The EFA 2000 Assessment: Country Reports Homepage of the World Education Forum
   Tanzania (Zanzibar)
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Part I: Descriptive Section


EFA 2000 Assessment is the first comprehensive analysis of the state of education in Zanzibar since the declaration of Education for All in Jomtien Thailand in 1990. The assessment provide a progress attain towards EFA and also identify constraints that hinder the realisation of the desired goals. The process provides strategies and policies that could be used in overcoming those obstacles and revising the national plans of action. The outcome of this exercise will be useful to policy makers, planners, partners in education and local citizens in looking on the future of education while entering 21st century.

The review process has critically examined and analysed the development and expansion of educational opportunities within the last decade of 20th century. It has also examined the qualitative aspect and relevance of education to the people, community and the nation it serves. The analysis has covered early childhood education, basic education (primary and lower secondary) adult education, non-formal education and special education.

The assessment exercise has underscore the considerable achievement attained by Zanzibar in realising its commitment to basic education, but also revealed the insurmountable challenges facing education system at the dawn of 21st century. The main challenges will be sustaining the achievement gain, and improving quality and relevance of education at a time of scarce financial resources.

The preparation of this report was a collaborative effort involving policy makers, planners, researchers, inspectors and senior education officers from the Ministry of Education, Zanzibar. This was facilitated by the creation EFA Steering Committee made up of Commissioners and Directors of education department who discussed and spelt out broad policy guidelines. Below the Steering Committee, was EFA Technical Committee, headed the National Assessment Co-ordinator, which was responsible for professional development of assessment process, involving collection of relevant document and data, analysis of information and production of the report. The Ministry conveys its appreciation and thanks for the tireless work which they have done.

We also thanks the EFA Forum Secretariat, the facilitators of the sub regional seminars and workshops conducted in Harare, Zimbabwe for their expertise and support that facilitated the giving this work a focus. The report has also drawn from various reports undertaken earlier such as EFA Mid-decade Review (1995); The Education sector review (1995); The Zanzibar Education Master Plan 1996-2006, The SACMEQ Report (1997) to mention a few. Although the report is comprehensive but not exhaustive; information on certain critical areas such as adult literacy are inadequate due to lack of current data. Effort to conduct nation-wide household literacy survey did not succeed due to funding and time limitations.

The Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar through the Ministry of Education, Zanzibar is most grateful to UNICEF, UNFPA and UNESCO for their financial and technical support during the preparation of this report.

I wish also to thanks, our partners, community, NGO’s and international donor agencies for their initiatives and commitment towards the realisation of these noble goals.

Abdulhamid Y. Mzee,
Principal Secretary
Ministry of Education, Zanzibar
Khadija A. Mohammed Director, Planning and Finance
2. Mwanaidi
S.Abdulla-Commissioner,  Department of  Professional Services for   Education
3. Sebtuu M. Nassor Commissioner, Department of Education
4. Mbarak M. Abdulwakil Director, Institute of Kiswahili and Foreign Languages.
5. Hussein O. Faki Officer in-charge of Education, Pemba
6. Dr. Bishara Th. Mohammed Director, Madrasat Resource Centre
7.Amina M. Hassan UNICEF Sub-Office, Zanzibar
8. Hussein S. Khatib Commissioner, External Finance; Ministry of Finance, Zanzibar
9. Slyvester M. Mabumba Ministry of State; Planning and Investments, Zanzibar
1. Khadija A. Mohammed EFA Co-ordinator
2. Hussein O. Faki Officer in Charge of Education, Zanzibar
3. Abdulla M. Abdulla Policy, Planning & Project Officer
4. Rijaal A. Rijaal Programme Development & Aid Co-ordination Officer
5. Tamim A. Hassan Basic Education officer
6. Mwita M. Mwita Former Computer and Statistics Officer
7. Maimuna O. Ali School Inspector
8. Hemed A. Khalfan School Inspector
9. Suad S. Hussein Chief Statistician
10. Bakar A. Juma MEES Co-ordinator
11. Shaaban S. Mohammed Principal, Fidel Castro Secondary School
10. Mohammed A. Mbarouk Tutor, Nkrumah Teacher Training College
11.Ali Mwalimu Tutor; Institute of Kiswahili and Foreign languages, Zanzibar
12. Ahmed H. Saadat Adult Education Department
Maimuna Rashid Shaaban
Rahma Kheir Hamad



African Development Bank


Aga Khan Foundation


Child Survival Protection and Development




Danish International Development


Early Childhood Care Education and Development.


