Isle of Man Government Supports Pioneering Right To Play Project in Tanzania
About the Girls on Track Project
The Isle of Man Government, on behalf of the people of the Isle of Man, is supporting the international development charity, Right To Play, by committing £600,245 to fund a two-year project to transform the lives of thousands of children in Tanzania. The Girls on Track project uses play-based learning, games and sports to make the learning process for children more engaging and provide teachers with tools that strengthen academic achievement amongst pupils. Over two years this work will improve exam pass rates and increase the number of children, particularly girls, staying in school by helping them transition from primary to secondary school in Morogoro and Mara regions.
The Isle of Man Government has previously supported Right To Play education projects in Liberia and Ghana. This is the first time it has funded a Right To Play programme in Tanzania.
The Girls on Track project is designed to improve the quality of education for 20,000 children (including 12,000 girls) in the Mara and Morogoro regions of Tanzania by improving learning outcomes and life skills acquisition, contributing significantly to their ability to make informed decisions and exercise agency in increasing life chances.
The project, which commenced in August 2018 has shown solid progress after six months with Right To Play reporting impressive results, including:
- 50 Junior Leaders have been trained on gender equality, child protection, and how to help teachers deliver play-based life skills games. The trainings were delivered by RTP staff and Government District Education Officers including teacher trainers and school inspectors from the Ministry of Education.
- 225 student clubs have been set up in 40 primary and 5 secondary schools so far. These clubs provide peer-to-peer learning for children on Sexual and reproductive health, child rights and protection, and gender equality.
- 70 community coaches have been supported to engage out-of-school children and young people in regular activities that promote life skills, child protection, gender equality and the value of education. Over 3,000 children and community members (i.e. community leaders, community members, parents and teachers) have been reached through these activities.
- 88 Community coaches, 83 junior leaders and 1,046 children from clubs/sport teams have been supported to organise community events. These events focussed on the themes of gender equality, child protection and the value of education. They were attended by 3,225 people. Through these initiatives, key messages focusing on the eradication of harmful traditional practices that can act as a barrier to girls accessing education were delivered to increase community awareness and stimulate collective efforts to address barriers to girl’s education.
- 95 community stakeholders (leaders, social welfare officers) have been engaged in monthly dialogue about gender equality, child protection and value for education. This process is designed to improve community understanding and commitment towards addressing barriers to education and cultivate project sustainability.
Dominique Davis, Right To Play UK National Director, says: “A series of teacher trainings and community engagement activities have been undertaken to help the project move towards key areas of change. Thanks to the Isle of Man Government, we are seeing a strong start to the project in Tanzania."
After 18 months of implementation, the Girls on Track project is well on track to improve the learning outcomes of children across 80 schools in the Mara and Morogoro regions. Some of the key results so far include:
- 392 teachers have received training and support to use play-based learning inside and outside the classroom.
- 80 student clubs have been established with over 500 Junior Leaders trained to support their peers and lead student club activities at school and within their local communities.
- Various community focussed events have been delivered to promote the value of education for girls and highlight the effect of harmful traditional practices as barriers to girls’ participation in education. So far, over 7,000 community members have engaged in sports tournaments, play days and other sensitization activities.
- The construction of three latrines has provided over 1,000 girls with access to safe and hygienic sanitation facilities.
- 50 schools and 15 community centres have received sports equipment including footballs, netballs, volleyballs and goal posts. This equipment has been used to support play and sport activities both within and outside of the classroom.
- Six schools have initiated feeding programs as part of a community support initiative to address barriers to education at the school level.
- Over 7,300 out-of-school girls have participated in project activities designed to facilitate the process of entering or re-enrolling in education. 141 students at risk of dropping out have been supported to remain in education, with 29 children (16 girls) enrolling or re-enrolling as a result.
With less than a year to go until the end of the project, participating teachers have already reported positive changes within the school environment, including an increase in gender awareness amongst children and a sharp rise in girls demonstrating greater confidence and communication skills through increased participation both within and outside of the classroom. The headteacher of one school commented:
“We are seeing improvements in life skills such as confidence and cooperation amongst pupils, and there is great cooperation between teachers and students during activities, resulting in positive changes in children's attitudes.”
Teachers have also witnessed increasing pupil attendance rates, and an increased commitment of local leaders and government authorities to address education barriers within the Mara and Morogoro regions.
The project has made some incredible progress so far, and we are excited to continue to follow this over the coming months as the project draws to an end.