On 5 December KiuFunza (thirst to learn), a two-year nationally representative randomized evaluation in basic education, presented its first year preliminary results at a special event held in Mbweni and Kiumbageni Primary Schools in the presence of a number of key government personnel. KiuFunza, run by Twaweza and IPA with support by the Tanzanian Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH), tests the impact on learning outcomes of two policies – sending capitation grant directly to schools and sending Kiswahili, English and Math teachers in grades 1, 2 and 3 bonuses on top of their salary based on how many of their students pass basic literacy and numeracy tests. The two are also being tested in combination.
Government officials present at the event, congratulating Twaweza for its experimental work that has already informed education policy, confirmed the Government of Tanzania’s intention to send capitation grant money directly to schools. KiuFunza has shown that this is possible, practical and can lead to less shortages of educational materials like text books. Sending the money directly to schools is intended to foster increased accountability and transparency and demonstrates that the government is responsive to evidence and willing to work in collaboration with civil society organisations like Twaweza.
Preliminary findings show that after one year, children in schools where both interventions were tested together show significantly better learning outcomes than schools in which no interventions were carried out. In addition, the capitation grant was received in full by all the schools in the sample and this has led to reports of fewer shortages of essential materials. However this has not, so far, lead to improved learning. The bonus only scheme has had some result evidenced by teachers spending more time teaching (extra classes, additional test taking); it has shown positive but not significant impact on learning outcomes. However, in 2014 COD teachers have responded with renewed enthusiasm and energy after receiving the bonus for 2013. Many teachers confirmed that in 2013 they lacked trust in the bonus offer, but, having seen Twaweza deliver the bonus as promised, this may change in the second year of the project.
KiuFunza is being implemented across 21 district councils (initially 11 district councils prior to re-districting in 2012) in Tanzania that include the following:
Final results of KiuFunza’s first two years will be released in mid-2015.
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