Tanzania: Revealed - Why More Boys Study Science Than Girls

Dar es Salaam — The research carried out by Ubongo Learning, a non-profit organisation that creates educational cartoon shows - the Ubongo Kids Tanzanian societies favour boys' education (particularly in high school and university) over girls.

The research findings show that boys are encouraged to study science, mathematics and engineering subjects which are skills that are in high demand in the job market, and girls are told to pursue humanities and ultimately more service sector jobs which will be extinct in a couple of years.

The research was carried out to find youth employability and economic empowerment, especially for adolescent girls who are more likely to be negatively affected by future changes in the job market than boys.

"While a lot of progress has been made in ensuring that more girls are enrolled in primary school, many communities in Tanzania continue to favour boys' education, particularly in high school and university, over girls," said Ubongo marketing manager Iman Lipumba.

Speaking during the launch of research findings yesterday, Ms Lipumba said research shows if youth have access to this information from the start, it will help them make better professional decisions to fill the gaps that are increasing in the Tanzanian job market.

"Collecting this information is only the beginning. Ubongo has also created cartoon episodes that teach youth valuable skills like coding, how to fact check information from the internet, as well as saving, budgeting and earning. We are also working with more partners like Data for Local Innovation who are also working on educating and informing youth on different skills that can improve their chances of success," said Ms Lipumba.

Lipumba continued to elaborate that, for the last 10 years, a law degree or any other university degree would have guaranteed someone a decent job.

However, in today's world, rapid advancements in technology have transformed the way we live, especially the ways we work.

"While jobs in traditional fields like law, administration, and business are declining, employment opportunities in IT, engineering, and creative fields like digital marketing are booming," he said.

In fact, 65 per cent of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in completely new job types that don't yet exist.

"We need to equip Tanzania's youth with the skills necessary to succeed in a fast-paced and uncertain future", she added.

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