Strong government partnerships underpins So They Can’s impact through education
At So They Can, we pride ourselves on our approach to work through meaningful partnerships with local governments. We know that achieving sustainable impact in government schools requires us to innovate within the national education system — and it is our long-held relationships with government partners that enables us to do just that, to improve student outcomes.
In Tanzania, student enrolment has increased by 42% thanks to So They Can’s Education Program in government primary schools.
The Babati District Council is our key government partner in Tanzania, and has been since we first started working in the country in 2012. The Council’s Executive Director, currently Ms Anna Mbogo, oversees the Council and its staff who we engage in our Education Program.
Ms Mbogo officiated the stakeholders meeting for the dissemination of the Child Protection Protocol that So They Can jointly developed with local government stakeholders in early 2023.
So They Can works directly with the Ward Education Officers (WEOs) in all projects, who sit within the Council’s Primary and Secondary Education Departments. The role’s responsibilities include:
- Monitoring education delivery and outcomes
- Raising community awareness on the importance of education
- Ensuring schools’ compliance with national teaching and learning standards
- Ensuring adequate training and development of teachers.
Involving the WEOs in our Education Program, ensures collaboration for maximum impact.
‘Before, students’ Primary School Leaving Exam results were on average in the 50% band. Today it has increased to 90% as a result of the support provided through our partnership with So They Can, including school infrastructure improvements, various teaching and learning trainings, and resources.’Charles Fabian, Mamire Ward Education Officer
We also work directly with School Management Committees , who by law are elected by a school community to ensure parents’ representation and involvement in a school’s operations. The Committee is composed of parents and one teacher, while the Head Teacher acts as the Committee Secretary. So They Can provides training and sensitization to the Committee so that they can effectively engage parents in a school’s development initiatives, and support improvement activities. Parents’ involvement in a school community positively supports their child’s education journey.
‘So They Can has helped us immensely in improving education across our wards. Now the community is aware of the importance of education: parents contribute food for school feeding programs, new Infrastructures enables children to learn effectively, volunteer teachers have been engaged to strengthen teaching and learning, and both teachers and students have been supported to build a school culture of doing better’.Iddi Gityanga, Qash Ward Councillor.
Councillors, elected by Community Members, are another key government stakeholder that we work with. Their participation in local stakeholder meetings and training sessions ensures that they are informed to influence eduction priorities, as part of their role to support improved education, health and social outcomes in their constituencies.
‘Participating in activities facilitated by So They Can has helped me to understand the important work that they are doing in improving education outcomes. It has motivated me to encourage community members, as well as my peers – leaders in the ward and villages – to ensure that everyone fully participates and works together for betterment of primary and secondary schools in our ward.’Iddi Gityanga, Qash Ward Councillor.