ORS FM radio, a few dairy plants, the conference centre, the water business, the guest house, and education and health support project in Terrat.
In 2019, IOPA was changed to Orkonerei Maasai Social Initiatives (OMASI) – an NGO – because of government laws and regulations, and by the end of 2020 Mr. Martin had achieved most of his goals and dreams.
On March 1st, 2021, Martin passed away. I can say that he hasn’t truly died because his works still live on – he lives through his works. He has left a legacy and very big shoes to fill. This story of Martin is supposed to be a motivation to anyone with big dreams, anyone who is fighting against all odds to achieve their dreams. I hope I have done his story justice.
If you will it, it is no dream; and if you do not will it, a dream it is and a dream it will stay
Circumcision is defined as the surgical removal of the foreskin. The foreskin retractable fold of skin that covers the end of the penis. It is the continuation of the skin that covers the whole penis. Male circumcision has been shown to considerably reduce the risk of sexually acquired HIV infection. Male circumcision is defined as the complete removal of the entire foreskin (the skin that can be rolled forward or back over the head of the penis) and it may be carried out for a number of reasons. Medical reasons:in men, circumcision is most commonly carried out when the foreskin is tight and won’t pull back (retract). Non-medical reasons:circumcision is a common practice in the Jewish and Islamic communities, and it’s also practiced by many African communities. Most non-medical circumcisions are carried out on children.
Medical reasons for men to have a circumcision
In men, circumcision is sometimes considered a possible treatment option for the following conditions.
Tight foreskin (phimosis): phimosis is where the foreskin is too tight to be pulled back over the head of the penis (glans). This can sometimes cause pain when the penis is erect and, in rare cases, passing urine may be difficult;
Recurrent balanitis: balanitis is where the foreskin and head of the penis become inflamed and infected;
Paraphimosis:paraphimosis is where the foreskin can’t be returned to its original position after being pulled back, causing the head of the penis to become swollen and painful. Immediate treatment is needed to avoid serious complications, such as restricted blood flow to the penis;
Balanitis xerotica obliterans:this condition causes phimosis and, in some cases, also affects the head of the penis, which can become scarred and inflamed;
Cancer of the penis: is a very rare type of cancer, where a red patch, wart-like growth or ulcer appears on the end of the penis or under the fore.
Male Circumcision Acceptability
In Tanzania Several observational studies have shown that the traditional patterns of circumcision in Tanzania are changing a substantial number of men belonging to traditionally noncircumcising tribes have been circumcised. For instance, the prevalence of male circumcision increased from 19% to 30% in 2004 in the traditionally non-circumcising populations in Mwanza Region. The prevalence of male circumcision was 21% in selected communities of Mwanza Region in 1994 and 54% in the 2003/04. The changes in the pattern of circumcision may be due to health reasons, social mixing between circumcising and non-circumcising cultures, desire for sexual pleasure. With regard to health reasons, circumcised men are believed to be less susceptible to STDs because the foreskin secretes dirty fluid which is a favourable medium for the growth of disease-causing agents and may be a source of bad smell and also circumcised men heal genital ulcers much faster compared to uncircumcised men. The urbanisation in Tanzania and the establishment of district capitals with government officials from all over the country has led to increased mixing of circumcising and noncircumcising ethnic groups. The mix of ethnic groups is most obvious in secondary schools, and has led to increased acceptance of male circumcision.
Rate of circumcised men in Tanzania
An estimated 70 percent of Tanzanian men are circumcised, according to government surveys, but prevalence varies from region to region. In some districts up to 80 percent of men especially in the western parts of the country are not circumcised. For this case there has to be more effort in providing more education to people so as to increase the rate of circumcised men and reduce the rate of transmission disease such as HIV, STD’S and other infections.
There is some evidence that circumcision has health benefits, including:
Less risk of urinary tract infections;
A reduced risk of some sexually transmitted diseases in men;
Protection against penile cancer and a lower risk of cervical cancer in female sex partners;
Prevention of balanitis (inflammation of the glans) and balanoposthitis (inflammation of the glans and foreskin);
Prevention of phimosis (the inability to retract the foreskin) and paraphimosis (the inability to return the foreskin to its original location;
Circumcision also makes it easier to keep the end of the penis clean.
