In Tanzania, it is particularly difficult for girls to complete high school. 97% of children in Tanzania attend elementary school, and nearly 80 percent complete it. In secondary school, however, the gap between boys and girls widens and fewer girls pass the final exams.
There are many reasons for this:
- Culturally and religiously influenced the image of the role of women and girls.
- Especially in poor households and households with many children, boys are given more support for their education.
- Girls have to help in the household and there is less time for learning.
- Early pregnancies and marriage: In Tanzania, a girl under 18 is more likely to get married than to attend secondary school.
Salzburg-Singida, together with its Tanzanian partner organization CIP, plans to extend the scholarship program for 50 girls and build a dormitory for 80 girls at Mwasauya Secondary School in the Singida region.
A scholarship program supports 50 girls from low-income families. This support is to be continued in the 2023/2024 school year so that the girls can attend school for longer.
Girls’ dormitories operating in other “wards” (administrative units consisting of several villages) provide convincing figures. In the Ikhanoda Ward, a girls’ dormitory has existed at the secondary school since 2011. In 2020, 82% of the girls living in the dormitory passed their final exams. Girls not living in the dormitory had a pass rate of only 48%.
Through the dormitory, even skeptical people have seen that girls perform well in school when the conditions are favorable.
Construction of the girls’ dormitory at Mwasauya Secondary School is scheduled to begin in 2023, and the first girls will move in during the 2023/2024 school year.
Background information: School system in Tanzania
Tanzania has a voluntary two-year preschool, modeled on the British school system. At the age of seven, the seven-year elementary school begins, which ends with the “Standard 7 Exam,” a standardized national examination. The secondary school comprises four years (Ordinary Level). The final examination determines whether young people are allowed to attend advanced secondary school for a further two years or start vocational training. If they pass the advanced secondary level, they have the option of attending college or university.