Understanding and improving quality in Tanzanian primary schooling
Tanzania has, ever since gaining independence, in 1961, been
committed to Universal Primary Education (UPE). However, by the late
1990s, the primary education system was in crisis, with fewer than half of
Tanzania's school-age children attending primary school, whilst many of
those who were attending were receiving a poor quality of education.
In response to this situation, in recent years, Tanzania, like many other
developing countries, has committed itself to providing high quality UPE.
As outlined within this thesis, partly with reference to the insights gained
from in-depth research, conducted within a selection of Tanzanian
primary schools and their communities, and partly from the wider
literature available, there are serious doubts about whether, despite the
rhetoric to be found within recent government documents, the quality of
the education being provided has been a genuine policy priority.
Furthermore, the analysis contained within this thesis challenges whether
the increases in key quantitative inputs in the education process, most
notably classroom construction and teacher recruitment, have been
sufficient to compensate for the rapid expansion in access to primary
education in Tanzania.
In doing this, the thesis not only adds to the current body of knowledge
about the progress that is being made towards Tanzania's drive towards
achieving high quality UPE, but also makes a contribution to several
wider debates, including the following: the use of the term 'quality of
education'; the roles that local, national and international stakeholders
can play within the areas of policy formulation and implementation; and
the recent global debate about the link between the quantity and quality
of education provision.