By 2001, following a period of macroeconomic progress, Tanzania's economy had in place many elements conducive to private sector-led growth, but it lacked the adequately qualified and trained work force essential for rapid economic growth and effective diversification of the production and export bases. The gross enrollment rate in primary schools had been stagnant at around 77 percent since 1995. Only about 60 percent of children were completing primary school and secondary school gross enrollment rate was at a very low 8 percent. Overall, the education system was performing far below the level needed for sustainable development.
The government undertook an overall sector development program, but focused on primary education first. The Primary Education Development Program (PEDP) was designed with partners including IDA, to improve education quality, expand school access, and increase school completion at the primary level. This involved measures to increase resource availability and improve resource allocation and utilization; to improve educational inputs; and to strengthen institutional arrangements for effective primary education delivery.
Greater access to education as measured by increased enrollment in primary education –96.1 percent – and improved quality as measured by increased pass exam rates.
- Net enrollment rate of 96.1 (95.4 percent females and 96.8 males) percent in 2006, from 58.6 (59.1 percent females) percent in 2000.
- Gross enrollment rate of 112.7 percent in 2006, from 77.6 percent in 2000.
- Drop-out rate fell to 3.4 percent in 2005-06, from 5.54 percent in 2000-01.
- Improved performance in learning with a pass rate: from 28.6 percent in 2001 to 61.8 percent in 2006.
- Increased community ownership in managing school accounts as well as other school affairs through development and capitation grants as well as other school affairs.
- The total project cost was US$694 million from 2002 to 2004: IDA provided a US$150 million credit and administered a US$50 million grant from the Netherlands. Further support was provided by donor partners using pooled fund mechanisms totaling US$154 million.
- IDA provided predictable resources annually allowing the government flexibility to use funds on all priority areas, including recurrent costs. The impact was great because the amount of financing enabled the government to initiate educational reforms throughout the country and facilitated a process of sectoral decentralization.
- IDA ensured that the program was consistent with the country’s poverty reduction strategy but financed an operation that was based on the government’s own program for improving education and implemented with a number of partners.
The Netherlands, Canada, Sweden, Finland, the European Commission, Belgium, France, Norway, and Ireland.
Even though the IDA credit and grant closed in 2004, the program continues to be supported by the Pooled Fund Partners. Tanzania needs continued support for primary education as well as secondary, vocational and technical education for skills development and higher education. IDA is currently financing a Secondary Education Development Program credit and grant, aimed at building a productive and adaptable labor force as well as supplying better quality students for higher levels of the post-secondary education and training system.