Country Liaison Report from Tanzania

The following update from Tanzania is provided by ACEI country liaison Rosemary Olive Mbone Enie.

Promoting Early Childhood Development and Education in Tanzania’s Post 2015 Sustainable Development Agenda

Children must be central to Tanzania’s sustainable development. The early years of life are crucial to establishing a sound foundation for cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development for the rest of their lives. Events in the first few years of life are formative and play a vital role in shaping social, emotional, learning, and health outcomes and in building human capital, thereby promoting economic productivity later in life.

One of the key areas of early childhood development and education (ECDE) programming is to support sustainability education as a pillar for access to quality child care for Tanzanian children. This becomes increasingly pertinent in the context of sustainable development beyond 2015 and reaching the most marginalized. Given the growth in female employment and the need to have both parents working in case of poverty, one or both parents may be engaged in the informal sectors of the economy without the benefit of paternal or maternal leave. For the vast majority of poor parents working in the informal sector, access to quality child care services is critical. In the absence of quality child care, a poor family faces the difficult choice of either one parent leaving employment that the much-needed income or both parents continuing to work while leaving the young child home alone or with inadequate care, sometimes with an older sibling who may be under age 10. Such circumstances have been associated with not only sub-optimal development of the children themselves, but also the older siblings dropping out of school and safety concerns regarding accidents and even fatalities.

ECDE programs at the ward/district level can do much to improve outcomes for child health, nutrition, learning, and development in marginalized and disadvantaged communities. Children’s learning outcomes will in turn improve academic achievements and would lower school drop-out rates. Children who will take part in ECDE programs will also have better health and nutritional outcomes throughout their lifetimes and become productive members of society. ECDE can contribute not only to human capital development, but also to economic and social development of Tanzania

In the face of increasing conflict, ECDE will be considered an entry point for peace-building in communities. Moreover, good early learning programs can help build resilience of children and families, especially within emergency and fragile contexts.

Through sustainability education, children will learn love for their total environment, developed during the early years. Early childhood pedagogues would also build a life-long, outcomes-based appreciation for the environment t. Work toward environmental sustainability must include ECDE and must promote early childhood involvement, hence the main objective of the Tunza Afrika Program to engage and support young people in addressing water, environment, energy, food, science, and technology issues within the formal and non-formal educational sectors across Africa.

Salama Heritage Ecovillage (SHE) Tanzania, a Tanzanian-based NGO that promotes sustainable livelihoods, sustainable development, and resilient community building in Tanzania, will model the ECDE Program in two Districts of Tanzania:

1.     Bagamoyo District Council, Pwani (Coastal) Region of Tanzania (dominant Swahili culture)

2.     Monduli District Council, Arusha (Northern) Region of Tanzania (dominant Maasai culture)

These two models will provide the basis for expansion of this program across the 26 regions of Tanzania.

The ECDE Program will also address at the following areas:

  • Why ECDE in Tanzania?
  • What is the evidence for ECDE investment in Tanzania?
  • What are the ECDE monitoring tools in Tanzania?
  • What ECDE research and evaluation methods have or can be put in place in Tanzania?
  • How can we ensure the effective role of ECDE in supporting the SDGs in Tanzania?

We shall also be developing key partnership with public/ private institutions and organizations across Tanzania through the development of a five-year strategic plan (2017-2021).

For more information:

Salama Heritage Ecovillage (SHE): http://ictp.travel/salama-heritage-ecovillage-she-tanzania/

Tunza Afrika Program (TAP): https://www.worldpulse.com/en/community/users/mboneenie/posts/63567

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