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In 2013 the rapid expansion of access to education has not been matched by commensurate improvements in quality, and educational outcomes were poor. Primary school completion rates had fallen, with the proportion of children passing the primary school leavers examination dropping from 70% in 2006 to 49% in 2009. Only a third of children who were in primary school for 3 years could read or write and, at the end of primary school, less than half could understand basic English. This resulted in high failure rates in secondary school, where English is the language of instruction. The pass rate for lower secondary school was only 11%. Learning achievements for girls was worse than for boys and negative perceptions about school had increased among students. The availability and quality of teaching and learning materials was also inadequate, and weak management capacity contributed to inefficient use of available resources and poor performance.

HDIF education outcomes

HDIF has answered these challenges with X grants in the education space. There have been exciting developments and investments in the EdTech space, and programs like Camfed’s have seen improved transition rates for girls to secondary school. Innovations have been able to reach scale, for example Ubongo’s edutainment program is scaling to 22 countries in Africa.


We have specifically seen success in:

  • Ubongo Kids edutainment programs have beenscaled to 22 African countries after being piloted in Tanzania with HDIF.
  • Through CAMFED’s e-reader program 98 per cent of girls in the program progressed from Form 1 to Form 2 in early 2017 against a national dropout rate was 27 per cent in 2013.
  • Through the program run by Sense International seventy-nine children (40 girls and 39 boys) with deafblindness are achieving their individual education goals as a result of accessing inclusive education and Schools have started improving their environment to accommodate children with disabilities. For example, ramps and toilets have been constructed in Kiungwe, Maweteta, Mgagao, and Majengo primary schools.
  • The E-learning platform provided through the CSSC program has been effective in improving maths and science performance in secondary schools. Pilot schools indicated an increase of 16–19 per cent in student performance in basic mathematics. In some schools labelled as ‘moderate to poor’ performing, this figure exceeded 60 per cent. In addition Some of the students and teachers interviewed suggested that using the e-platform had helped to improve the quality of teaching and increase students’ grades.
  • In excess of 70,000 students have accessed ShuleDirect’sMakini SMS via mobile subscriptions and over 100,000 students have accessed Makini SMS content via the Shule Direct web platform. More than 80,000 students have accessed Makini SMS content on ShuleDirect’s Android mobile application. In addition to accessing short lessons and quiz content, subscribers have also been able to receive personalised help through the ‘Ask TichaKidevu’ feature, where over 50,000 questions have been posted. ShuleDirect’s offline learning management system has been licensed in over 80 schools and centres across Tanzania.


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