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Education, why are we doing it?
Our current focus at Selfless Solutions is to address educational inequities in Tanzania so that indigent children might be able to meet their basic needs in the future and have the opportunity to become their most realized selves.
The situation is dire. In the last decade, the population of children attending primary school in Tanzania has dropped steadily. An estimated 2 million children between the ages of 7 and 13 years are out-of-school. Almost 70 percent of children aged 14–17 years are not enrolled in secondary education, while a mere 3.2 percent enroll for the final two years of schooling. The ratio of students to qualified teachers at the public pre-primary level is 169:1, compared to 24:1 in private schools. Most children, especially in rural areas, enter primary school poorly prepared due to the lack of access to early stimulation, poor nutrition, and low-quality pre-primary education.
Children often do not achieve intended learning outcomes in primary school such as literacy, numeracy, and life skills, all negatively impacting future life opportunities. Mainland Tanzania’s 2014 primary school examinations revealed that only 8 percent of Grade 2 pupils could read properly. Only 8 percent could add or subtract, and less than 0.1 percent showed high levels of life skills (academic grit, self-confidence, problem- solving, etc.).
Equity and quality pose significant challenges. Primary school-aged children from the poorest families are three times less likely to attend school than those from the wealthiest households. Girls, the poorest children, children with disabilities, and children living in underserved communities are the most vulnerable to dropping out of school or never going in the first place.
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