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8000 citizen volunteers are checking whether children in Tanzania are learning

A total of 7,980 citizen volunteers will be assessing children’s ability to do basic mathematics and read in Kiswahili and English in 133 districts in mainland Tanzania. The volunteers will be working as part of the annual learning assessment conducted by Uwezo Tanzania to investigate the quality of education provided to children.

The idea of Uwezo is very simple. Parents send children to school because they expect them to learn the basic skills and competencies necessary to succeed in future. So Uwezo – instead of focusing on impressive numbers of classrooms built, teachers recruited, and books supplied asks the simple question ‘Are Our Children Learning?’, This large scale data collection exercise seeks to establish actual ability of our children in doing simple arithmetic as well as in reading in both Kiswahili and English.

The assessment test is based on the Standard 2 curriculum and measures attainment of basic literacy and numeracy skills. Over 155,000 children, aged 7 – 16, in 79,000 households will be tested in 4,000 communities nationwide. Instant feedback is then provided to parents at the time of the tests so that they are aware of their children’s abilities in numeracy and literacy and can take action to improve any shortcomings.

Future success in education is based on a grasp of the foundational skills of literacy and numeracy. Uwezo contends that the low performance in Form 4 examinations can, at least partially, be traced back to the lack of these basic skills among children. Previous years assessments have found low levels of literacy and numeracy among children, with only 1 in 5 children in Standard 3 able to read and count at the Standard 2 level.

The assessment will be complete by the end of September 2013 and results will be released in early 2014.

You can see sample tests or read the full press release

Read more: education learning Tanzania Uwezo

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