Like any other surgical procedure, there are risks in getting circumcision. But this risk is low. Problems linked to circumcision include:
Risk of bleeding and infection at the site of the circumcision;
Irritation of the glans;
Higher chance of meatitis (inflammation of the opening of the penis);
Breastfeeding; means one of the most ways to ensure child health and survival. However, nearly 2 out of 3 infants are not exclusively breastfed for the recommended 6months, a rate that has not improved in 2 decades…World Health Organization
Breast milk is the ideal food for infants. It’s safe clean and contains antibody which help protect against many common childhood illness. Breast milk provides all need for the first months of life and it continues to provide up to half or more of a child nutritional needs during the second half of the first year and up to one third during the year of life
Many experts, including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, strongly recommend breastfeeding exclusively (no formula, juice or water) for 6months. After the introduction of other foods, it recommends continue to breastfeed through the baby first year of life.
How often you should breastfeed your baby depends on whether your baby prefers small, frequent meals or longer feeding. This will change as your baby grows. Newborns often want to feed every 2-3 hours. By 2months, feeding every 3-4hours is common and by 6months most babies feed every 4-5hours.
Signs that will indicate your baby is Hungry
Licking their lips or sticking out their tongue
Rooting, which is moving their jaw, mouth, or head to look for your breast
Putting their hand into their mouth
Opening their mouth, sucking on things
Benefits of Breastfeeding for the Baby
Breast milk provide ideal nutrition for infants, perfectly mix of vitamin, protein and fat everything your baby need to grow
Breast milk contains antibodies that help your baby fight off viruses and bacteria.
Breast milk lower baby risk of having asthma or allergies, eaar infections, respiratory illness, bouts of diarrhea
Breastfeeding has been linked to higher IQ scores in later childhood in some studies
Breastfeeding create a good bond between mother and her baby
Breastfed infants are more likely to gain the right amount of weight as they grow rather than become of overweight as they grow
Breastfeeding benefits to the Mother
Breastfeeding burns extra calories, so it can help you lose pregnancy weight faster, it release hormone oxytocin which help mother uterus return to its pre pregnancy size and many reduce uterine bleeding after birth.
Breastfeeding lower risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Also the osteoporosis
Breastfeeding save time and money, also provide a woman regular time to relax quietly with a newborn as she bond
ABCs of Breastfeeding
Awareness: Watch for the baby sign of hunger and breastfeed whenever your baby is hungry this is called on demand feeding. The first few weeks you may breastfeed your baby 8 to 12 times every 24 hours.
Be Patient: Breastfeed as long as your baby wants to breastfed each time. Don’t hurry your baby through feeding
Comfort: Relax while breastfeeding and your milk is more likely to let down and flow. Get yourself comfortable with pillows as needed to support your arms and footrest to support your feet and leg before you begin to breastfeed
In Tanzania, there are 566 maternal deaths for every 100,000 live births, which represents the sixth highest maternal mortality ratio in the world, according to the Tanzania Demographic and Health Survey (Gailey and McMillan, 2019). The Kigoma Region, which is located in western Tanzania, has the poorest maternal health outcomes in the country (Gailey and McMillan, 2019).
In Tanzania, public health policy and program implementation is overseen by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW) (Franz, 2015). The point of entry for mothers and children into the public health system is the community-level dispensary, where patients can access exams, medical supplies, medicines, immunization services and seek advice from a nurse or clinical officer (Franz, 2015). Some dispensaries are also prepared for labor and delivery services, and many also offer HIV treatment options and services for prevention of mother-to-children transmission of HIV (Franz, 2015). However, for more comprehensive healthcare services or physician consultations, mothers must visit a health center, which typically offers a wider range of services than the dispensary and may serve several communities (Franz, 2015).