Education For All


Gross Enrolment Rate


Government of Zanzibar


Human Immuno Virus/ Acquire Immune Deficiency Syndrome


International Development agency


Moral Ethics and Environmental Education Studies


Mpango wa Elimu na Amali (literally mean Programme for Integration of Education with work)


Ministry of Education


Non- governmental organisations


National Programme of Action


National Teacher Resource Centre


Pupils Teacher Ratio


Sampling Error


Swedish International Development Authority.


Sexual Transmitted Disease


Teacher Centre


United Nations Funds for Population Activities


United National Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation


United Nations Children’s Fund


Water and Environmental Sanitation


Zanzibar Education Master Plan

Part I – Background (- Jomtien EFA Conference 1990)



Zanzibar comprises two main islands, Unguja (1,464 km2) and Pemba (868km2) and a number of islets. The islands lie about 40 kilometres off the coast of Mainland Tanzania, with Unguja and its sister island; Pemba located about 50 kilometres apart. According to the 1988 population census, the islands had a population of 640,685 of whom 375,539 lived in Unguja and 265, 146 people in Pemba. The population is currently estimated at 850,000 and the average annual rate of growth is estimated at 3.0 per cent compared to 2.7 per cent for the 1967 – 1978 period. The average population density is 350 per square kilometre, which is one of the highest in Africa.

In 1964, Zanzibar merged with Tanganyika to form the United Republic of Tanzania. However the Government of Zanzibar has considerable autonomy over its internal affairs and has its own legislative body and executive functions including ministries such as Health, Education, Agriculture and Forestry, Finance and Planning and Investments and many others.

Administratively, Zanzibar has five regions and each region has two districts, which are sub-divided into constituencies that are further sub-divided into shehias.

Agriculture contributes over 60% of GDP and provides employment for about 80% of labour force. Until recently, Zanzibar had a typical mono- crop economy relying on cloves for most of its export. However the collapse of price of this major cash crop in the early eighties has almost been synonymous to the loss of economic fortunes of the isles as cloves used to be the main foreign exchange earnings. Radical reforms and the liberalisation of the economy were initiated in the 1980’s in all sectors with important improvement in tourism’s, transport and commerce in particular. The establishment of export processing zone and Zanzibar Investment Promotion Agency facilitated the increase in foreign investment, creations of employment opportunities and increased in earnings. Nevertheless the annual growth rate of the GDP has increased from 3.4% in 1993 to 6.3% in 1996. However the growth has not yet been sufficient to make any significant impact on the standard of living of the majority of the people.

Inspite of attractive economic policy, which has attracted a number of foreign investors, provision of social services has mainly remains on the hands of government. Private investment in social services, especially in education has been very minimal. As in most African countries, which have undertaken ERP, the social sector in Zanzibar has been affected adversely. The resources for the provision of social services have gradually declines in real terms, resulting in the deterioration of the quality education and health services, and irregular supply of clean and safe water.


Education has long been a high priority in Zanzibar policies and development strategies. After the 1964 revolution, strengthening of education quickly became an important goal for the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar. In September 1964, a compulsory and free basic education was declared. The declaration aimed at making education more equitable and redressing previous imbalances in its provision. In a very short time a large number of schools were constructed and enrollment was expanded considerable.

Currently, Zanzibar follows 7-3-2-2-3 system of education; seven years of primary education, three years of first cycle lower secondary education, two years of second cycle lower secondary education, two years of advanced secondary education and three years or more of higher education. Compulsory basic education is provided free in public schools for ten years covering seven years of primary and three years of first cycle lower secondary education. After basic education, promotion to second cycle lower secondary is competitive and depends on passing a selective examination. On the average less than 40% of basic education graduates proceed to second cycle lower secondary education which leads to General Certificate of Secondary Education (O-level). Good qualification from GCSE in a combination of subject leads to Advanced Secondary Education. Currently less than 10% of GCSE candidates qualify for admissions to the Advanced Level. Formerly, Higher education was jurisdiction of the union government for three decades, but of recently, its provision has been liberalised, which led to the establishment of various non-public higher education institutions. In Zanzibar, two privately owned higher education institutions are now operating; namely the University of Zanzibar, and College of Education. The act for the establishment of the State University of Zanzibar has already been passed by the House of Representative and planned are underway for its launching.

