Education in Tanzania:a mirage of progress

I have written several posts on the state of the education system in Tanzania with some simple recommendations on how to change the tide of high failure rates in our education system. Our education system, must adapt to meet the needs of the students it serves.

Definitely, the student population has changed over the years, teaching methods have improved tremendously over the same time span, but we are teaching using a curricula left by the British with some bandages here and there.

The education system in Tanzania is a bilingual one (maybe even trilingual in some parts), but none of the best practice of bilingual education are being used or implemented to ensure student success. How do you expect children with limited English proficiency leaving primary schools to miraculously perform wonders at the secondary level through college if systems for improving their English acquisition and proficiency are not in place to begin with?

I am afraid we are not going to stop these failure rates just by adding money to the already flawed system. It is high time we revamp the whole system. Starting with how the money is distributed, the way we educate our educators, supervisors and the whole nine yards.

By the way, the money is not even reaching its intended target “the schools and the students”. With all this mess, people still have jobs???…… Seriously, what hapenned to that word KUWAJIBISHWA?……..I am completely flabbergasted.

Watch Mr. Rakesh Rajani of TWAWEZA, speaking about the pathetic state of the education system in Tanzania.

What are your views on this issue after watching the video? Do you think we still have a shot at this or just wait for babu’s cup to cure this problem? Where is the money going? Why are teachers teaching only an average of three hours a day?


5 thoughts on “Education in Tanzania:a mirage of progress

  1. Dear Shaaban
    Have you gotten started? So far I have involved ten schools in literacy. The reality is that without cooperation, progress is stalled. The last school in Uganda is very engaged but they only have 35 students and no materials. So, what I have sent made a huge difference. The children read with dictionaries in hand. It is a crude way but it is effective because the principal and teachers tell them to go about learning to read with them. The age start at 12, so they have some skills already. But you and I know know that age make a difference.
    The school prior to that, just warehoused the books, no feedback or taking thought through suggestions and sent resources. Shame. But they want to do better, we’ll see.

    The point is the children want to read stories, hear stories and improve their English and reading skills. they want to be able to get jobs. It’s up to the leadership to get on board and not just pad their pockets. That’s the problem, they see working with an American as a way to gain some kind of wealth rather than the opportunity to improve literacy. So, be aware of that.


    1. Hello Charlene,

      Great news! It is amazing to hear how far you have gotten with the literacy program. Being able to work with ten schools in the shortest amount of time is beyond fantastic.

      My progress has been stalled. I am currently looking for partnership and cooperation opportunities. I was able to get 10 computers down to Tanzania last year. I am still looking for ways to get donations of used books and laptops to initiate the project. I am hopping through you and other like minded people I will be able to get the project off the ground.

      It is my hope that we may be able to work together on this in the nearest future.\




  2. Dear Friend,
    Thank you for the education. The major problem I see is that the education approach is about rote learning, memorization of facts, which may also be poorly presented. If you want the children to learn English and to be able to read, there are better methods. bniceministry which I head up, is focused on bringing to East Africa, sustained and group reading strategies. When children are interested, they will read and make major jumps in literacy. Please contact me for more info or see my website. I focus on one school at a time, as to get the children to read, I need the cooperation of the headmaster, the entire school. What resources do you have to get books out to the students, story fun, so they will want to read? Are you hooked up with NGO;s, UNESCO etc. What is available naturally? It is quite costly to do what I am doing but I care deeply for the Tanzanian children I met in in 2009. I found them appreciative and respectful. I don’t understand why any teacher would shorten their day as they are great students to have. I miss them. Well, I hope we can work on this together. CK


    1. Hello Charlene Kociuba,

      Good work you are doing. I will be glad to work with you and change the way teaching is conducted in Tanzania. I am not hooked up to any NGO or any organization as of yet, but would like to explore those opportunities. I am currently on my last prep phase to opening an educational resource center in Turiani, Morogoro, Tanzania. My vision are to start small with a small library hooked to a couple of computers and resource books. The library will be open to students and teachers alike. I will be going there every summer and conduct training to teachers (Primary and Secondary) on how to use high impact learning strategies to help students learning meaningfully.

      I will be glad to talk to you further on the type of work you are doing.

      Shaaban Fundi


  3. Pingback: Education in Tanzania:a mirage of progress | Γονείς σε Δράση

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s