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THE STATE OF EAST AFRICA REPORT SERIES

Social Dimensions of Inequalities in East Africa

Social Dimensions of Inequality in East Africa

Education attainment by gender and wealth status

The distribution of households surveyed in the DHS reports provides the per cent distribution of the de facto female and male household population aged six and above by the highest level of schooling attended or completed.

Figure 7 below shows the disparity in educational attainment across wealth quintiles between men in the poorest and richest households. Men in the wealthiest households in the EAC have fared well with a relatively small percentage of them never having attended school.

share-of-men-with-no-schooling-by-household-wealth

Burundi’s men seem to have the lowest educational achievement in East Africa. As many as 13 per cent of the men in the richest households have never been to school, the most among the richest quintiles in the region. Similarly, 41 per cent of Burundi’s men in the poorest households have never attended school. Ugandan men in the poorest households have a higher chance of having gone to school than their counterparts in the same wealth category in the other EAC countries.

Over time more men in poorer households are attending school in Tanzania, Kenya and Rwanda. In Tanzania, 42 per cent of men in the poorest households never attended school but five years later (2010) this fell by ten percentage points to 33 per cent. In Kenya the proportion of men in the poorest households who had never been to school fell from 34 per cent to 30 per cent by 2009. In Rwanda, the proportion fell from 28 per cent to 25 per cent.

share-of-women-with-no-schooling-by-household-wealth

Women living in East Africa’s poorest households have a lower chance of having had any schooling compared to their male counterparts. Almost 60 per cent of Burundi’s poorest women have never attended school, which is highest proportion amongst both sexes in poor households.

Over time, more women are getting some sort of education. The proportion of women with no education fell by seven percentage points from 53 per cent to 46 per cent and by four percentage points in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.

Education service delivery indicators in Tanzania and Kenya

In 2013, the World Bank produced two interesting reports that examined service delivery in education and health in Tanzania and Kenya. Although the surveys that provide a snapshot of the state of service delivery were only done in these two countries, they provide an interesting insight into the quality of service delivery in education and healthxxi.

Table 5. Education service delivery indicators in Tanzania

Indicator

Rural

Urban

National

Infrastructure

(% of schools with electricity, water and sanitation)

2%

8%

3%

Children per classroom

70

93

74

Student Teacher Ratio

51

39

49

Textbooks per student

0.95

0.9

0.94

Teacher absence rate (not in school)

20%

36%

23%

Teacher absence rate from classroom

50%

68%

53%

Time children are taught at school (hours: minutes)

2hrs 11m

1hr 24m

2hrs 04m

Share of teachers with minimum knowledge

43%

40%

42%

Delays in salary payments (% of teachers whose salary has been overdue for more than two months)

2%

0.6%

2%

Source: World Bank Service Delivery Indicators Education and Health Services in Tanzania (2013)

The education service delivery indicators for Tanzania present a particularly challenging picture.

Essential infrastructure. Tanzania’s urban schools are four times more likely to have electricity, water and sanitation than rural schools. However, even in urban areas, just 8 per cent of schools have such services. Tanzania compares very badly to Kenya, where almost 60 per cent of all schools – rural, urban, private and public – have access to these essential services.

Teacher absenteeism. One in five teachers (20 per cent) in rural Tanzania are absent from school on any given day, compared to 36 per cent in urban schools. More disconcerting is the fact that 68 per cent of teachers in urban schools are absent from the classroom while 50 per cent of teachers in rural areas are not in class even when they are in school.

The data for Kenya points to better performance on this indicator. Teacher absence from Kenyan school ranges from 14 per cent in urban public schools to 17 per cent for rural public schools (there was little difference in teacher absenteeism between private and public schools). Teachers’ absence from the classroom was at 47 per cent in Kenya’s public schools and 31 per cent in its private schools. Teachers were absent from the classroom in almost 50 per cent in Kenya’s rural public schools compared to 43 per cent of its urban public schools.

Teaching time. The scheduled teaching time in Tanzania is 5 hours, 12 minutes per day. However, in Tanzania’s rural schools, the average teaching time is just 2 hours and 11 minutes, 3 hours fewer than scheduled or just 42 per cent of the scheduled time. The situation is worse in urban schools where the average teaching time was recorded at 1 hour and 24 minutes, meaning that children in urban areas are taught for only 27 per cent of the recommended time.

Children in Kenya’s public schools receive slightly more instruction time, 2 hours, 19 minutes, than their counterparts in rural Tanzania. (Scheduled teaching time in Kenya is 5 hours 40 minutes per day.) However, private school children benefit from an extra hour of instruction (3 hours, 28 minutes) compared to their public school peers in Kenya, which works out to 20 more days of teaching time over the course of a term, or two extra months of teaching during the course of a year.

Taking a global view, Kenyan children are scheduled to receive 30 more minutes of teaching per day compared to Tanzanian children. However, even with teacher absenteeism from class, children in Kenya’s private schools receive significantly more instruction time than children in Tanzania’s urban public schools.

Teacher competence. The survey found that the share of Tanzania’s teachers with minimum knowledge of the subject matter was roughly equal across rural and urban schools. The competence of Tanzania’s teachers was slightly higher than those of Kenyan public school teachers – between 33 per cent and 36 per cent of them displayed a minimum knowledgexxii. This compares unfavourable to Kenya’s private schools where almost half of the teachers showed mastery of what they taught.

Table 6. Education service delivery indicators in Kenya

Indicator

Public

Private

Rural Public

Urban Public

All

Teacher absence from school

16%

14%

17%

14%

16%

Teacher absence from classroom

47%

31%

49%

43%

42%

Time spent teaching

2h 19m

3h 28m

2h 37m

2h 13m

2h 40m

Teachers with minimum knowledge

35%

49%

36%

33%

39%

Students per textbook

3.5

2.2

3.8

2.5

3.1

Teaching equipment availability

94%

98.2%

94%

94%

95%

Infrastructure availability

59%

59%

59%

58%

59%

Source: World Bank Service Delivery Indicators Education and Health services in Kenya (2013)

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