This account from Moshi from our Friday Workshop series is a little old but still very relevant.  One of our more serious topics, this session engaged the tutoring staff on the national policy regarding children in Tanzania.  I think it was very helpful for them to learn what the law states versus what they currently observe in daily life.  Enjoy the report!

####

“The workshop started at 1pm on August 14th and Madam Hyasinta welcomed all the attendees and facilitators to the session.  Madam Belina and Mr. Emmanuel were the main facilitators.

Madam Belina began the presentation by calling teachers to participate in a game called ‘Sungura Kasema’ (Rabbit Says) and the teachers were happy and participated well.  After the game, they shared what they learned and how they would apply it when teaching children.  The purpose of this exercise was for the facilitator to relax the attendees and make them feel comfortable for the lecture ahead.

Belina then introduced the topic of the session which was ‘Tanzanian Child Policy.’  She asked the teachers some questions to share their ideas on what they know concerning the topic to be discussed.

Then the facilitator started to explain the topic depending on the questions she was asking tutors and the answers they were giving out.  She explained the meaning of the word ‘policy,’ the objectives of the policy, and things found in the policy such as factors affecting the provision of child rights in Tanzania and measures to promote child development.

Tanzanian child policy emphasizes child development and the provision of the child rights.  It also stresses the need for special ministries to coordinate child development programs and encourage non-governmental organizations and individuals to establish centers for children in difficult circumstances.  On top of that, the policy aims to set up special schools and institutions to cater for children with particular problems.  Specific objectives of the Tanzanian child policy include:

  • To define a child in the Tanzanian context
  • To educate the community on the basic rights of a child
  • To provide direction and guidance on child survival, protection, and development
  • To provide direction on the upbringing of children in difficult circumstances
  • To give a proper direction to children so that they may become good citizens
  • To enable the community to understand the source of problems facing children
  • To clarify the role and responsibilities of children, parents, guardians, the community, institutions, and the government in planning, coordinating, and implementing plans for children
  • To emphasize the joint responsibilities of both parents (mothers and fathers) in caring for and bringing up their children
  • To ensure that there are laws that can be used to deal with child abuse

Unfortunately, the basic rights of the child are frequently violated by the community, parents, and guardians.  Those who have been left to bring up children and care for them and their interests sometimes do not take into account their economic status, education, traditions and customs, and the environment in which they live.

Another factor which affects the provision of child rights in Tanzania is deficiencies in the enforcement of the laws concerning child rights.  This has also contributed to the denial of these rights.

However, measures to promote child development include:

  • To advocate for the establishment of preschools and day care centers and improvement of their services; as well as to establish a system of educating parents on the importance of preschool education and assist in developing a conducive learning environment for the child
  • To take legal measures against anyone responsible for a child dropping out of school
  • To ensure adequate provision of essential school materials; as well as to update curricula with attention to gender, and prepare children for their future lives
  • To educate communities on the importance of providing good examples of respect, love, and cooperation.
  • To strengthen moral and spiritual teachings so that they go hand in hand with cooperation

The teachers enjoyed much this workshop on Tanzanian Child Policy and felt that it made sense given the work they do at Toa Nafasi.  They agreed to cooperate and work with parents and the government in helping children according to the policy.  They also agreed to use different games before starting to teach their students.”