Zanzibar is a multi racial country, with Africans being the majority. Other racial groups are Arabs and Indians. Kiswahili is the national language and medium of instruction in primary schools while Arabic and English are offered as foreign languages. Post-primary education is offered entirely in English. However, transition of language of instruction from Kiswahili in primary schools to English at secondary level has not been smooth as an increasing number of secondary schools students find difficult to follow instruction in English, when joining lower secondary education.

1.3 Education For All

The Education For All conference held in Jomtien Thailand in March 1990 laid down the global goals for the year 2000 in respect for basic education. The declaration has a Framework of Action to Meet Basic Learning Needs that outline 6 target dimensions which progress towards provision of Education for All can be assured and assessed. These targets are as follows:-

1.4 EFA goals and targets

Even before the Jomtien Conference on Education For All, the Government of Zanzibar had already adopted and implemented the global goals towards basic education. Since 1964, the government has been providing compulsory and free to all children irrespective of their race, colour and sex. The declaration was followed by massive expansion of education facilities and service so as to enrol as many children as possible. Old schools were extended and new ones were built. Most of the construction works were carried out by the community labour with the government supplementing community efforts. Teacher’s supply was accelerated to cope with the increasing number of pupil’s population. In late 1970’s and early 1980’s GER at primary education level was close to 100%. However, demand for education has been growing at faster speed than the available financial resources. The main reason for the financial constraints has been the poor economic performance.

After the 1990 World Conference on Education For All and followed in the same year by the World Summit for Children the GOZ reiterated its commitment to provide basic education for all. The Goals of the two international conference were translated into national goals by development of the National Programme of Action for achieving the goals for Tanzania children by which was jointly developed between the Government of Tanzania and UNICEF. The NPA is a multi- sectoral strategy of bringing social development that was translated in different programmes. Among them is Child Survival, Protection and Development Programme, which had goals and targets as follow:-

This programme became a basis for the attainment of EFA goals in Zanzibar. To overseas its implementation a multi-sectoral team, co-ordinated by Ministry of State Planning and Investment was formed and put into operation. However, CSPD programme did not address all the goals of EFA and also its implementation has not been smooth and easy. The resources available did not match with the magnitude of the problems.

Various studies carried out by Obura (1994), Kweka (1994), Little (1995) and Education Sector Review (1995) had identified various problems and issues confronting education sector. The review revealed that the goal to achieved universal education was far from being reached. It further revealed a number of issues, which has implication on the realisation of EFA goals. The issues are as follows:-

The Education sector review necessitated the revision of EFA goals and targets, plan of action and its linkages with other education levels. As a result, the Zanzibar Education Master Plan (ZEMAP) for the year 1996 to 2006 was developed. The master plan is a long- term development strategy, which gives a high priority to overall education improvement. It focuses on basic education but takes an integrated sector wide approach. It is more than EFA since it includes all levels of education, including higher education. ZEMAP is the blueprint for the implementation of EFA goals as it has defined targets and well articulated strategies and plan of actions.

Some of the ZEMAP objectives which targeted the achievements of EFA goals are as follow:-

2.EFA strategy and/or plan of action

The implementation of the EFA goals require a collaborative efforts of various actors, which include the Ministry of Education, communities, parents, NGO’s, private sector, bilateral and multilateral donors agencies. In order to operationalise the implementation of EFA goals, MoE has taken steps as follow:

Apart from those initiatives, the ZEMAP programmes have spelt out policies and strategies for its implementation and identify key players responsible. Among the programmes to be implemented, strategies and key actors are as follow:

  1. Expansion of Early Childhood Care, Education and Development.

ZEMAP underscore the importance of early years in the growth, development and education of young children as the child’s intellectual, emotional and physical states grow and develop at a very rapid pace. Early childhood care and development in its broad sense covers all aspects of education, health and nutrition which are designed to foster learning and the emotional and social development of children. The development of the child at the age of 0-3 years is the responsibility of the individual, communities, Ministry of Health and Ministry of State Women and Children. In a traditional form, childcare is a domestic responsibility especially for women. However, Ministry of Health is responsible for providing health support to pregnant mother and the young child. MOE is responsible for child development between the age of 4-6 years by creating a conducive environment, development of policy and supervisory role for the development of pre-school. In this regard, the Ministry of Education Zanzibar, in its education policy sat objectives which states that pre-school education should aim at:

In an attempt to implement the EFA goals, the MoE aims at expanding the pre-school education services so as it becomes a basic service for all children in the country. However the main provider of early childhood, care and development service will be individuals, communities and NGO’s while the MoE will play supervisory role and training of teachers. It is the MoE policy to establish some few pre-schools in all districts that will serve as a model for the community to emulate when they decide to establish their own centres. These public pre-schools will serve as centres for in service training for community pre-schools teachers and innovations. The main strategies and policies guiding the implementation of ECCED programme are as follow:-

b) Universal access to basic education and enrolment of all school age children and at least 80% of children should complete primary education at the right age.

