DFID's Liz Tayler on the launch of Education Quality Improvement Programme

This speech was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The project will support public training institutions to improve language skills, and strengthen the education system in twenty councils.


The Honorable Minister of Education, Dr. Shukuru J. Kawambwa
The Commissioner of Education, Professor Eustella Balalusesa The Deputy British High Commissioner Mr. Julian Chandler The Director for Teacher Education Mr. Issa Bakari VSO and British Council Country Directors, Jean Van Wetter and Sally Robinson

Dear friends from development partners, civil society, and the government, Dear student teachers, tutors and College Principals

Mheshimiwa Waziri wa Elimu, Dr. Shukuru Kawambwa Kamishna wa Elimu, Profesa Eustella Balalusesa Naibu Balozi wa Uingereza, Ndugu Julian Chandler Mkurugenzi wa Elimu ya Ualimu, Ndugu Issa Bakari Wakurugenzi wakaazi wa VSO na British Council, Ndugu Jean Van Wetter na Bi. Sally Robinson

It is a pleasure for me to be here at the Tanzania Institute for Education today and participate in the official launch of the EQUIP English Language Tanzania Project (EQUIP ELT).

Ninafurahi kuwa hapa leo katika Taasisi ya Elimu ili kushiriki katika uzinduzi wa mradi wa ufundishaji wa lugha ya Kiingereza chini ya programu ya Uboreshaji wa Elimu Tanzania.

I would like to sincerely thank the Right Honorable Minister of Education, Dr. Shukuru J. Kawambwa for taking time in his busy schedule to come here today. His presence shows the importance the Tanzanian Government puts on improving learning outcomes for primary and secondary school students.

Natoa shukrani zangu za dhati kwa Mheshimiwa Waziri wa Elimu, Dr. Shukuru Kawambwa, kwa kukubali kuacha majukumu yake mengi na kuwa hapa leo pamoja nasi. Uwepo wake hapa ni dhahiri kuwa serikali ya Tanzania inatilia maanani umuhimu wa kuinua kiwango cha elimu kwa wanafunzi wa shule za msingi na sekondari.

DFID is a long term supporter of education in Tanzania , we and our implementing partners, the British Council and VSO are committed to improving learning outcomes for children in Tanzania.

DFID imekuwa mdau mkubwa wa elimu nchini Tanzania. Sisi (DFID) na washirika wetu, British Council na VSO, tuna nia ya dhati kushirikiana na serikali ili kuboresha kiwango cha elimu kwa watoto wa Tanzania.

We do this because we know that when people are educated they are better able to fulfill their roles in society, they are better farmers, better parents, better entrepreneurs and better able to hold government to account. Education is an engine for growth, but as countries grow more skills are required, and so the need for education increases further.

Tunafanya hivyo tukijua kuwa watu wakielimika wanapata uwezo wa kutimiza wajibu wao katika jamii, wanakuwa wakulima bora, wazazi bora, wajasiriamali bora na wanaweza kuiwajibisha serikali yao. Elimu ni nyenzo muhimu katika ukuaji wa taifa, lakini kadri taifa linavyokua ndivyo utaalamu zaidi unahitajika na vivyo hivyo mahitaji ya elimu yanavyoongezeka.

Communication is vital – we need to be able to understand each other.I am a poor student of Swahili and so I hope that you will excuse me if I l revert to my native English.

Mawasiliano ni muhimu, kwani tunahitaji kuelewana tunapowasiliana. Mimi si mwanafunzi mzuri wa lugha ya Kiswahili hivyo naomba mniwie radhi kama nitaendelea kuzungumza kwa lugha yangu ya Kiingereza.

I confess that I don’t really understand the Swahili that I have spoken, and I only pick up occasional words in meetings and conversation. But I don’t think that my knowledge of Swahili is much worse than the English of many children and even some teachers. I really feel for people in those classrooms – trying to learn to understand and communicate in a foreign language, and this is why I am so excited about the project.

We have been working with government in the education sector for years, putting money directly into the budget. Currently we contribute one hundred and twenty five billion shillings to the general budget – and sixty three billion shillings to education specifically. We estimate that through this contribution over 400 000 children are supported through school

We have been pleased to see enrolment rise but with government colleagues increasingly worried and frustrated about falling quality. For this reason, we are now supplementing our support to the education budget with projects in focused areas that are likely to make a real difference. This project will do this. It has two components;

  1. Support to all the public teacher training institutions to improve English Language skills.

  2. Support to improve learning outcomes and girls attendance and strengthen the education system in about twenty councils.

This is not going back to the projects that we did twenty years ago - this is a new sort of collaboration, where we work alongside government structures and through government systems, adding that impetus that we hope will make the whole thing work better.

We hope that through this project we will build the skills and motivation of teachers . We all know that this is critical as the way to get children learning is to have good teachers with the right skills and motivation, active in the classroom. They will address the issues that have been raised by the education stakeholders and recently in the Big Results Now analysis.

We understand that it is up to Tanzania to select the language of instruction - and it is a difficult decision. Given that for secondary schools the decision has been made to teach in English we do feel that this an an area where UK support and assistance can add real value - and we have a comparative advantage.

The ability to speak and understand English is important in its own right in a very interconnected world, but in Tanzanian schools it is the route to all the other learning. I hope that because of this project there will be much more real communication and understanding in secondary school classrooms, and through this more children inspired to learn and achieve their full potential.

The British Council and VSO have assembled a very professional and skilled team of staff who are already taking up posts in institutions across the country. It is our sincere hope they will receive support and full cooperation of the government in the institutions where they are posted.

The successes and achievements of the project will be those of the Tanzanian schools and colleges that generate them and as such we hope will be owned by the minister. We hope that the lessons learnt will be scaled up and replicated.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank the Honorable Minister of Education, Dr. Shukuru J. Kawambwa and his team for their leadership in improving the quality of education. UKAID are committed to continuing their support to this important work.

I wish everyone good luck in being the change and look forward to seeing the results of this project.

Thank you for your attention.