Pretending to Progress? Education Reforms in Tanzania Rakesh Rajani HakiElimu 30 April, 2007
Outline of presentation <ul><li>The Official Story </li></ul><ul><li>The Official Story, Modified by a Little Reality </li...
1.1 The Official Story: Attention spans <ul><li>Very low levels of education participation inherited at independence (1961...
1.2 The Official Story: PEDP (2002-06) <ul><li>PEDP: ‘The Great MDG success story’ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Abolished user f...
1.3 The Official Story: Sector dialogue <ul><li>Elaborate machinery in place for both sector and overall development dial...
1.4 The Official Story: CSOs in reforms <ul><li>Seat at the table (various committees), largely at insistence of donors </...
1.5 The Official Story: Conclusion then? <ul><li>Two million more children in school! </li></ul><ul><li>Education reform i...
2.1 Assessing Reforms Diverse Voices? <ul><li>Key people in Government often absent </li></ul><ul><li>Tendency for donor d...
2.2 Assessing Progress: Strategic Focus? <ul><li>Meetings address details and miss the big picture </li></ul><ul><li>Endle...
2.3 Assessing Progress: Adequate resources? <ul><li>More money going into education, but: </li></ul><ul><li>There is still...
2.4 Assessing Progress: Accountability to Citizens? <ul><li>Better reporting than in past (in Parliament, sporadic fund re...
2.5 What does this mean for CSOs? <ul><li>Constant battle to get a foot through the door </li></ul><ul><li>When inside, st...
2.6 in the meantime… the state of education? <ul><li>Repetition and drop out increasing (28% of the cohort) – Uganda its a...
2.7 Assessing progress: Modified conclusion then? <ul><li>Reform machinery does not work … but we all need to maintain an...
3.1 Analysis: What are core problems? <ul><li>Inadequate grappling with how change happens – throwing ‘dialogue’ and tech...
3.1 Analysis (cont.) What are core problems? <ul><li>Collective failure of imagination about the purposes and meaning of...
3.2 Moving forward: What is needed? <ul><li>Focused, open government leadership not afraid to exercise vision, directio...
3.2 Moving forward (cont.) What is needed? <ul><li>Donors able to get out of current funk and exercise strategic support...
3.3 Two HakiElimu examples: Media <ul><li>Investigative journalism, targets vs. realities, official reports vs. rural real...
3.4 Two HakiElimu examples: Friends of Education <ul><li>Aim is to turn private concern to public action </li></ul><ul><li...
4.1 conclusion: education is politics <ul><li>Change isn’t driven by research evidence, arguments, reviews, lobbying, pil...
4.2 conclusion: it’s the imagination, stupid <ul><li>We need to fire up the public imagination , ask questions that surfa...
4.3 conclusion <ul><li>The true test facing civil society today is whether we will be able to marshal the analysis, visio...
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Pretending to Progress? Education Reforms in Tanzania

Is education in Tanzania doing as well as it is made out to be?
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Source: www.slideshare.net


Transcripts - Pretending to Progress? Education Reforms in Tanzania

  • 1. Pretending to Progress? Education Reforms in Tanzania Rakesh Rajani HakiElimu 30 April, 2007
  • 2. Outline of presentation <ul><li>The Official Story </li></ul><ul><li>The Official Story, Modified by a Little Reality </li></ul><ul><li>Core analysis and What will it take? </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusion </li></ul>
  • 3. 1.1 The Official Story: Attention spans <ul><li>Very low levels of education participation inherited at independence (1961) </li></ul><ul><li>Massive enrolment increases in the 1970s (UPE) </li></ul><ul><li>Decline through the 1980s and 90s (enrolment, funding, political/program focus) reaching crisis point and consensus that education was priority one (HIPC/PRSP) </li></ul><ul><li>Civil society pressure (in Tanzania/internationally) </li></ul><ul><li>Coming together 1999-2001, led by WB, leading to the Primary Education Development Plan (PEDP) </li></ul>
  • 4. 1.2 The Official Story: PEDP (2002-06) <ul><li>PEDP: ‘The Great MDG success story’ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Abolished user fees and mandatory contributions, increasing enrolment by 2 million </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recruited 50% more teachers in 5 years </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Built over 40,000 new classrooms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Introduced annual capitation grant of $10/pupil sent to the school level </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Emphasized governance, esp. at school level, in the ‘spirit of decentralization by devolution’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CSO participation explicitly recognized, sector dialogue emphasized </li></ul></ul>
  • 5. 1.3 The Official Story: Sector dialogue <ul><li>Elaborate machinery in place for both sector and overall development dialogue (ESDP/PRS) </li></ul><ul><li>Numerous reviews to monitor progress and take responsive actions (8 in 5 years) </li></ul><ul><li>Linked to other reforms (local govt, public financial mgmt, civil service reform, etc), recently dominated by general budget support (GBS) modalities and the push for the ‘big picture’ </li></ul><ul><li>Place at the table for donors and ‘domestic stakeholders’/CSOs, with increasing emphasis on CSOs following Paris declaration/new aid architecture </li></ul>