The provision of basic, education is a shared responsibility of government, individuals, private sector and NGO’s. The government policy is to expand access to basic education while at the same time improve its quality. In expanding access to basic education. Whereas communities are responsible for construction of classrooms and new schools, the MOE is responsible for furnishing, recruitment of teachers and provision of instructional materials. Also MoE recognise the contribution of non-public schools in accelerating enrolment. In this area, the realisation of EFA goals will be guided by the policies and strategies as follows:-

  1. Improving Learning Achievement

The Ministry of Education, Zanzibar underscores the importance of quality education that could meet the expectation of children, parents, nation and employers. In addressing the issue of learning achievement the policies and strategies are as follow:

d) Reduction of adult illiteracy by half of 1990 level and reducing disparity between male and female illiteracy rate.

It has been the policy of MoE to provide functional literacy classes to adults who for various reasons are illiterate so as to enable them to participate effectively in country development. The responsibility of providing the adult literacy lies to the department of Adult Education. Literacy classes are conducted to adult above the age of 13 who have not get chance of attending schooling or have drop- outs and relapse into illiteracy. It is assumed that the illiteracy rate in Zanzibar might be higher than 40% due to the increase number of un-enrolled children and drop-outs in lower classes. The majority of those who are illiterates are women who have missed schooling due to various reasons among them are social and economic reasons. In combating the increase incidence of illiteracy ZEMAP has set the following strategies:-

e) Expansion of basic education and training in other essential skills required by youth and adults.

Basic education is supposed to equip the youth with essential skills for life. However the facilities for skills training are not available in most of the schools and most of basic education graduates come out of schools without proper skills required by the labour market or foe self employment. The Ministry of Education has started a programme of integrating education with works so as to equip the learners with skills for survival. However, its implementation has been slow due to financial constraints. Also, some limited training are offered by the department of Adult Education which provide non-formal and continuing education to adults and out of school youths. Other providers of continuing education services include Department of Youth in the Ministry of Information, Culture, Tourism and Youth, Ministry of State, Women and Children, and various NGO’s.

The continuing education programme targets the post-literate adults, basic education graduates and school drop-outs that are in need of skills required by labour market or for self-employment. The programme would be implemented through the following strategies and policies:

f) Increase acquisition by individual and families of the knowledge, skills and values required for better living that could be available through all education channels.

It has been the policy of GoZ to explore the media for the purpose of informing and educating the citizens. Public media; voice of Zanzibar, Television Zanzibar have a wide coverage in almost every corner of the two islands. It handles most of educational broadcasting programme to sensitise, mobilise and educate the public in various educational issues such as primary health care, environmental awareness, science and technology, gender, farming youth and educational programmes for literacy classes and school children. The public media broadcast its programme in Kiswahili, which is the national language and widely used language. Newspapers also publish some education articles but its coverage is mainly confined in urban. MoE used to produce newsletter " Jipatie Maarifa" which targets post literacy learners. However the production of the newsletter have stop due to financial difficulties. With the liberalisation of media, private providers of information have increased tremendously. Apart from media, MoE has explored the use of distance approach in education and introduction of life skills curriculum in schools. The policies and strategies guiding this goal is as follow:

3.EFA decision making and management

The education system of Zanzibar is centrally managed and administered by the Ministry of Education. The management council of the ministry is responsible for policy decisions regarding the implementation of all education activities including EFA. Apart from the Ministry’s management council, the implementation of the National Programme of Action for CSPD is managed by inter-sectoral steering committee, which is composed of Permanent Secretaries of social sectors and coordinated by Planning Commission. Below, the steering committee is technical committee composed of planning officers from social sectors who are responsible for day to day execution of NPA activities.

