Education equity and quality


What UNICEF is doing

Early childhood development

Quality education

Gender equality

Children with disabilities

Life skills

Impact with equity

Results for children


Early childhood development

© UNICEF/TNZA2009-00022/Pudlowski
A group of young girl children sitting in a classroom at the Wailes Primary School in Temeke District, Tanzania.

The first two years of a child’s life are critical to the development of the brain – if a child is under-nourished and under-stimulated the negative impact on physical, emotional, cognitive and intellectual advances is considerable.

In Tanzania approximately 60 percent of 0-2 year olds are stunted, this means that many young children do not have the opportunity to develop to their full potential.

Providing young children with stimulating educational and social experience in pre-school strengthens their later school adjustment and achievement. It is not only right but smart to invest in young children.

A recent study analysing the impact of Early Childhood Development (ECD) interventions in 73 countries found that developing countries that invest in ECD and increase pre-school enrollment by 50 percent can see up to a 17-fold return on that investment.

Around 42 percent of five and six-year-olds were enrolled in pre-primary schools in 2011.

Other children attend informal community based child care centres. The majority of pre-school classrooms lack supplies and play materials.

There is a serious shortage of well-trained teachers and most adopt didactic teaching styles that give too much emphasis to literacy and numeracy skills and not enough to learning through play and discovery.

In 2011, only 15 percent of government pre-primary teachers had a pre-school certificate.



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