TEN/MET in collaboration with Action Aid Tanzania organised a one day Stakeholders’ Meeting on Free Education and Inclusive Education in Tanzania at Kebby’s Hotel in Dar es salaam on 12th April 2016. The meeting was attended by TEN/MET members, government officials from Ministry of Education Science and Technology (MOEST), academia, and the media. The main objective of the meeting was to stimulate discussion on free and compulsory basic education with emphasis on inclusion.
Two papers were presented to inform the discussion. the first paper was presented by Evena Massae of COSUPED on field experience while Dr Mkonongo of DUCE presented a theoretical paper on inclusive education in general. The presentations highlighted on global targets such as Education for All (EFA) and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) mainly focusing on achievements in general and in inclusive education especially in terms of access. However, less has been achieved regarding access for the marginalized groups despite having the National Strategy on Inclusive Education (2009-2017).
According to the research conducted by Comprehensive Support for People with Disability (COSUPED) in four districts in Dar es Salaam, findings show that only 5% of children with special needs are enrolled in schools. This has been associated with barriers in schools to accommodate children with special needs which include but not limited to parents and community negative attitude towards enrolling children with special needs. Others reasons include school reluctance to take children some difficulties, lack of resources, and lack of trained teachers with skills to serve children with disability in schools, unfriendly environment to support children with special needs, poor implementation of inclusive education to support children with special needs.
Despite the barriers highlighted above implementation of free basic education has made some achievements especially in enrollment of children with disability. However, challenges have emerged on shortage of classroom, desks, teacher’s toilet facilities, teaching and learning materials, Lack of facilities for children with disability and most importantly free education is not clearly understood to the communities.
The full report may be downloaded from our website for free (coming soon)