This article reports on the results of an Uwezo Tanzania survey assessing the performance of primary school students. The title is a bit misleading since the language in which half of the students are ‘illiterate’ is English, and not Swahili. This is still a big problem as the official language of instruction in secondary schools is English. Furthermore the report states that approximately 20% of primary school leavers are effectively illiterate in Swahili, which still could use some improvement. Full article on The Citizen‘s website
An article describing some of the unintended effects of the rapid growth in primary school enrollment that followed the abolition of school fees, including higher student to teacher ratios, overcrowded classrooms, and shortages of books. While the article states that the current teacher to pupil ratio is 1:51, I’d be interested in seeing how the ratio would break down if Standards 1 and 2 were separated from the others. There are teachers who are certified only for teaching these lower standards, but I’ve seen cases where they compose the majority of the teaching staff and, due to the lack of better qualified teachers, end up teaching the older students as well. The full article is available on the Guardian’s website.
A good AP article over the added costs of school in Tanzania where “free” is not always free. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5h3UX74L2B-Kn0UOPgVAZTRQkiPKAD9I6JAQG0
Primary School examination results have been announced, with only 52.7% of pupils passing nationwide. Of these 89.5% have been selected to join secondary school, 445,954 pupils. Read More.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2009/mar/10/schools-worldwide-tanzania This is a good outside opinion by The Guardian on the state of Primary Schools. Unfortunately meeting the MDG targets of universal primary school enrollment has sacrificed smaller class sizes. It also touches on gender roles and expectations for girls.