© TEP 2017
Tanzanian Education Project helping students help themselves

Tanzania

Education has been a national priority for successive Tanzanian governments since independence. Tanzania has one of the world’s largest young populations, and its young people are at the heart of its aspiration to become a middle-income country by 2025. The country’s economic and social progress and human development depends, in part, on empowering and educating this unique resource with the skills needed to take forward this nationwide goal. Quality education can lift families and communities out of poverty and increase a country’s economic growth. Completing secondary education has been shown to strongly benefit individuals’ health, employment, and earnings throughout their lives. Secondary education, including technical and vocational training, can empower young people with soft skills needed for sustainable development, including citizenship and human rights, and ensure access to essential information to protect their health and well-being. For girls, safe and equal enrolment in secondary education can act as a powerful equalizer, ensuring all girls and boys access the same subjects, activities, and career choices. Yet, millions of Tanzanian children and adolescents do not gain a secondary education or vocational training. It is estimated that a total of 5.1 million children aged 7 to 17 are out of school, including nearly 1.5 million of lower secondary school age. Education ends for many children after primary school: only three out of five Tanzanian adolescents, or 52 percent of the eligible school population, are enrolled in lower-secondary education and fewer complete secondary education. Formal vocational training is unavailable to many of the children who want it. Instead of enrolling in school, many children resort to child labor, often in exploitative, abusive, or hazardous conditions, in violation of Tanzanian law, to supplement their family’s income. Girls also face many challenges on account of their gender. Almost two out of five girls marry before 18 years; and thousands of adolescent girls drop out of school because of pregnancy. Until recently, many families did not enrol their children in secondary school because they could not afford school fees and related expenses, often costing more than Tanzanian Shillings 100,000  (US$50) per year. But in December 2015, Tanzania’s new government took a crucial step: it abolished all school fees and “contributions” —additional fees charged by schools to pay for the schools’ running costs—previously required to enter lower-secondary schools in the country. According to the government, secondary school enrollment has significantly increased as a result. The abolition of school fees is one of the most important actions taken by the government to implement its ambitious education goals. Tanzania’s 2014 Education and Training policy aims to increase access to primary and secondary education, and to improve the quality of education. These goals are in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a United Nations initiative which sets a target for all countries to offer all children free, equitable, and quality primary and secondary education by 2030. The goals are also in line with Tanzania’s international and regional human rights obligations to realize the right to primary and secondary education for all. But it is only one of several short- to long- term measures needed to fully realize the right to secondary education for all children in Tanzania. This report is based on over 220 interviews with secondary school students, out-of-school adolescents, parents and a wide range of education and government stakeholders in four regions of mainland Tanzania. Research for this report was conducted throughout 2016, coinciding with an important year for Tanzania that marks the roll-out of free lower-secondary education and greater attention to the government’s secondary education plans. It builds on two previous Human Rights Watch investigations about abuses against children and the impact these harmful practices have on secondary education and well-being, conducted in 2012 and 2014 – Toxic Toil: Child Labor and Mercury Exposure in Tanzania’s Small-Scale Gold Mines and No Way Out: Child Marriage and Human Rights Abuses in Tanzania. This report highlights key barriers to secondary education that prevent many adolescents from completing secondary education, and identifies numerous areas that require the government’s action to ensure all children access secondary education equally. In particular, the report points out government policies that specifically discriminate against girls, enabling schools to expel pregnant and married girls from school, robbing them of an education, as well as a policy that allows school officials to subject students to corporal punishment that can take brutal and humiliating forms. These policies deliberately facilitate discrimination and abuse, and stand in sharp contrast to the spirit of the government’s efforts to provide universal education. Here is the rest of this informative article and the findings of this Human Rights Watch Report
© Tanzanian Education Project 2017
TEP.IE Tanzanian Education Project

Tanzania

Education has been a national priority for successive Tanzanian governments since independence. Tanzania has one of the world’s largest young populations, and its young people are at the heart of its aspiration to become a middle-income country by 2025. The country’s economic and social progress and human development depends, in part, on empowering and educating this unique resource with the skills needed to take forward this nationwide goal. Quality education can lift families and communities out of poverty and increase a country’s economic growth. Completing secondary education has been shown to strongly benefit individuals’ health, employment, and earnings throughout their lives. Secondary education, including technical and vocational training, can empower young people with soft skills needed for sustainable development, including citizenship and human rights, and ensure access to essential information to protect their health and well-being. For girls, safe and equal enrolment in secondary education can act as a powerful equalizer, ensuring all girls and boys access the same subjects, activities, and career choices. Yet, millions of Tanzanian children and adolescents do not gain a secondary education or vocational training. It is estimated that a total of 5.1 million children aged 7 to 17 are out of school, including nearly 1.5 million of lower secondary school age. Education ends for many children after primary school: only three out of five Tanzanian adolescents, or 52 percent of the eligible school population, are enrolled in lower-secondary education and fewer complete secondary education. Formal vocational training is unavailable to many of the children who want it. Instead of enrolling in school, many children resort to child labor, often in exploitative, abusive, or hazardous conditions, in violation of Tanzanian law, to supplement their family’s income. Girls also face many challenges on account of their gender. Almost two out of five girls marry before 18 years; and thousands of adolescent girls drop out of school because of pregnancy. Until recently, many families did not enrol their children in secondary school because they could not afford school fees and related expenses, often costing more than Tanzanian Shillings 100,000  (US$50) per year. But in December 2015, Tanzania’s new government took a crucial step: it abolished all school fees and “contributions” —additional fees charged by schools to pay for the schools’ running costs—previously required to enter lower-secondary schools in the country. According to the government, secondary school enrollment has significantly increased as a result. The abolition of school fees is one of the most important actions taken by the government to implement its ambitious education goals. Tanzania’s 2014 Education and Training policy aims to increase access to primary and secondary education, and to improve the quality of education. These goals are in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a United Nations initiative which sets a target for all countries to offer all children free, equitable, and quality primary and secondary education by 2030. The goals are also in line with Tanzania’s international and regional human rights obligations to realize the right to primary and secondary education for all. But it is only one of several short- to long-term measures needed to fully realize the right to secondary education for all children in Tanzania. This report is based on over 220 interviews with secondary school students, out-of-school adolescents, parents and a wide range of education and government stakeholders in four regions of mainland Tanzania. Research for this report was conducted throughout 2016, coinciding with an important year for Tanzania that marks the roll-out of free lower-secondary education and greater attention to the government’s secondary education plans. It builds on two previous Human Rights Watch investigations about abuses against children and the impact these harmful practices have on secondary education and well- being, conducted in 2012 and 2014 – Toxic Toil: Child Labor and Mercury Exposure in Tanzania’s Small- Scale Gold Mines and No Way Out: Child Marriage and Human Rights Abuses in Tanzania. This report highlights key barriers to secondary education that prevent many adolescents from completing secondary education, and identifies numerous areas that require the government’s action to ensure all children access secondary education equally. In particular, the report points out government policies that specifically discriminate against girls, enabling schools to expel pregnant and married girls from school, robbing them of an education, as well as a policy that allows school officials to subject students to corporal punishment that can take brutal and humiliating forms. These policies deliberately facilitate discrimination and abuse, and stand in sharp contrast to the spirit of the government’s efforts to provide universal education. Here is the rest of this informative article and the findings of this Human Rights Watch Report