Equal Rights to Quality Education

Equal Rights to Quality Education

Project Summary

Equal Rights to Quality Education (ERP) (2014-2019) is implemented in partnership with the Pastoral Women’s Council, Community Aid and Small Enterprises Consultancy and Community Research and Development Services, and funded by Comic Relief. ERP works across 70 rural primary and secondary schools in 6 districts in northern Tanzania to improve access to education, and strengthen the quality of teaching and school management. This project also supports the implementation of student health clubs which provide a forum for pupils to support each other socially and academically. This, in turn, improves students’ morale, academic performance and knowledge of wider health issues such as forced marriage and sexually transmitted infections. Read more about our Equal Rights to Quality Education project

Project Context

Education in Tanzania is in a crisis. The government announcement of ‘fee-free education’ in 2015 has caused an infrastructure crisis in learning centres, with primary school enrolment doubling to around 8 million pupils. Even though, nationally, more children are being educated, the quality of education is poor as teachers face challenging working environments, with limited resources, training and support. Girls living in rural pastoralist communities are particularly at risk. Family displacement, initiation ceremonies, female genital mutilation, and early and forced marriage greatly impacts their educational performance and ability to remain in school.

Meet Anastazia

Twelve-year-old Anastazia is a student at Bisigeta Primary School and she is from Iraqw tribe, an agro pastoralist community. She knows several girls from her Bisigeta village, in Mbulu District, Manyara Region who are being denied the opportunity of an education because of forced marriage, female genital mutilation, unplanned pregnancy and gender-based violence.

“My family life is difficult. My father comes home late at night, drunk and angry. My mother supports us financially but he drinks most of what she makes. When my mother is working, I care for my six younger siblings and so I often miss school. One night, my father beat my mother so badly that she ran off. My exams were approaching but I couldn’t leave my brothers and sisters alone so I did not go to school for weeks.”

Thanks to our project, Anastazia’s absence was noticed. Her head teacher collaborated with Bisigeta village leadership and education development committee to meet with her parents and explain the importance of their daughter’s education. She attended after school remedial classes, which prioritise participatory learning, to catch up with her peers. “This project helped me make it through my exams! I know I am smart – I hope to be a teacher of Kiswahili one day. I am fortunate – other girls in my community are not allowed to go to school because they are forced into marriage with an old man,to bring up children and do household chores. In Iragw society, there is no gender equality. Without this project, I would be already married and have no choices at all. Education is my escape.”

Recent Achievements

388 teachers

received training which included participatory teaching methodologies and guidance and counselling skills; this will help create an inclusive and supportive learning environment for their students.

10 child protection policies

were developed in 10 project schools to strengthen awareness of a child’s rights to be protected from harmful cultural practices.