Most maternal deaths are caused by factors that can be attributed to pregnancy, childbirth, and low quality of health services (Shija et. al, 2011). More than 80% of maternal deaths can be prevented if women have access to essential maternity care and skilled attendance at childbirth as well as emergency obstetric care (Shija et. al, 2011).
Maternal Health Indicators:
Antenatal Care Coverage
Antenatal care can help women adequately prepare for delivery and understand warning signs during pregnancy and childbirth (Unicef, 2020). Essential interventions in antenatal care include identification and management of obstetric complications such as pre-eclampsia, tetanus toxoid, immunization, intermittent preventive treatment for malaria during pregnancy, and identification and management of infections such as HIV, syphilis, and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) (Lincetto et. al, n.d.). Antenatal care is also an opportunity to promote the usage of skilled attendants at birth and healthy behaviors such as breastfeeding, early postnatal care, and planning for pregnancy spacing (Lincetto et. al, n.d.). There have been large increases in the proportion of Tanzanian women who made one to three antenatal care visits from 26.4% in 1999 to 47.0% in 2016 (Rwabilimbo et. al, 2020). In rural areas, 45% of women made at least 4 antenatal care visits compared to 64% in urban areas (Unicef, n.d.).
Skilled Birth Deliveries
Skilled birth attendance is a key factor in indicating maternal health, however, less than 50% of women in sub-Saharan African countries lack the opportunity to be attended by skilled personnel during childbirth (Ngowi, 2017). Major causes of maternal mortality are preventable if a skilled attendant is present during childbirth, and according to the Tanzania Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW), only 63% of women delivered at the health facilities and assisted by health care providers and 37% delivered at home, which is below the national target for health facility delivery to be attended by skilled personnel to go up to 80% by 2015 (Ngowi, 2017). There are also disparities between rural communities and urban communities when it comes to skilled birth deliveries—coverage of skilled attendance at birth is 55% in rural communities compared to 87% in urban areas (Unicef, n.d.). One method for reducing maternal morbidity and mortality in Tanzania includes ensuring that all women have access to skilled personnel during childbirth.
Postnatal Care Coverage
Access to care during the postnatal period, which is the six weeks following delivery, is another indicator of maternal health. The postnatal period is a critical phase in the lives of mothers and newborn babies as most maternal and infant deaths occur during this time (WHO, 2020). High quality postnatal care is essential for maternal health, as it provides an opportunity for healthcare providers to facilitate healthy breastfeeding practices, screen for postpartum depression, treat childbirth-related complications, counsel women about family planning options, among other services (Maternal Health Task Force, 2018). However, this is one of the most neglected periods for the provision of quality care (WHO, 2020). In the 2004-2005 Tanzania Demographic and Health Survey (TDHS), it was reported that only 13% women have the recommended one or more postpartum care visit within two days of delivery, with some regions having rates as low as 2% (Mrisho, 2009). Increasing knowledge of and access to postnatal care is essential to improving maternal health in Tanzania.
Modern Family Planning Use
Family planning is critical for preventing unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortions, both of which contribute to lowering maternal and child mortality rates (DSW, 2017). Family planning also helps in poverty reduction and empowers women and men to choose freely and responsibly the number and spacing of children (DSW, 2017). It is estimated that in Tanzania, the unmet needs for family planning are at 22% among married women aged 15-19 years old (DSW, 2017). In other words, one in five married women have an unmet need for family planning (DSW, 2017). Tanzania has worked to establish policies and reforms in maternal health, however, funding and budget allocation for family planning remains low and there are still many misconceptions about family planning (DWS, 2017).
Improvements in Maternal Healthcare in Tanzania
The government of Tanzania has articulated ambitious plans to reduce maternal mortality rates by launching the Sharpened One Plan and Big Results Now programs, which outlined a three-pronged approach for ending preventable deaths of women, newborns, and children by providing voluntary family planning services (Franz, 2015). These plans focus on serving regions that face the most challenges and aim to focus the attention of national, regional, and district-level authorities on improving maternal, neonatal, and child health outcomes (Franz, 2015). However, despite ambitious health goals, in 2015, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare estimated a funding gap of $169.5 million for reproductive, maternal, neonatal, and child health services alone (Franz, 2015). Despite improvements, there is still much to be done in improving maternal healthcare infrastructure in Tanzania.
