Today is Zero Discrimination Day, celebrated globally every 1st of March. Zero Discrimination Day is an opportunity to highlight how everyone can be a part of the transformation towards a fair and just society.
This year’s Zero Discrimination Day theme is ‘Act to change laws that Discriminate’. In Tanzania, Children in Crossfire’s Programme Team work together with other organisations and government to strengthen the laws that support high-quality Early Childhood Development (ECD) for all young children.
This is important because:
1. The government of Tanzania has enacted the Education and Training Policy of 2014 that includes 1-year pre-primary as part of compulsory basic education, and introduced ‘fee-free education’ demanding every school-age child to be enrolled. This is a demonstration of the high value the government puts on early learning and demonstrates how it upholds the right to education for every Tanzanian child without discriminating by the economic status of their parents.
2. However, in 2016 the net enrolment in pre-primary had increased to 46.7% from 35.5% in 2013. This has put tremendous pressure on the education sector in terms of pupil-teacher ratio. Also, there is a lack of classrooms and toilets to accommodate such an increased number of students.
Therefore, although the laws in Tanzania are intended to reduce discrimination for young children, we still have a lot of work to do to ensure the schools, teachers and communities in Tanzania are fully equipped and ready to give young children the best possible start in life through high-quality ECD opportunities.
We do this by:
- Working with schools and communities to support them in the building of classrooms and toilets
- Providing high quality teacher training and support resources in the area of ECD
Did you Know?
- Through its work in Tanzania, Children in Crossfire is contributing to the country’s Vision 2025 that seeks to reduce poverty and build an economically viable nation. As experts in the Lancet Early Childhood Development Series 2016 rightly said, concerning the Sustainable Development Goals, “during the next fifteen years, world leaders have a unique opportunity to invest in the early years for long-term individual and societal gains.”
- Children in Crossfire, together with key donors, government and other Civil Society held a National Policy Meeting in October 2017 to discuss and deliberate on key policy issues for pre-primary education for efficient and effective investments in expanding access and quality of pre-primary education in Tanzania.
National Policy Meeting Issues
Based on the evidence and experience of all actors the main areas of focus identified were:
- Target age—focus on new pre-primary enrolment on 5-year olds
- Infrastructure—Invest in a long-term infrastructure plan for equitable access to pre-primary
- Teachers—Secure a trained pre-primary teacher in every pre-primary classroom
- Finance—Earmark and protect pre-primary budgets at national and school levels and
- Guidelines and Procedures—Empower schools, families, communities and private sector to participate in quality pre-primary education.
Find out more about Children in Crossfire’s ECD programmes here: Fursa kwa Watoto
Related blog Catalysing change: Fursa kwa Watoto