The pastoral network workshops Arusha: Access to appropriate formal education is the key to pastoralists recovery from marginalization.

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Education is one of the fundamental human rights. Despite the acclaimed nationwide achievement this right has not obtained to Tanzania indigenous minorities. The relevance of indigenous values and knowledge is gaining recognition worldwide. Yet despite being vital that knowledge and education are not per see adequate to meet the needs of these communities in the troubled waters of contemporary life realities, within the boundaries of nation states or the global arena for that matter. Indeed, appropriate education is indispensable to the cultural survival of indigenous peoples and their involvement in the national and global arena, with human dignity. Any attempt at raising quantitative access to schools and colleges will remain only an idealistic aspiration so long as the uniform national education system remains in force. There is a crying need for policy change towards a flexible system, to make possible alternative curricula dovetailed to the specify of the nation's diverse concrete socio-ecological environments. That change is both a basic right of citizens and a prerequisite to effective access of indigenous minority children to formal education. The upsurge towards greater democratization makes advocacy of flexibility, diversity and cultural tolerance practical pursuits with real possibilities for qualitative change. Let us discuss and commit ourselves to participate to facilitate the design and implementation of programs that will enable children and the youth of these marginalized communities to secure democratic access to education opportunities. Primary Education. The Tanzania state has the reputation of a remarkable performance in having attained universal primary education and adult literacy within the first three decades of national sovereignty. In i960 only 25% of school age children were enrolled in primary schools and a bare 10$ of the adult population was literate. UNESCO certified that by 1987 adult literacy in the country a had exceeded 85% and universal primary education had been achieved in all but a few districts. However, it is equally true that this grand achievement was hardly anything but quantitative. In the heydays of the nationwide campaign, carried out in the early 1970s, thousands universal primary schools and adult education classes mushroomed throughout rural Tanzania. The subsequent enormous increase immediately outstripped availability of teachers and education materials. The government launched a crash program to provide improvised training of teachers mass. But output fell far short of the immensely high sudden demand. The idealistic mass education initiative soon lost impetus, as has happened repeatedly to numerous campaigns started in the country in the past three decades. The rigid nationwide uniform education system dictates teaching detached from the very diverse socio-ecological environments obtaining in this country. The status quo preclude flexibility in education and innovations based on the prevailing variety of cultures and actual living conditions of peoples. Primary and secondary school classes are required to have 5 children each. The policy decision to have large classes was intended to 6trike a balance between the genuine need to provide basic education to all school age children and at the same time keeping down costs i.e. in terms of number of classrooms, staff housing and salaries as well as materials. Country-wide these costs can be exceedingly high, relative to actual yearly government budgeted allocation to education.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr Wilbert Chagula Library, (EAF FOS P34)
Arusha, formal, education
Parkipuny, M.L. (1984) The pastoral network workshops Arusha: Access to appropriate formal education is the key to pastoralists recovery from marginalization.