Although the education sector is centrally managed, but a number of EFA activities are taken place at the decentralised system. The Regional and District Education Board are responsible for undertaken decision with regards to expansion of schools within their areas. One of major activity taken place at decentralised system is construction and rehabilitation of schools. Its community responsibility to constructs new schools and classrooms. Through community initiatives the number of classrooms have increased tremendously. And hence expanding access to education.

4.Main events and actions since 1990.

In the implementation of the EFA several events and actions has taken place. They are as follow:-

5.Cooperation in EFA

Even before the Jomtien Conference, basic education sub-sector was a priority for public funding in Zanzibar. However with the increase of school age population due to social demand for education, public funds alone were insufficient to guarantee the required access, provision of adequate learning conditions and meeting quality standards. Under that situation, involvement of partners such as community, school committees, NGO’s and International donor agencies were necessary. The concept of partnership has been integrated in the revised education policy of 1992. Community participation is one among the strategies that is widely used by the GoZ to achieve the goals of education. The participation of communities in classroom construction and maintenance of buildings, purchase of instructional materials as well as meeting private cost of schooling has assist in increasing access, improve quality and management of schools.

Apart from the communities, CBO’s and NGO’s have also being important partners in educational development. Worth mentioning is two local CBO’s in North "A: and South districts which were behind the construction of two new schools with over 15 classrooms. Also, local and International NGO’s such as Zanzibar Association of Disabled, Madrasas Resource Centre, Save the Children Funds, Peace Corps, VSO, DVS, JOVC etc have play a prominent role in support of EFA initiative.

Non-public schools have been allowed to operate since 1993 to supplement efforts to expand access to education and improve quality. However, effort to establish non-public schools has mainly directed towards pre-schools. Zanzibar has about 72 registered private pre-schools and 25 primary and secondary schools. According to 1999 education figures, private pre-schools contribute to GER of 76% while primary and secondary levels has a GER of 1.3% and 1.2% respectively.

Other partners in realisation of EFA are International Development Agencies such as Sida, DANIDA, World Bank, OPEC FUND, Aga Khan Foundation, African Development Bank, Bernard Van Leer Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, UNICEF, UNFPA, UNESCO who mainly support development expenditure.

6.Investment in EFA since 1990

Public expenditure for education at all levels have shown a continuous increase from Tshs. 975 millions in 1991 to over T.Shs. 5 billions in 1998. Despite the significant increase of public expenditures on education, in absolute figure the Tanzanian currency. During the same period expenditure on basic education sub-sector within the overall education expenditure has increased at a rate of 11.8% annually. A Significant and positive relationship can be observed between the basic education expenditure and enrollment of students.

However, the poor economic situation and the structural adjustment policies have adverse effects on government ability to inject adequate resources for education. The government has increasingly been unable to meet the non-salary expenditure. The government role is limited on payment of teachers’ salaries that constituted of about 90% of total basic education expenditure in 1998. The non-salary expenditure has now unofficially been transferred to local communities and households who have to meet the cost of classroom construction, purchase of textbooks, school supplies and uniforms. A study by Mzee,O.Y. (1994) has found out that out of total costs of education at all levels, parents contribute about 7% of the total education expenditure. However parents contribution might have increased overtime especially after withdrawal of bilateral donors support after multi party election in 1995.

The Vision 20/20 advocates for the increase spending in social sector for both government and community. The government is required to allocate 20% of its spending in social sector and complemented by the same share from the community and household. During the past five years the government has been allocating between 12.5% to 13.7% of its budget to education, although its has promised to raise the allocation up to 20%.

The private sector involvement in provision of education started in 1992 after the policy reform. The number of private schools is on the increase especially at pre-school level where the number of private pre-schools exceeds the public pre schools. However private sector expenditure on education has not yet been accounted and its contribution is not yet known.

Donors have mainly provided capital expenditure and supported specific projects. The main donors to basic education sub-sector in Zanzibar are as follows:

External financing is particularly important to the financing of the education system. External assistance has been the source of new projects and programmes. The main beneficiaries of the foreign assistance have mainly been in the construction and rehabilitation of school buildings, instructional materials, technical assistance and institutional capacity building. However, delays in receiving the assistance and failure of the government to raise the matching grants has affected the implementation scheduled of projects and programmes. Donor’s conditionalities and political inclination had also affected the availability of support. For Instance after the 1995 multi-party election in Zanzibar, all bilateral donors withdraw their assistance due to political reasons. Hence, the implementation of some programmes which relies on donor’s grants were affected. Also, donor’s priorities not all the time matches with government preference.

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