[Editorial from The Citizen]
Education for girls should no longer be the subject of negotiation, especially in light of the fact that females comprise the greater part of the population. As far back as 2003, there were 98 males for every 100 females in Tanzania. There should be more girls than boys in school now, all things being equal.
Yet the evidence paints a different picture. According to the Tanzania Domestic Household Survey of last year, at least 93 per cent of girls from the wealthiest families got full primary education, but only 54 per cent from poorest families did so.
There may be a number of reasons for this yawning disparity, and we can only speculate on some of them. Whereas girls from the former category may be chauffeur-driven to school, the latter often have to walk or, if they are lucky, get on public transport.
The same ritual is repeated when school is over and they have to return home. All too often, there are many distractions for girls caught up in this situation. With this kind of rigmarole, it is small wonder that only half of the girls from poor families complete education in Tanzania’s primary schools.
This is neither fair nor moral. Indeed, such disparities feed class segregation in our society—with one Tanzania of educated children from rich families and another comprising uneducated children from poor families.
No meaningful education translates these days into meaningful life opportunities. This is the destiny of most girls. This is not the Tanzania we want. Since the dawn of independence, we have upheld the dream of a society in which every child has an equal opportunity in education. We have aspired to have a country in which no child is marginalised, regardless of family status.
We should leave no stone unturned in our efforts to erase such glaring differences among Tanzania’s children. There is a saying that educating a girl is educating an entire family. The benefits should be clear enough.
Tetea will be holding a fundraiser in Washington D.C. on September 24th. For more information, please see our current newsletter
- Where: Local 16, Washington, D.C.
- When: 7-10pm on September 24th
- Why: To support TETEA’s ongoing projects and to spread the word about our work
- Cost: $10 donation, light appetizers and raffle entry included
There will be a silent auction, raffle and good company. Drink specials will be offered from 7-9pm.
If you cannot make it, but would like to show your support, you may do so through our donation page.
8 TETEA students have been accepted into various Universities. Seven of them have also been provided with substantial government loans based on their academic performance and financial need, averaging about $1900 each for this coming year, which will cover their tuition as well as various living expenses.
- Awetu Hassan, University of Dar es Salaam, Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing
- Hamzuruni Mshamu, Mkwawa University College of Education, Bachelor of Arts with Education
- James Bashiru, Tumaini University Iringa College, Bachelor of Community Development
- Maria Mbena, Institute of Finance Management, Bachelor of Science in Information Technology
- Selemani Bakari, Mzumbe University, Bachelor of Accounting in Public Sector Finance
- Shahara Haridi, University of Dodoma, Bachelor of Arts with Education
- Twaibu Chipata, Saint Augustine University of Tanzania, Bachelor of Philosophy with Education
- Yahaya Saidi, Moshi University College of Co-operative and Business Studies, Bachelor of Human Resources Management
In addition, Karimu Lulanga has been accepted to Mtwara Teachers’ Training College to become a Secondary School teacher.
Congratulations to all of our students and may they continue to put their best foot forward as their studies continue!
As former Peace Corps Volunteers in Tanzania, we’re always proud of what the current Peace Corps Volunteers are accomplishing there. Recently the work of two Peace Corps volunteers at a conference on pedagogical practices was highlighted in the Tanzanian newspaper, The Guardian. The volunteers, Aron Walker and Peter McDonough set up an exhibit showing how to equip a science laboratory with locally available materials. In a country where all science subjects (Physics, Chemistry, Biology) are mandatory for two years and the laboratory supplies are scarce (not to mention the funds to buy them or to build the physical laboratory building), teaching science effectively can be difficult. Being able to set up a laboratory in a cost-effective manner using local materials would help teachers be able to better capture students’ interest and increase their understanding through practical, hands-on explorations. Way to go Aron and Peter!
Click here for the full article from The Guardian
Study released by UNICEF
Sobering statistics gathered from over 3000 13 to 24 year olds show that sexual and physical child abuse is all too common in Tanzania. Nearly 3 in 10 Tanzanian females have experienced sexual violence prior to the age of 18. The most common forms of sexual violence were touching various parts of the body followed by attempted sexual intercourse. Of those who had their first sexual experience prior to age 18, nearly one-third (29.1%) of females and 17.5% of males reported that their first sexual intercourse was unwilling, meaning that they were forced or coerced to engage in sexual intercourse. In addition, almost three-quarters of both females and males experienced physical violence prior to 18 by an adult or intimate partner.
The location of sexual violence merits careful consideration by educators. While almost one-half of females who had experienced sexual violence prior to age 18 indicated that at least one of their experiences of sexual violence took place at someone’s home, almost one-quarter reported an incident occurred while travelling to or from school and 15% reported that at least one incident occurred at school or on school grounds.
The study casts light on the perpetrators of physical violence against children. Almost 60% of both females and males experienced physical violence by adult relatives and more than one-half experienced physical violence by teachers before turning 18 years of age.
The majority of childhood sexual violence against both females and males occurred between the hours
of 12:00 (noon) and 20:00 (8:00pm).
The study is a landmark in the global efforts to tackle child abuse. Tanzania is the first country in Africa to undertake a National Study on Violence against Children providing national estimates of the prevalence of violence. The study’s results have prompted the government to develop a five-year National Plan for Prevention and Response to Violence against Children intended to break the silence around violence against children.
With the goal of building and running a school in Tanzania, TETEA needs to remain mindful about the widespread presence of violence in schools, even by teachers, and reflect carefully on how to ensure a safe environment for our future students.
“Violence Against Children is Totally Unacceptable,” by editor. 13 August, 2011.
“Tanzania Study Shows One in Three Girls is Sexually Abused,” 9 August, 2011.
“Violence Against Children in Tanzania.” United Nations Children’s Fund, August 2011.