  • 6. 1.4 The Official Story: CSOs in reforms <ul><li>Seat at the table (various committees), largely at insistence of donors </li></ul><ul><li>Meant to represent the voices of the people (NGOs close to the people romance maintained) </li></ul><ul><li>This ‘participation’ is serves different needs: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Big picture donors see this as strengthening accountability … traditional donors see it as pilots and innovations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Govt as gap filling and doing what govt cant </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CSOs see it as opportunity to determine policy and get funding, and a chance to rub shoulders </li></ul></ul>
  • 7. 1.5 The Official Story: Conclusion then? <ul><li>Two million more children in school! </li></ul><ul><li>Education reform in Tanzania is a great example of how to achieve MDGs </li></ul><ul><li>Everybody is involved; there is basic accountability </li></ul><ul><li>The reforms and aid are working, Tanzania is a shining star of development </li></ul><ul><li>… True, quality of education is a problem, but you cant do everything at once </li></ul><ul><li>And of course there are challenges, but overall things are moving well, and certainly much better than in other countries </li></ul>
  • 8. 2.1 Assessing Reforms Diverse Voices? <ul><li>Key people in Government often absent </li></ul><ul><li>Tendency for donor domination in framing issues </li></ul><ul><li>Few CSOs invited grudgingly, last minute, as an after thought (lots of invitations getting ‘lost’ in the mail); key constituencies such as teachers’ union often marginalized </li></ul><ul><li>Intolerance for critical voices/dissent (explicit exclusion of groups who dare to challenge) </li></ul><ul><li>Little actual debate and discussion, more Q and A from donors to government </li></ul>
  • 9. 2.2 Assessing Progress: Strategic Focus? <ul><li>Meetings address details and miss the big picture </li></ul><ul><li>Endless amounts on formats and clarifying expectations when these better handled elsewhere </li></ul><ul><li>Even where issues identified (e.g. through reviews) inadequate follow-up; govt does what it wants anyway regardless because the machinery is parallel to govt structure </li></ul><ul><li>Lost sight of main purpose which is an education that allows students to think, learn, thrive. </li></ul>
  • 10. 2.3 Assessing Progress: Adequate resources? <ul><li>More money going into education, but: </li></ul><ul><li>There is still a large resource gap that means objectives cannot be reached, but no prioritization, leading to funds spent on less important items </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunities to make the case for/access greater resources not seized </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunities for better targeting (getting value for money) not adequately explored e.g. audits scope narrow aimed at minimizing risk </li></ul><ul><li>No predictability of funding </li></ul><ul><li>Move to GBS convenient ‘checkout’ from the difficulties of sector for donors </li></ul>
  • 11. 2.4 Assessing Progress: Accountability to Citizens? <ul><li>Better reporting than in past (in Parliament, sporadic fund releases in newspapers), but: </li></ul><ul><li>Most reports still not made public (e.g. audit reports, reviews, PETS, PER studies) </li></ul><ul><li>Information at local level often missing, late or not meaningful to ordinary citizens </li></ul><ul><li>Guidance to school committees often overbearing, micro-managing and contrary to PEDP/LGRP principles </li></ul><ul><li>Independent information (from citizens, CSOs, studies) not invited, used </li></ul>
  • 12. 2.5 What does this mean for CSOs? <ul><li>Constant battle to get a foot through the door </li></ul><ul><li>When inside, struggling to get heard and be respected, but still second class citizens, pressure to conform to be ‘in the in’ </li></ul><ul><li>Enormous time spent trying to keep up with documents, meetings, preparing drafts </li></ul><ul><li>Challenge to know how to communicate with wider constituencies, (conceptual, volume, last minute and communication) </li></ul><ul><li>… all for a dysfunctional process that delivers little </li></ul>
  • 13. 2.6 in the meantime… the state of education? <ul><li>Repetition and drop out increasing (28% of the cohort) – Uganda its about 50% </li></ul><ul><li>Attendance much lower than enrolment, but data not compiled at national level </li></ul><ul><li>Still no room for children with disabilities, etc </li></ul><ul><li>More books in school, but often locked in cupboards to protect them </li></ul><ul><li>Pedagogy still rote learning (students copy notes), teacher often not in the classroom </li></ul><ul><li>Private tuition and cramming for examinations has increased (deepening inequities) </li></ul><ul><li>Violence and sexual harassment rife </li></ul>
  • 14. 2.7 Assessing progress: Modified conclusion then? <ul><li>Reform machinery does not work … but we all need to maintain an illusion that it does </li></ul><ul><ul><li>donors need it to hang contracts and disburse </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>govt grudgingly to get the funds and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CSOs because its our chance to be involved </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lots of schooling, but little learning </li></ul><ul><li>Expectations of education not being met … primary school leavers failing to cope … so now we transfer expectations up, that secondary education will do what primary could not </li></ul><ul><li>A big hollow hoax? </li></ul>
