Tanzania, UNESCO put ink to 14bn/- deals to boost education

THE Ministry of Education, Science and Technology has signed two agreements with United Nations Educational, Science and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) worth 7,000 million US dollars, which is equivalent to over 14bn/- aimed at improving the education sector in the country.

The two agreements focus on girl education and the promotion of early learning in literacy and numeracy.

Addressing reporters in Dar es Salaam yesterday, the Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Ms Maimuna Tarishi, said the first project is funded by the Republic of Korea through its government agency (KOICA) with a funding of 5 million US dollars.

“The project intends to support the efforts of the ministry to provide quality education to all and to empower and pay attention to those who are still lagging behind, especially girls and young women,” said Ms Tarishi.

It is going to be implemented jointly by UNESCO, UNFPA, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), UNWOMEN, United Nations Volunteers (UNV) and UN partner agencies.

The PS noted that the second project entitled Global Learning XPRIZE for the “Promotion of Early Learning through the use of Innovative Technologies” with a funding of 2 million US dollars, aims to reinforce literacy and numeracy of pupils from the age of 7 to 10 years by exploring the benefits of the digital era.

“This project will enhance the learning capability of children in the 3Rs (reading, writing and arithmetic),” noted the PS.

Ms Tarishi also extended recognition to the project funders and called for more support from other stakeholders. KOICA Country Director, Mr Joosung Park, pointed out that the girls and women project was going to enhance the living standards of the two groups by fostering closer collaboration techniques between education and health at all levels.

The project will have the duration of five years and will be implemented in four districts, including Ngorongoro, Sengerema and Kasulu in the Mainland and Micheweni in Pemba Island.

UNESCO Representative, Ms Zulmira Rodriguez, noted that the project becomes a new solution to tackle early illiteracy in a setting that lacks enough human resources and infrastructure to provide quality education.

“After the testing period, the winning open source solution will have the potential to be adapted, translated and to address the needs of 263 million out of school children worldwide,” said Ms Rodriguez.

She further noted that the needs of out of school girls and mothers will be addressed, hence availing them of a second chance to further development through education.

Earlier this year, the EXPRIZE Foundation with UNESCO and the World Food Programme (WFP) announced a partnership for the Global Learning X-PRIZE competition to develop open-source software that will enable children with limited access to school to teach themselves basic reading, writing and arithmetic.

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