A child spends his/her maximum time in school as a student. The school infrastructure then becomes a major factor behind how a child sees the world as he/she grows up.

Renovation and building of school facilities

Despite progress and achievements made by the Tanzania Government in previous years as well as introduction of free education in 2016 there are still some challenges that the Ministry needs to quickly and urgently address. Data show that Pupil Teacher Ratios (PTR) have improved at both primary (from 55:1 in 2009 to 43:1 in 2016) and secondary levels (from 43:1 to 17:1 in 2009 to 2016 respectively. It is also reported that, in primary schools, there is less attractive school and classroom environment which contribute to Out of School Children (OOSC). This is observed, among other things, by the shortage of classrooms, estimated at 45%. However, there is Government initiatives to solve the problem of desks shortage in primary schools and have shown a big success (MoEST, 2016). The national secondary pupil-classroom ratio stands at 42:1. Regional ratios range from 33:1 in Lindi to 61:1 in Dar es Salaam and the overall classroom shortage is at an average of 37% (MoEST, 2016). 

In 2013, only a quarter of science laboratory needs were fulfilled (3,300 for biology, chemistry and physics). The shortage of agriculture and geography facilities reached 94%, and that of computer rooms, 85%. A total of 3,500 schools, over three-quarters of all the secondary schools, lack a library. Furthermore, the average male Pit Latrine Ratio (PLR) is 1:53 against the Standard of 1:25; and that of females is 1:52 against the standard of 1:20. Also, Pupil Classroom Ratio (PCR) is 1:73 against the Standard of 1:45. The adequacy of latrines and classrooms is still a major challenge in primary schools with notable variations among regions (MoEST, 2016). Data further show that there is an acute shortage of 10,943 (83.4%) school administration blocks, 186,008 (81.1%) teachers’ houses, 15,342 (88%) libraries and 16,290 (93.9%) first aid rooms. The pupil desk ratio in primary schools is 1:5 against the recommended average of 1:32 (MoEST, 2016). In terms of electricity supply for supporting the teaching of Teknolojia ya Habari na Mawasiliano (TEHAMA)3, out of 17174 Primary Schools, only 3,818 (22.2%) have been connected to the national grid electric power. This halts the implementation of school curriculum and defeats the notion of information and communication technology in teaching and learning (MoEST, 2016).

The pupil desk ratio in primary schools is 1:5 against the recommended average of 1:3 MoEST, 2016). The Region with high demand of desks is Mwanza followed by Geita and Dar es Salaam 2Desks are normally three seater but may vary from one to three seater desks in some schools. 3 Stands for Information and Communication Technology translated from Kiswahili.

A school is actually a home away from home for any student. During student life most of the waking hours of any student are spent at school, learning anything and everything in various dimensions from books, teachers, peers and even school environments. There are studies suggesting students in schools with poor infrastructure can have lower scores than those with access to better infrastructure facilities. This makes school infrastructure a key element in a child’s academic as well as holistic growth. School infrastructure include classrooms, laboratories for the science practical, the halls and open fields for games, games equipment, dormitories, sanitation facilities and others. It is in the classrooms that the, day to day formal teaching and learning take place, in the libraries, learners get the opportunity to conduct their own personal studies or research as the resource materials are found therein, it is in the fields that extra-curricular activities take place, learners and teachers need to be housed in the school and at the same time need sanitation facilities like toilets, waste disposal services and clean water etc. For this reason, school infrastructure is a very important component in ensuring successful education. It is a fact that schools vary in the kinds of infrastructure they have put in place to enable learning for quality Education.

The successful implementation of any educational programme depends mostly on the quality and availablity of teaching and learning facilities that are needed. The physical state of buildings affects the teachers’ self esteem, peer and student teacher interactions, parents’ involvement, discipline, motivation and interpersonal relationships. According to UNICEF (2000) the quality of school buildings may be related to working condition for teachers and ability of teachers to utilize certain instructional approaches properly. Teachers need a conducive environment to be able to teach adequately and effectively (Lawnson & Gede, 2011).With inadequate teaching and learning facilities education tend to be of low quality due to the fact that teaching and learning won’t be conducted as required. Inadequacy of teaching and learning facilities is one among things which lower the quality of education in Tanzania (Ibadi, 2012).

The main determinants of quality education include provision of adequate textbooks and teaching staff, a conducive learning environment (including water and sanitation facilities and classrooms), as well as a broad-based curriculum that is implemented through child-centred interactive teaching methodologies. School facilities are one of the basic educational requirements that must be maintained in terms of safety and quality. There are five types of facilities provided in government schools namely: administration spaces, academic spaces, support facilities, laboratories and open spaces. The provision of public facilities must be planned based equally distributed, accessible, safe, provide interaction and must be properly designed. All these school facilities must be adequately provided for and managed (Ibrahim, Osman, Bachok, & Mohamed, 2016). In the context of this paper, educational facilities and resources are defined as all the physical properties of a school, consisting of the grounds, buildings, and the various facilities within the school grounds and inside the school buildings and the human resources. Also known as the school plant or the physical facilities of a school; thus, the terms educational school facilities, school plant, and physical facilities may be used interchangeably.

Physical facilities like classrooms, desks, chairs, libraries and toilets are an important factor in both attendance and achievement. It is generally agreed that the facilities have a direct bearing on good performance among students in developing countries (Ayoo, 2000). Lack of adequate facilities and a shortage of permanent classrooms particularly in poor districts, poor state of existing school infrastructure due to lack of investment, poor construction standards and inadequate maintenance, limited number of primary schools serving poor population in isolated rural areas and the huge discrepancies in needs have been major talking points. Eshiwani (1983) found that schools that had the best facilities like libraries, laboratories and playing fields were among the high achieving schools. Nguru (1986) observed that crowding of classes interferes with learners’ sitting positions and make it difficult for children to write, while teachers find it difficult to move around to help needy children or mark students work while the lesson is going on.

Maasai Girls initiatives for Development – MGI4D believe that investments to improve school infrastructure has effects on the educational quality at least in the following three dimensions:    

  1. Attendance and completion of academic cycles. According to UNESCO, the school drop-out rate in Latin America is 17 percent, and greater in rural areas. Several studies have found that the physical conditions of school buildings positively affect school completion and cycle completion rates, and increases registration. For example, in Peru the World Bank found that investments in school facilities had a very significant positive effect on students’ attendance rates.  
  2. Teacher motivation. Evidence in Bangladesh, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Peru, and Uganda indicates that teachers in schools with good infrastructure have, on average, 10 percent less absenteeism than teachers in schools with deficient infrastructure. In fact, the study found that infrastructure had a greater effect reducing absenteeism than teacher salaries or the effect of the administrative tolerance for absences.  
  3. Learning results. Studies carried out in the United States, such as the one conducted by  21st Century School Fund in 2010, found positive results which are statistically significant between school infrastructure and standardized tests to measure learning processes in many parts of the country. With lower student socio-economic levels, the results were higher.  

By collaborating with the government, Maasai Girls Initiatives for Development –MGI4D  makes strides in improving the infrastructure of countless schools in Tanzania. We are trying our level best to ensure that we support with provision, promotion and coordination of sports in schools, building and renovating of classrooms, toilets, Libraries, Hostels, dinning, provision of desks and reference books to students and teachers

Sponsor a street youth to attend Entrepreneurship Training for One Week.

Sponsor a street young single mother to start a small business

Enable a street youth to start a business Idea

Sponsor a street child to return back to school