Dar es Salaam Primary Schools | Do parents act to improve child learning?

Do parents in Dar es Salaam act to support their child’s learning process? Do students in Dar es Salaam primary schools have access to textbooks? When the support from the government is falling short do parents fill the gap?

The role that can be played by parents in the learning process of their children is potentially enormous. However parents may not always be aware of or able to fulfil this potential. According to the Uwezo Tanzania 2011 Annual Learning Assessment, one out of four parents help their children with homework, and one out of four has discussed education at a school committee meeting. Four out of 10 have spoken with their child’s teacher at least once in the past year, indicating that the majority of parents are not involved in their children’s learning process.

Recently, the Centre for Economic Prosperity with support from Uwazi at Twaweza organized a survey in 20 randomly selected primary schools in Dar es Salaam (a list of the schools surveyed is provided in the Annex on page 4). The survey was conducted from December 2011 to January 2012, while pupils were either on break or on their way home from school.

During the survey, 222 pupils from Standards Three to Six were interviewed about their parents’ engagement in their learning and the availability of textbooks at school. This brief explores the degree of agency among parents in Dar es Salaam in improving learning outcomes for their children. The findings raise questions around parents’ understanding of the importance of their role in the learning process.

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