Shija, Angela E et al. “Maternal health in fifty years of Tanzania independence: Challenges and opportunities of reducing maternal mortality.” Tanzania journal of health research vol.13,5 Suppl 1 (2011): 352-64. doi:10.4314/thrb.v13i5.5
Pre-school education involves education and care Early childhood period is the crucial and sensitive time for children development holistically including social, physical, emotional and cognitive development. The child need positive with the environment as they are very active to learn everything they interact with by imitation and experience. Child’s learning and development occurs in multiple contexts from home to school context that should be well prepared, stimulating and supportive for learning and development holistically (Sestini, 1985). Play is the best method of learning for children in this age group. All activities must be arranged on the basis of play and all activities should be planed and organized based on the interest of the child where the process of learning should start from what the child know that is bottom-up approach.
Preschool education considers the needs of children and individual differences, should support the psychomotor, social-emotional, linguistic and cognitive development of the child, build in self-care skills and prepare the child for school continuity as it should impart in children self-respect, self-confidence and self-control.
To respond to the needs of children, preschool education institutions should provide education environments in compliance with an understanding of democratic education.
The process of education should start from what children already know and provide a room for learning by trying and experimenting. Education given in preschool phase should be contributory to the development of children in terms of affection, respect, cooperation, responsibility, tolerance, solidarity and sharing.
Tanzania is the country found in East Africa in Sub-saharan Africa with 59.7 Million number of population where 77% of population lives in rural area and only 23% lives in urban with the area of about 945,087 km2. According to UNESCO (2015), Tanzania has an adult literacy rate of 77.8% where the male literacy rate is 83.2% and for females is 73.09%.
According to Education for All (EFA) of 1990 as an international initiative for making education to benefits every citizen in every society the first goal out of six is to “Expand and improve comprehensive early childhood care and education, especially for most vulnerable and disadvantaged children”. Tanzania adopted Pre-primary Education Policy in 1995 as the part of Education and Training Policy where all primary schools where established pre-primary education program as the part of formal education program for two years that included children with age from five to six are enrolled before join to primary school but not mandatory to that age where it depends the parents. According to Mtahabwa and Rao (2009), currently young children in Tanzania attend programmes in child care centre nursery schools, Montessori or other preschools and pre-primary classes which are affiliated to primary schools. Children attend different programs that are nursery, Day care, Kindergarten, Montessori and pre-primary school. Pre-school educational program is considered as the preparation for primary education and it is the period of transition from home to school environment where parents and teachers a have to prepare the transition environments for child school readiness.
Total Enrolment in Pre-Primary Education has increased by 46.1% from 1,069,823 in 2015 to 1,562,770 in 2016. The increase is a result of community sensitization as well as a prevailing strong partnership of the government and parents, faith-based organizations (FBOs) and community-based organizations (CBOs) in providing Pre-Primary Education. (URT 2016) Pre-primary, Primary and Secondary Education Statistics in brief. In 2019 Prep-primary school enrolment was reported at 41.59%, according to the World Bank collection of development indicators and this indicated the drop of number of enrolment from 46.1% in 2016 to 41.59% in 2019. Different private sectors provide education and care for children below five years as the part of preschool program.
Problems facing the accessibility of preschool education in Tanzania
The success of the Early Childhood program has been the effort of both public and private sectors linking together although not all Tanzanians have been able to access it.
Low social-economic status of parents. This is the challenge poor families faces in access to education, the charging fees in private schools is not affordable to many parents in that case they fail to send their children to preschool centers where they opt to remain them at home helping different domestic works as the number of household are involving in agricultural activities and they become street children.
