Hi guys and a resounding POLE SANA (so sorry) for being so late with this data. We’ve had massive change at Toa Nafasi this year and our graph-making got a little lost in the mix of expanding into five more public primary schools, becoming grantees with some new funders for whom we’ve had to do reporting, a bunch of personnel changes which have required trainings and mentorship, and my own travels and stepping back from daily life with Toa.
All that is to say that we now (finally!) have the results for our entire yearlong intervention for the 2018 cohorts. Since this was last year, we were only in four schools: Msaranga (our “home base”), Msandaka, Mnazi, and Kiboriloni. You can see that, for the most part, Toa’s services have been extremely effective and that most of the students who were struggling at the start of Standard One were caught up and “mainstreamed” by the end of the year. This means that they satisfied the requirements for the first official grade of school and were able to move on to Standard Two at the start of 2019.
This might not seem like much of an accomplishment given that the children’s studies consist of very elemental concepts – ABCs and 123s – but many children in Tanzania lack this fundamental knowledge even despite attending school! Classrooms are crowded and teachers lack incentives to make sure every pupil in the class is catching on as he/she should. The main way of testing comprehension is by question/answer “chorus-style” or by the children copying what is written on the board.
However, what Toa has discovered is that being a good scribe does not necessarily make one a good scholar and lots of kids can write perfectly without being able to read even a single syllable. Toa’s main goal is to make sure that kids like this don’t slip through the cracks, that they are understanding what they are writing, and that they graduate first grade with a modicum of literacy and numeracy skills.
For those with whom we worked the whole year without making much improvement, we’ve called upon our partner, the locally-run Gabriella Centre, to provide our students with special education classes. Our goal is inclusion in every case possible but where we fail and a child needs a further intervention, it is fortunate that the good people at Gabriella who have more and better knowledge of more severe disabilities and special needs are available to work with us.
It’s all about educating the future generations of Tanzania, right?! 🙂