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Guest blog: EdUKAid’s Primary School Leaving Exam Preparation Programme

  • Education

King Charles III Charitable Fund first supported EdUKAid in 2016 (when the fund was known as the Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund). Operating in the rural Mtwara region of southern Tanzania, EdUKaid is a small Wiltshire based charity working in partnership with local communities to improve educational opportunities for the poorest and most disadvantaged children.

With a rapidly growing population, under resourced and over-crowded schools in rural Tanzania (up to 200 children in one class) struggle to meet even the most basic needs of their children.  Compounded by a critical shortage of teachers and those that remain being hugely demoralised, a generation of children are struggling to learn.  Transition rates from primary to secondary level are exceptionally low, with less than 30% of children enrolling in secondary school in rural Mtwara.  This leads to a lifetime of poverty and disadvantage for these children and, for girls, a significantly higher risk of exploitation and abuse.

Working in partnership with head teachers, education officials, community leaders, and the children themselves, EdUKaid identified that a lack of preparation and confidence were having a major impact on the number of children passing their end of primary school assessment – a requirement to attend secondary school.  It also showed that children who did pass, struggled to cope with the demands of secondary education where lessons and textbooks are in English in contrast with their native Kiswahili primary education.  This led to the design of EdUKaid’s Primary School Leaving Exam Preparation Programme which aimed to improve examination pass and transition rates from primary to secondary school through a range of extra-curricular activities.

Thanks to a grant from KCCF, EdUKaid was able to launch this 2-year project in January 2021.  This included monthly tests and an annual mock examination to prepare children for the formal end of year assessment and group sessions to help children get ready for the difficult transition to secondary school.

Benefiting nearly 2,500 children across 20 primary schools, the results of this project have been incredible.  In 2023 we saw a 19% increase in the number of children enrolling in secondary school with children and their teachers reporting a significantly more positive start to their secondary school life compared previous years – we expect this figure to increase year on year.  The Mtwara education office have been so impressed by the impact of this project, they are now looking to replicate key aspects of the project so that children across the entire district can benefit.  This is a wonderful example of how funding from KCCF is having an impact far beyond the project itself.