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Transition Tanzania-Empowering girls to transition to the next level of education-Prototype Update

Girls in Arusha, Tanzania, face multiple barriers that keep them from getting an education. Without an education, these girls become invisible women whose lifetime of exploitation eradicates their sense of worth and that of their daughters, perpetuating a cycle of violence against women. Transition Tanzania provides girls with the support they need to overcome these barriers in order to transition to the next level of education so they stand a better chance of becoming economically empowered women.

Photo of Maria Rosa Galter
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Transition Tanzania is an innovative program being developed by AfricAid, a social impact organization working to develop the next generation of women leaders and social entrepreneurs in Tanzania. Through Transition Tanzania, current scholars and alumni of AfricAid's girls' leadership development program, the Kisa Project, will have an opportunity to mentor and tutor younger girls in a variety of ways. Kisa Alumni (graduates of the Kisa Project) trained as Transition Tanzania Mentors (TTM), will work with at-risk girls at primary level to prepare them to sit for their Primary Leaving National Exams. These National Exams are often the first barrier girls face in their transition to Lower Secondary School.  Kisa Alumni TTM will provide a basic package of services relevant to primary aged girls which include: academic subject area tutoring, English language instruction, test-taking skills, and life-skills education, including an overview of the rights of the child and women's rights, as well as personal safety awareness raising. At the lower secondary level, Kisa Alumni TTM will provide a similar array of basic services and include career guidance as an additional service to those who will enter vocational training or workforce upon completing their 'O' Level exams. At the upper secondary level, Transition Tanzania's basic package of services expand to include university and career guidance counseling as well as scholarship application assistance. This idea can become financially sustainable by providing these services on a sliding scale fee schedule to those who can afford to pay.

Explain your idea in one sentence.

Transition Tanzania provides mentors and tutors to at-risk girls in Arusha to help them transition to the next level of education and be better prepared to become women entrepreneurs.

What is the need you are trying to solve?

The transition rate for girls leaving primary school and enrolling in lower secondary school in Tanzania is a dismal 37% (UNESCO, 2009). The transition rate between lower secondary and upper secondary is even more disheartening. Out of nearly 150,000 girls finishing lower secondary, less than 1% of them complete upper secondary school, and even fewer make it to university (Vavrus, 2013). There is a direct correlation between higher levels of education and a girl's increased well-being as one extra year of secondary school education boosts a girl's potential income by 20-25%. Educated girls are more likely to delay marriage, have fewer and healthier children, avoid HIV/AIDS, and break out of the cycle of poverty. When women are economically empowered, they are more likely to be better advocates for themselves, their families, and their communities. Transition Tanzania provides girls a pathway to continued personal, educational, and economic success.

Who will benefit from this idea and how would you monitor its success?

Girls in primary and secondary schools in Arusha, Tanzania ,will benefit directly from Transition Tanzania. Kisa Alumni, graduates of AfricAid's Kisa Girls' Leadership Development Project, will benefit through job training and work experience offered through Transition Tanzania. In the long term, Tanzanian society will benefit by having a better educated female work-force who will contribute significantly to the country's GDP. AfricAid will monitor the success of the program by developing a theory of change model, and designing and implementing a monitoring and evaluation plan for Transition Tanzania.

Who would be best equipped to implement this idea in the real world? You? Your organisation? Another organisation or entity?

AfricAid is best equipped to implement Transition Tanzania in the real world due to its reputation in the Arusha area, its partnerships with the Ministry of Education and local primary and secondary schools in Arusha. Additionally, AfricAid's Kisa Project, a girls' leadership and personal development program, will generate a steady stream of over 500 qualified Transition Tanzania tutors and mentors though its Alumni Network. This pay-it-forward, multiplier approach provides Kisa Alumni the opportunity to mentor girls in their communities and be seen as role-models by younger generations of girls. AfricAid's Tanzanian staff understand the barriers girls face in their community and are already trained to provide personal counseling, mentoring, and career guidance. AfricAid has a modified life-skills curriculum readily available that can be adapted for Transition Tanzania. Additionally, AfricAid's Teaching in Action teacher training program and partnerships with Mwenge University College of Education and Dr. Fran Vavrus, University of Minnesota, will provide both theoretical and practical support in mentor and tutor training. Through AfricAid's network of social impact partnerships, Transition Tanzania can easily be replicated through other organizations who wish to implement a similar program in their operational areas.

Where should this idea be implemented?

Transition Tanzania should be implemented in Arusha, Tanzania. This idea can be implemented anywhere where girls need additional support to transition from one educational level to the next. Trusted mentors and tutors give young at-risk girls a supportive environment in which to thrive and achieve their potential.

How might you prototype this idea and test some of the assumptions behind it?

AfricAid will prototype this idea and test assumptions by piloting Transition Tanzania at a primary school in Arusha. Two to three Kisa Alumni will be trained to serve as Transition Tanzania Mentors. The Transition Tanzania Mentors (TTM) will be trained in the following areas: personal counseling, subject area tutoring, learner-centered pedagogy and teaching techniques, and an adapted life-skills curriculum. The prototype will roll out for the most at-risk Primary 7 girls at the primary school who will sit for their primary leaving exams at the end of the school year. Through the use of a baseline survey, focus groups, observation, and post-intervention survey, we can assess the potential of the program. Assumptions to be tested include: 1. A trusted adult female mentor will increase the sense of personal safety in the girls; 2. A relationship with a supportive adult role model will improve transition rates; 3. Learning test taking techniques will improve National Exam scores; 4. Academic subject area tutoring will improve National Exam scores; 5. Improved reading and writing skills will improve National Exam scores; 6. Improved National Exam scores will lead to increased transition rates into lower secondary; and 7. Parental engagement will improve transition rates. These assumptions will be tested through a monitoring and evaluation plan to be implemented during the pilot phase of the project.

What might a day in the life of a community member interacting with your idea look like?

Eligible girls enrolled in participating schools will be matched with a trained Transition Tanzania Mentor (TTM). Selected girls will meet with their TTM for a one hour per week, after-school session. TTM will work with selected girls in Primary 7, Lower Secondary Form 4 and Upper Secondary Form 6 as they prepare to sit for their high-stakes National Exams. Parents will receive regular updates on their daughter's progress and participate in educational workshops to sensitize them on the importance of their daughter's education and her developmental needs. The program can be expanded to include girls in Primary 6, Form 3, and Form 5.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Meena Kadri

Thanks for inviting me to your team, Maria – though I've removed myself as I don't usually join teams as it's my role with OpenIDEO to cross-pollinate, give feedback and build on ideas – so I'm kind of on many teams in a way :^) I think it's confusing for people when we come to Evaluation to see folks like me on specific teams. Hope you understand – and I'm still excited about the directions you could take this idea!

Photo of Maria Rosa Galter

No worries. I'm new at this so I don't know how it all works.

Photo of Meena Kadri

And we're loving your collaborative moves straight off the mark!

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