Early Childhood and Youth Education

Despite government efforts that aim to offer education to all Tanzanian children, a great majority do not have access to quality primary schooling. Many thousands of young children get registered for elementary and primary education every year, but only a small proportion manage to join the few privately run schools that offer the right learning environment. Thus, due to limited capacity and the high costs associated with commercial private schools, the vast majority end up in public schools poorly equipped to provide students with quality educations.

In an endeavor to alleviate this situation, MESO has set up a project to establish quasi-private schools that target exclusively the lower-middle class. The lower middle class in this context is defined as those who to some extent can afford to pay for the education of their children yet are denied this opportunity because of the unaffordable rates charged by commercial private schools.

Rationale

Creating schools that target the lower-middle class should alleviate significantly the pressure currently applied on public schools. By removing a noticeable portion of its population, public schools can improve greatly on important learning factors, i.e., teacher-pupil ratio, textbook-pupil ratio, classroom size and teacher quality. The overall effect is that the majority of the poor who inevitably will continue attending these schools will start receiving an improved education.   

Objectives

The project aims to offer affordable private schooling to youths, thereby improving the quality of learning in public schools by reducing current pupil populations to more acceptable levels.

Sinza Nursery School

MESO has begun testing this idea by establishing an elementary school at Sinza Kumekucha, along Shekilango Road in Dar es Salaam. Sinza was chosen because it is a predominantly lower-middle class neighborhood with an acute shortage of quality schools. Currently, the Sinza Nursery School has an enrollment of 100 children aged between 3 and 6. The school has been so successful that there is a lot of pressure on MESO from parents to establish additional primary schools.

MESO - The Multi-Environmental Society
mesotz@hotmail.com

(C) Copyright 2004


Sinza Nursery School currently has an enrollment of 100 children, aged 3 to 6 years


The goal is to offer quality education at affordable prices


Class sizes remain small


There is strong demand to open additional schools