Education quality and resources constraints in public schools. (UNICEF Tanzania, 2018). Compared to private schools in Tanzania the government has not invested much to make sure there is quality early childhood education where mostly children who attend to public preschools they do not achieve satisfactorily basic learning skills for school continuity. The challenge of resources for teaching and learning to public preschools like stimulating learning materials and supportive environment but also we found that preschool and primary schools they share the same classes learning by shifts.
Low parents’ awareness towards early childhood education. In Tanzania there is existing of large number of parents who are not aware of the need and the importance of early childhood education to their children specifically in villages and remote areas. The value of education still low in Tanzania villages where other they don’t send them to school totally neither preschool nor primary school and they believe in workforce (Pambas, 2010).. So children from this group of parents get affected and if they get enrolled at primary school they have limited fundamental learning skills.
Public preschools are located far away from home environment. In some regions children have to walk for a miles to school no passenger vehicles and if they are available some parents may fail to afford daily fare with other expenses. Parents fear the security of their children hence they do not enroll them to preschools.
Inadequate of preschool teachers has become a challenge to public primary and secondary schools but also preschools. Primary school teachers they take the role of teaching due to lack of professional preschool teachers at the same time they teach primary schools as a result they had a heavy workload that reduce efficiency of work and sometimes volunteers nonprofessional teacher they teacher those preschool children in private centers. They don’t have professional knowledge and skill about teaching and learning to those preschool children and leads to poor quality education and those are qualified they don’t get in-service training as the apart of professional development (Kitta, 2004).
Traditional norms, cultural values and gender discrimination. Gender inequalities due to discriminatory norm has the negative effect to children access to education from early childhood education and above as the families cannot afford to fully educate all children girls they are not given much importance and treated inferior to boys children especially in rural areas within Tanzania (Mligo 2018). In some societies with norms around marriageability norms related to gender division of labour all these affect girls’ education. Children with disabilities also the face challenges in access to education due to negative perception on their ability to learn.
Involving Parents and community as active participants in early childhood education and care intervention program. The involvement of these two actors to children educational experience as the parents they participate to children’s education by actively supporting, encouraging, and providing supportive home learning environment, when parents are involved in they become an expert to their child and reinforce the development of preschool program The child and his/her family should actively take part in the process of education as it is urged that when parents are involved in child education the possibility of that child to school achievements is higher
Provision of fund from government to preschools. Due to preschool settings being not conducive and supportive for children the government should provide funds from different sources can be internal or external sources thereafter preschool education should have its own budget for better investment and improvement in the provision and aces of quality education and for all. Enough preschool classes with supportive infrastructures for both children including disadvantaged children
The government has to increase the number of preschool center. In some area of Tanzania the number of children is over the school facilities as the results the indoor activities are all done outside. But also the limited number of preschools results to long distance from home to school and few are able to attend hence dropouts and truancy increase
Tanzania as the among of developing countries investing in early childhood education is the crucial step towards development that will ensure public provision of high quality early childhood education by establishing clear policy, and work to ensure the increase in enrolment, registration and curriculum development as well as producing large number of quality early childhood teachers. The government should work more on sensitizing community and parents the value of preschool education and set the suitable environment to raise their social-economic status.
Kitta S. (2004). Enhancing mathematics teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge and skillsinTanzania. Enschede: University of Twente.
Mligo I. (2018). Enhancing Young Childrens Acces to Early Childhood Education and Care in Tanzania. Contemprary perspective on Child Psychology and Education,
Pambas, T. (2010). Stakeholders’ conception of young children’s readiness for primaryschooling in Tanzania.Unpublished M.A Thesis, University of Dodoma.
Sestini, E. (1985). Preschool Education: Recent Developments in Preschool Policies and Provision in Developing Countries and in the UK. In Lillis, K. M. (Ed.). School, and Community in Less Developed Countries. Biddles Limited, Guiford King’s Lynn, Greatain
Interview with Joel from Glory of Africa Orphanage
Glory of Africa is an orphanage located in Mivumoni where Art in Tanzania teaches, gives seminars and organizes activities for the kids. Joel and his wife Felista have been running the organization since 2012 and strive to give each kid a promising future by providing them with food, shelter and education. What surprised me is that no kids get adopted, ever. In this interview I asked Joel why this is the case and what happens when the kids grow older.
