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Government underscores support for scaling the Learner Guide Program across Tanzania

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At an Education Sector Stakeholder Meeting held on September 23 in Dar es Salaam, co-hosted by CAMFED Tanzania and the Tanzania Education Network/Mtandao wa Elimu Tanzania (TEN/MET), Professor Caroline Nombo — Deputy Permanent Secretary at Tanzania’s Ministry of Education, Science and Technology — underscored support for scaling CAMFED’s award-winning Learner Guide Program across the government school system.

Looking at the impact of this youth-led program and the recommendations provided from the technical team who were part of the scaling process, I am convinced that the Learner Guide Program is worthy of government support.

Professor Caroline Nombo, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology

Her announcement followed a panel discussion with contributors, including Dr. Sempeho Siafu from the Institute of Adult Education and Venance Manori from the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology. There was lively audience participation during which secondary students were encouraged to share their experiences and CAMFED Tanzania’s National Director, Lydia Wilbard, made a presentation about the positive impact of young women Learner Guides on students’ school attendance, learning outcomes and transitions to adulthood.

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Our Real-time Scaling Lab Journey

Together with the Center for Universal Education at Brookings, CAMFED launched a Real-time Scaling Lab in 2018 to galvanize stakeholders — including government officials, school leaders, teachers and civil service representatives — and develop a strategy for expanding the reach of the Learner Guide Program. The distinguished speakers presented findings at the event.

The lessons learned and recommendations to strengthen the Learner Guide Program’s expansion and inform future scaling efforts center on: Embedding the Learner Guide Program into the formal education system; securing flexible and long-term
financing for Learner Guide implementation; and implementing a continuous learning process in support of the Learner Guide Program’s expansion.

Read the Brookings report

Learner Guides: An ‘essential service’

CAMFED Tanzania introduced this flagship program in 2013, and by the end of 2020 had trained 2,235 young women in Tanzania to be Learner Guides, serving in 416 secondary schools. Their role as mentors, first responders and conveners of support has proved especially vital during the COVID-19 crisis, associated school closures and economic challenges.

Learner Guide outreach pivoted to include phone monitoring or home visits, the organization of small, outdoor study groups, as well as the use of local radio to deliver content including from the My Better World curriculum. These efforts helped CAMFED Tanzania to ensure 100% of supported students returned to classrooms when they reopened.

I urge the government to scale up this program to more schools… If it reaches more regions, more students will become self-aware and absenteeism will drop down. Eventually they will be helpful to their communities

Secondary School Student

 

Watch the Education Sector Stakeholders meeting in Dar es Salaam

In her closing remarks CAMFED Executive Adviser Barbara Chilangwa thanked government ministers, researchers from the Center for Universal Education at Brookings, Learner Guides and all other stakeholders for their commitment, and emphasized that the ongoing scaling process would inform CAMFED’s expansion efforts in Zambia and Zimbabwe. CAMFED Tanzania Board Chair Jeanne Ndyetabura added that our commitment remains to the most marginalized children, and that our collective action is making a transformative impact for this generation.

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Event coverage on The Citizen

Rosemary Mirondo’s report from the event themed ‘Leaving no one behind – Youth walking alongside government to improve learning and decrease dropout’. She highlights the Learner Guide Program’s compatibility with government priorities.

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Blog post on Brookings

Patrick Hannahan, Former Project Director of the Millions Learning Project at The Brookings Institution and Lydia Wilbard, National Director at CAMFED Tanzania, co-author this post about the practical application of scaling efforts.

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Tribute to Learner Guides

On Saturday, 3 October 2020, the Hon. Loata Erasto Ole Sanare, representing the Minister from PO-RALG, was welcomed by CAMFED Tanzania at a special event in Morogoro, where he distributed certificates of recognition to Learner Guides.

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