Measuring Early Learning and Quality Outcomes (MELQO)
Available Education Management Information Systems (EMIS) data in the education sector is inadequate to support evidence-based planning and policy advocacy especially for early learning. Through support from UNICEF, Tanzania has conducted one of the world’s first Measuring Early Learning Quality and Outcomes (MELQO) studies of pre-primary quality and learning outcomes with representative samples in both Mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar. The MELQO is a global initiative with the goal of promoting “feasible, accurate, and useful measurement of pupils’ development and learning at the start of primary school, and of the quality of their pre-primary learning environments.” The study in Tanzania captured data among children entering Standard I for the first time. Evidence from this study shows that those children who attend formal pre-primary school may not yet be getting the quality education they need to be ready for school entry and for success in primary education. The study is set to improve access to data for planning for early learning programmes, improve design of existing models for pre-primary, and provide evidence base for continuously track learning outcome improvements in Tanzania. Following improved availability of data on pre-primary education through the approved MELQO study reports and review of lifeskills teaching and learning, Tanzania now has a Parenting Strategy (launched in June 2019) and Life Skills Learning Strategy (validated in June 2019). Additionally, a pre-primary action plan is already being drafted.