The World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors has approved support for Tanzania’s “Big Results Now in Education” program, which aims to raise the quality of education in the country’s primary and secondary schools. The Board also approved further support to the ongoing Science and Technology Higher Education project which is helping produce more highly-skilled workers who can meet the needs of a fast-growing economy and help to sustain economic growth.
With millions more children enrolled in schools in Tanzania over the past decade, there is now a major push to fast track improvement in education quality. Using the World Bank’s new Program-for-Results lending instrument for the first time in education, the Big Results Now in Education Program will receive a US$122 million IDA* credit over the coming four years, as pre-agreed results are achieved. The governments of the United Kingdom and Sweden are also supporting the program.
“Education can be absolutely transformational in Tanzania if every child can acquire the kind of learning that can open new doors to a brighter future,” said Philippe Dongier, World Bank Country Director for Tanzania. We are delighted to support programs which invest smartly in education, because skilled, talented young people are going to be Tanzania’s true wealth as the economy grows, diversifies, and moves from low-income to middle-income status.”
“Following the Education Reform Compact signed by the government and several development partners including the World Bank, the Big Results Now in Education program is a direct, action-oriented response to heightened public concern about the quality of education in the country,” said Arun Joshi, World Bank Lead Education Specialist and Task Team Leader for the Project. “The program, which is an integral part of Tanzania’s new Big Results Now, is specifically designed to ensure that children in Tanzanian primary and secondary schools are learning better.”
Funds will be disbursed to the Big Results Now in Education program as results are progressively achieved in strengthening the quality of primary and secondary level education systems. These results include deploying teachers more equitably across and within districts; getting capitation grants to schools on time; gathering data and monitoring results much more effectively; motivating teachers to spend more time teaching; and improving student achievement in reading, writing, and basic mathematics by the end of Grade 2.
Tanzania will also receive an additional US$15 million credit for the ongoing Science and Technology Higher Education Project. Every year, some 800,000 people enter Tanzania’s labor market, and the vast majority lack the skills sought by employers. This project is helping to increase the number of graduates with market-relevant skills, address the shortage of qualified science teachers in secondary schools, strengthen the linkage between higher education and industry, and develop a roadmap for skills development in priority growth sectors.
“One of the main aims of this project is to make Tanzanian higher education programs much more responsive to the needs of the private sector than they are today,” said Xiaonan Cao, Task Team Leader for the project. “The World Bank is supporting similar efforts across Africa, as policymakers in many countries face the same challenge—ensuring that growing numbers of young people, who have new expectations and aspirations, are equipped with the right skills for productive jobs and can contribute to the continent’s economic growth.”
* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing zero-interest loans and grants for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 82 poorest countries, 40 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change for 2.5 billion people living on less than $2 a day. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 108 countries. Annual commitments have increased steadily and averaged about $16 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent of commitments going to Africa.