Early Childhood Development (ECD) and pre-primary education both lay the foundations for acquiring literacy and numeracy skills and are universally recognised as being beneficial to the subsequent performance of children in basic education programmes. In spite of an increase in the net enrolment ratio to 85.8% as recorded by the United Republic of Tanzania (2016) basic education statistics for pre-primary, primary and secondary basic education statistics, quality of pre-primary education is severely compromised by the shortage of qualified teachers. The low numbers of qualified early childhood development educators (ECD) and pre-primary teachers, who are key to the expansion of quality of pre-primary and ECD education in the country, is a key contributory factor to this problem.
Karibu Tanzania Organization (KTO) and its implementing partner Stichting Aflatoun International are working with teaching colleges across the country to expand access to quality pre-primary teacher training. The project’s target is to train 600 new ECD educators and pre-primary teachers who will enter the education sector in their local communities. It aims to do this by introducing the pre-primary teacher course into 20 Folk Development Colleges (FDCs) which were identified by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST) as a way of addressing the need for non-formal education and support for pre-primary education teacher training. The FDCs will also host daycare facilities and resource centres that provide students with information on ECD.
By expanding access to quality pre-primary teacher training, KTO aim to:
- Provide communities with greater awareness of pre-primary education and the day-care services available at the FDCs
- Ensure that FDCs become high quality providers of ECD and pre-primary education
- Increase the number of capable pre-primary teachers who can support the children in their care to be better prepared for primary school.
Gender equity and social inclusion
FDCs are committed to providing excluded and vulnerable members of the community with the education and skills needed to work. While a small number of the students that enrol in the FDC’s traditional courses for building and trade are women, the colleges’ cohort are largely men. KTO hopes that by introducing pre-primary teacher training, more women will be encouraged to participate in the FDC education system.
Principles for digital development
Design for scale: Although the project has started in just 10 colleges, KTO has designed for scale with the view of rolling out the innovation across the country. By taking a partnership approach and involving government partner MoEST from the outset, KTO can access the networks and tools needed to extend its outreach. Piloting the innovation in a limited number of sites will allow the project to gather evidence and demonstrate impact before attempting to scale up.
At this early stage of implementation, KTO are concentrating on content development, material development and training the Trainers. KTO will continue to monitor the project’s progress, regularly analysing the infomation collected and discussing how the findings can used to adapt the innovation and taken to scale.