Following on the 1990 and 2000 World Conferences on Education for All, African governments increased their focus on access to schooling (but not necessarily on outcomes) by providing more facilities for increased enrolments. The learning outcomes that had been neglected led to a call to focus on more sustainable access – re-examining the quality of some of those facilities against the anticipated quality of educational outcomes. Studies in Southern and Eastern Africa, including the one under discussion here, indicate that the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will not rely only on school-based factors but also on the careful analysis of wider socioeconomic and cultural factors. This paper, through the results of the case study component of the Early Literacy Development project in the Lindi Rural District of Southern Tanzania, discusses why literacy development has lagged behind in Sub- Saharan Africa. The focus of the study and of this paper is on the relationship between literacy practices, literacy events and early literacy development at home and school in low-resourced communities. The extent to which school infrastructure and ecology including buildings, teaching learning materials and teacher characteristics reinforced literacy practices and events at home and school is also highlighted as being of special interest. The study was sponsored by the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Development (formerly CIDA) – Strengthening Education Systems in East Africa (SES-EA).
- Classroom factors
- Educational outcomes
- Home and school infrastructure and ecology
- Literacy development
- Literacy practices and events
- Millennium Development Goals
- Sustainable access