Tanzania: are our children learning?

While 100% of children in Standard 3 should be able to read basic English and Kiswahili stories, and do simple mathematics of class two level , a new citizen-led assessment report reveals that very few are able to do so.


  • Fewer than half of Standard 3 children (45%) can read a Standard 2 Kiswahili story.
  • In Standard 7, 4 out of 5 children (80%) can read a Standard 2 Kiswahili story, meaning that 20% of pupils complete Standard 7 without having mastered basic literacy skills in Kiswahili.


  • Just 2 out of 10 pupils (19%) in standard 3 can read a Standard 2 level English story.
  • In Standard 7, fewer than 6 out of 10 pupils (56%) can read a standard 2 English story. Almost half of Standard 7 pupils are not literate in English, which is the language of instruction in secondary school.


  • Just 3 out of 10 pupils in Standard 3 (31%) can solve a Standard 2 multiplication problem.
  • By the time they reach Standard 7, about 3 out of 7 10 (71%) cannot solve Standard 2 multiplication.

These findings, released today by Uwezo at Twaweza, are from the Are our children learning? Literacy and Numeracy in Tanzania 2014 – the report of the fourth national learning assessment conducted in 2013. Uwezo partners tested over 100,000 children, aged 7 to 16, from 131 districts in all 25 regions.

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Authors: Uwezo Tanzania



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