“How many kids have been adopted from this orphanage?”
“Why do you think children don’t get adopted by foreigners that are often in Tanzania?”
The governmental procedures are very strict. It takes such a long time that inevitably most of the potential parents looking to adopt just give up. Also the orphanages don’t like kids to be adopted. This is because they are scared to give the kids to strangers. It’s always a guess, you never really know what the intentions for the adoption are.
Since most of the kids still have family here, they (kids and family) prefer to stay here. The family sends their kids to the orphanage because they know they will get an education here and stay out of trouble. In the future they expect the kid to come back to the family and provide them with a better future.
The kids who do get adopted are expected to come back to Tanzania after their education to take care of the family. This is an unwritten rule and the decision fundamentally lays fully with the kid, of course. However, the family does expect that. For example some adoption contracts ask the kid to keep in contact with their biological family. This is also because the kid should not forget the country and culture in which he/she was born. This doesn’t happen often though.
“Do Tanzanian families ever adopt Tanzanian children or does this also not happen?”
No. Tanzanian families have enough difficulties in taking care of their own families. So they barely ever adopt a child. The financial situation of most Tanzanian citizens is not strong enough to adopt a child out of their family.
“Are you afraid that people come here do adopt with bad intentions?”
Yes, that always crosses my mind. Sometimes kids get adopted to do chores in the house, to work on the farm, … This is not a good future for them. That’s why I prefer to keep them here until they are grown up and can make decisions on their own. When they turn 18 they can be adopted if they still want to be adopted. Before that age, anything attracts them and they make decisions without thinking. When they regret the decision, they might run away from the adoption family, live on the streets and get in contact with bad people and learn to behave badly.
“How many kids are staying here now?”
35 kids come here daily to get food and education. 7 of the 35 kids are also sleeping here. This is because a lot of the kids here still have family, however they can’t provide for them. Common examples of the children’s situations are having a single, disabled or mentally ill parent or no parents at all with only grandparents or possibly an uncle left. Most of them do keep in touch with their family. This might not be a registered orphanage but the government passes by once in a while and they have the contacts of every kid staying here at the orphanage. The orphanage provides food, shelter and education for kids who need it.
“Do kids want to be adopted? Do they ever mention it?”
No, they like to be at the orphanage. They are surrounded by kids who are the same age, who speak the same language and all of them are in a similar situation. This comforts them and they wouldn’t like it any other way. They feel safe.
“What happens when the kids turn 18?”
When the kid turns 18 he can do whatever he wants. He can go to college, he can go back to his family, he can start working or he can stay at the orphanage. It’s all up to the kid. The kid can also choose the get adopted, but this happens rarely. If the kid gets adopted, he can stay at the family for one month as a trial. If everything works out well and both parties are happy, the adoption can officially go through.
If the kid wants to stay at the orphanage, that is possible if he keeps following the rules. If the kid doesn’t listen, goes out, drinks alcohol, or is badly behaved and influencing the other kids than he/she will no longer be welcome at the orphanage.
“Do they get proper support from the government to build an independent life?”
No the government doesn’t support them. This is because this orphanage is not registered (yet). The orphanage itself barely gets any support from the government as well. Sometimes when the person from the government has a heart he will provide us supplies such as food or mosquito nets. But this depends only on the heart of the person. I also work as a tailor and that enables this orphanage to stay up and running. Sometimes I get donations from people who volunteer here. That helps as well. I don’t like asking for money, if people donate it’s because they proposed it themselves.
Some orphanages exploit the system as a way to earn money. They ask the remaining relatives to give money, they send kids to the city and let them work jobs selling peanuts, for example. When they don’t sell enough peanuts, the kids get kicked out or thrown on to the streets.
“Can kids (financially) go to university after staying in the orphanage?”