  • 15. 3.1 Analysis: What are core problems? <ul><li>Inadequate grappling with how change happens – throwing ‘dialogue’ and technical solutions at what are essential political and institutional problems </li></ul><ul><li>Govt lacks the strategic leadership and political incentives to get the house in order, and largely resent public accountability </li></ul><ul><li>Donors unable to deal with inherent conflict of interest in their role and reluctant to deal with the political significance of their role/actions </li></ul><ul><li>CSOs lack conceptual and historical analysis/clarity about our roles, as well as political and organizational clout to move matters when others not willing </li></ul>
  • 16. 3.1 Analysis (cont.) What are core problems? <ul><li>Collective failure of imagination about the purposes and meaning of education: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>we focus largely on inputs and quantities (enrolment, classrooms, teacher:pupil ratios, book:pupil ratios) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tools for assessing progress measure the wrong things (MDGs, national examinations) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There is hardly any focus on what really matters – learning and capabilities for all – what are pupils able to do? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Failure at all levels (global movement/national; govt, donors, CSOs, public) </li></ul>
  • 17. 3.2 Moving forward: What is needed? <ul><li>Focused, open government leadership not afraid to exercise vision, direction, embrace different voices, focus on results </li></ul><ul><li>A radical simplification of the ESDP/PRS/GBS consultation machinery to make it more simple, oriented to foster debate, results focused, and truly open to public </li></ul>
  • 18. 3.2 Moving forward (cont.) What is needed? <ul><li>Donors able to get out of current funk and exercise strategic support that </li></ul><ul><ul><li>is about results not modalities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>fosters national public debate (rather than endless meetings in the club) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>funds independent work/CSOs in a way that fosters strategic thinking and action </li></ul></ul><ul><li>CSOs who are able to scale up independent monitoring, analysis, and public engagement </li></ul>
  • 19. 3.3 Two HakiElimu examples: Media <ul><li>Investigative journalism, targets vs. realities, official reports vs. rural realities </li></ul><ul><li>Weekly radio/TV programs that show situation on the ground, give space to historically marginalized voices e.g. Sauti ya Watu </li></ul><ul><li>1 minute advert spots that provoke, not preach </li></ul>
  • 20. 3.4 Two HakiElimu examples: Friends of Education <ul><li>Aim is to turn private concern to public action </li></ul><ul><li>Any person can join, free, provide you care and want to make a difference; currently 26,000 friends </li></ul><ul><li>Get a card, quarterly packet of materials </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunity to ask questions, referrals </li></ul><ul><li>Tools to monitor, analyze and disseminate progress </li></ul><ul><li>Connect you to media (letters to editor) </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunity to join with others (address book) </li></ul><ul><li>Document what ordinary people are doing to change, share through popular pubs/media </li></ul>
  • 21. 4.1 conclusion: education is politics <ul><li>Change isn’t driven by research evidence, arguments, reviews, lobbying, pilot projects or dialogue … it happens: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>when people are aware, stretched to think, organizing, taking action </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>where there is public pressure that cannot be ignored </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>when authorities see it is in their interest to pay attention to the right questions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>People don’t know everything, and we’ve especially lost the plot on the quality/purposes of education … so ‘ask the people they will tell you’ is not enough. That is why leaders can get away with it without a public outcry </li></ul>
  • 22. 4.2 conclusion: it’s the imagination, stupid <ul><li>We need to fire up the public imagination , ask questions that surface the contradictions, foster true debate that ratchets up learning and understanding </li></ul><ul><li>This is a very different business from what we are used to (its closer to political/social movements than programs, projects, logframes, SWAps) – it’s about how ideas come to be public </li></ul><ul><li>Governments don’t do this; whether donors can support initiatives that foster this is uncertain </li></ul>
  • 23. 4.3 conclusion <ul><li>The true test facing civil society today is whether we will be able to marshal the analysis, vision and public engagement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>to stimulate debate that turns schooling into learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>that creates public pressure (incentives) for governments and donors to do the right things </li></ul></ul>

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