The Minister for Education and Vocational Training, Dr Shukuru Kawambwa, said this in Dar es Salaam at a National Symposium of Teaching and Learning of Reading, Writing and Arithmetic (3Rs).
The symposium is in line with a survey carried out in 20 districts by Research Triangle Institute (RTI) aimed at helping the government overcome the challenges of teaching and learning the 3Rs in standard two.
He pointed out that 2,214 students in grade II from 200 schools were evaluated by using an Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA), Early Mathematics Assessment (EGMA) and Snapshot of School Management Effective (SSME).
“The survey has enabled us to obtain quantitative information on the situation of students in Grade II on the 3Rs,” he said.
He said about 40 per cent of students in standard two were unable to read well comprehension and only 8 per cent were able to, according to a recent study on the teaching and learning the 3Rs by RTI.
The study showed that children in Std II performed better in mathematics on the task that requires memorization than those which required them to understand.
Either, it showed that parents who showed interest and support in their children’s learning was more helpful than those who did not.
Also, the study reported that 51 per cent of the students possessed reading material while only 19 per cent used these materials to read.
On the other hand, the challenges which were addressed by the studies conducted by UWEZO, RTI and the Tanzania Institute of Education were lack of textbooks, lack of well trained and qualified teachers, teaching materials not reaching the schools in time, lack of feeding programmes in schools, lack of a conducive learning environment as well as lack of community participation in the learning process.
However, the studies recommended that teachers training should be emphasized; teaching should address the foundation skills, teaching materials should reach the schools on time, feeding programmes should be emphasized and the community should be encouraged to participate in their children’s learning process.