Yes, they can but it depends on their own financial situation. If the family saved money to let the kid go to university, he is lucky and he can go. If the family is poor and he wants to go to university, he’ll have to work and study at the same time to be able to pay for his studies.
Written by Alice Coetsier
If you are interested in supporting this orphanage, please click the link below. More information about this project can be found on this gofundme webpage.
“If I had a superpower, it would be to turn white.”
“Your skin is prettier than ours.”
After hearing these quotes from extremely young girls during my first month living in Africa, I started wondering why they would idealize fair skin when theirs is just as beautiful. Billboard advertisements for clothes and jewelry here commonly feature stunning black women, and the children are constantly surrounded by hard-working, black adults who serve as consistent, positive role models. The Tanzanian flag incorporates the color black to represent the Swahili peoples’ pride in the color of their skin; yet, during my stay here, the children have displayed the (sometimes intense) desire to be white.
It wasn’t until I went to the movies to watch The Incredibles 2 that I noticed how many young black children there were at the local theater to watch a film about superheroes- white superheroes.
The Incredibles is a typical kid’s movie—a white family with super powers saving white bystanders, with a single black hero thrown in the mix for “diversity.” I started to think about how different the film would be if The Incredibles family was black, and if Frozone was just the white sidekick.
In my head I went through my list of princesses and superheroes I wanted to be like when I was a younger. Not one was black. Tinkerbell. Superman. Cinderella. Sleeping Beauty.
The hair I wanted to grow out and comb with a fork was a realistic dream because both me and The Little Mermaid have white girl hair.
So what princess is there showing black girls how beautiful their hair can be? Which one shows how pretty and practical the common shaved African head is?
Out of Rotten Tomatoes “Top 100 Kids and Family Movies”, zero star a black character as the lead role. That statistic includes the two movies set in Africa. Black children have the option of either watching a white family heroically raise a safari animal, or watching The Lion King in which only the villains of the plot line have black fur.
Ants are black.
So why are the ants in the animated movie Antz colored white?
If the statistic that 85% of the human brain develops before the age of five is accurate, having adequate representation in children’s media is a huge factor in determining a child’s self-esteem.
African girls and boys deserve to know how wonderful they are, and how wonderful they will grow up to be. They deserve to know that they have just as much of a chance at saving the world or meeting Prince Charming as the white child sitting next to them in the movie theater. They deserve to know that African Beauty isn’t just a song.
Swapping winter coats for t-shirts & shorts, wellies for flip-flops, and roast dinners for barbecues it’s safe to say Christmas 2017 has been unlike any other for me and spending Boxing Day at the beach with children from the Glory of Africa Orphanage has definitely been a highlight!
The idea of a day trip to the beach stemmed from one of our dutch volunteers, Michel, who during his stay at AIT has been teaching English to the children at the orphanage. With donations from himself, Art in Tanzania and some of the other volunteers this idea was made into a reality. On December 26th at 11:30 am we arrived at the Glory of Africa to find the children packed and ready for a blue sea and white sand filled boxing day. After piling into a mini bus we were on our way to Bahari Beach, the local beach which is around a 25 minute drive from the orphanage. Within seconds of arriving the children had already found a spot to put their things and were running around and playing in the sea.
From the budget that was created for the day trip, we were able to buy lunch and drinks for the children which consisted of freshly made rice, beans, vegetables and bananas! Whether they were playing football on the sand or splashing in the sea I could see smiles for miles as they enjoyed their boxing day in the sun, sand and sea.
Without the donations from everyone involved in organising, this day would have not been possible so i’d like to say Asanta sana to Michiel and Art in Tanzania for playing a big part in this trip going ahead!
+30 degree heat and sand on my feet is far from the norm of a typical Boxing Day in England but I wouldn’t have it any other way. With Art in Tanzania I have been able to have fantastic new experiences, become accustomed to african culture and live in proper Tanzanian style. Volunteers and interns are always coming up with ideas to help or even simply to treat members of the local community and with Art in Tanzania we can make these ideas a reality! If you’d like to be involved or learn more about Art in Tanzania and our mission please visit our website for details!