New Financing to Support Tanzania in Providing Fee-free Quality Education for Millions of Children

May 23, 2017

WASHINGTON, May 23, 2017 – The World Bank today approved a new credit to support the Tanzanian Government’s efforts to provide quality education to millions of primary and secondary school children. As part of its industrialization and development goals, the Government of Tanzania in December 2015 introduced the Fee Free Basic Education Policy which provides free basic education from pre-primary up to lower secondary school level. As a result, the system has come under pressure due to a massive influx of new students, and the World Bank has been working with the government on the implementation of the policy.

The newly approved additional financing of $80 million from the International Development Association (IDA)* towards the Education Program-for-Results (EPforR), formerly known as the Big Results Now in Education Project, aims to support the Government’s efforts to manage the challenges of accommodating the surge in primary and lower secondary students following the introduction of the Fee Free Basic Education Policy, while safeguarding and further improving student achievement gains made in the first three years of implementation of the program. Moreover, the additional financing to the EPforR aims to assist the Government in increasing student retention in primary and lower secondary school and transition from primary to lower secondary education, especially for girls; and enhance school Quality Assurance.

“The EPforR Program is an effective way to support the Government to achieve its objective of ensuring all school-going age children are in school and learning,” said Bella Bird, World Bank Country Director for Tanzania, Somalia, Malawi and Burundi. “We congratulate the Government on removing obstacles to school attendance, especially among the poor, and for its focus on education quality. The improvement of learning quality in schools lays the foundation for achieving Tanzania’s development goals without leaving anyone behind. With our support we hope that the authorities will be able to safeguard the gains that have been made so far in improving the teaching and learning environment in schools and expand those gains especially to the most vulnerable households.”

The Original Program was approved by the World Bank Board in July 2014 in the amount of US$122 million to support raising the quality of its primary and secondary education. The EPforR is also supported by the governments of the United Kingdom and Sweden, in addition to government’s own resources. The “Program-for-Results” is a relatively new World Bank financing instrument which makes financial disbursements on the basis of the successful achievement of agreed results, which in the case of this program, is to improve learning outcomes and to reform the education system to more effectively deliver quality education.

The value-added of the EPforR is its focus on results – not just on inputs – and ensuring that the incentives are aligned at all levels to deliver a conducive learning environment and as well as improved learning outcomes,” said Gayle Martin, the World Bank’s Program Leader for Human Development.

Over four years of implementation, the EPforR has contributed to significant achievements in the sector. These include improvement in student reading and math performance at primary level; improved examination pass-rates in primary Standard 7 and secondary Form IV; timely and more predictable transfer of capitation grants to schools; and better quality data availability for monitoring and planning, among others. More than 10,000 schools carried out Student-Teacher Enrichment Program training to strengthen remedial instruction and teacher support to low performing students. In addition, over 50,000 Standard 1 and 2 teachers received reading, writing, and arithmetic (3R) training. Over 200 schools have received the financial School Incentive Grants for improved national examination performance, encouraging greater school and community attention to student learning outcomes. The official School Ranking system has made information on school examination performance more easily accessible to the public, especially parents, through the Open Data website, increasing transparency and incentives for improvements in examination performance primary and secondary levels.


* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans 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 77 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change for 2.8 billion people living on less than $2 a day. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 112 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $18 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent going to Africa. 

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