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TEXTBOOK PROVISION IN TANZANIA. A REVIEW OF THE ISSUES. ISSUES UNDER REVIEW. There are two separate but related issues that need to be considered in the context of the textbook provision system in Tanzania: The Pros and Cons of State versus Commercial Textbook Provision Systems

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textbook provision in tanzania

TEXTBOOK PROVISION IN TANZANIA

A REVIEW OF THE ISSUES

issues under review
ISSUES UNDER REVIEW
  • There are two separate but related issues that need to be considered in the context of the textbook provision system in Tanzania:
    • The Pros and Cons of State versus Commercial Textbook Provision Systems
    • The Pros and Cons of a Single Monopoly Textbook for each subject and grade level versus Competing Alternative Textbooks and School-based choice and decision-making
textbooks and student achievement the evidence
TEXTBOOKS AND STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT - THE EVIDENCE
  • “…the availability of textbooks appears to be the single most consistently positive factor in predicting educational achievement. In 15 out of the 18 studies (83%) it is positive. This is … more favorable than 13 out of 24 (54%) recently reported for teacher training” (The World Bank, Textbooks and Achievement: What we Know, 1978)
  • “One conclusion is consistent: higher achievement is always associated with the availability of textbooks and other printed materials” (The World Bank, Improving the Quality of Education in Developing Countries, 1983)
  • “Textbooks are the educational input most consistently associated with gains in student learning” (The World Bank, Textbooks and Educational Development, 1990)
the significance of textbooks
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF TEXTBOOKS
  • “…the impact of textbooks is greatest in the poorest countries where teacher quality may be low and where facilities and resources are scarce and generally of poor quality.” (DFID, The Multi-SiteTeacher Education Research Project, 2003)
  • For almost 40 years international research into the characteristics associated with gains in student performance has consistently identified an adequate textbook supply to schools as one of the two most important inputs – and the most cost-effective of all inputs
  • “Marginal Investments in learning materials provide more than 10 times the learning returns over investments in teachers because learning materials are scarce relative to teachers ” (Easterly, The Elusive Quest for Growth, MIT Press, 2001 )
textbook provision in tanzania from 1966 2010
TEXTBOOK PROVISION IN TANZANIA FROM 1966 - 2010

PHASE 1:

STATE TEXTBOOK PROVISION FROM 1966 TO 1991

state textbook provision comment and conclusions 1
STATE TEXTBOOK PROVISION – COMMENT AND CONCLUSIONS - 1
  • 25 years of state textbook provision in Tanzania from 1966 to 1991 failed to achieve adequate and equitable supplies of primary or secondary textbooks to schools;
  • 1 state institution and 5 state companies were established to provide textbooks to schools
  • ICD – developed curriculum, syllabuses and manuscripts
  • TPH – published textbooks
  • EAPH – published textbooks
  • Printpak – manufactured textbooks
  • NPC – manufactured textbooks
  • TES – distributed textbooks
  • In 2010, none of these companies/institutions is still involved in textbook provision and 4 no longer exist, despite massive state and DP financial support and protected monopoly status for 25 years
state textbook provision comment and conclusions 2
STATE TEXTBOOK PROVISION – COMMENT AND CONCLUSIONS - 2
  • The very substantial support to the state system provided by DPs over many years did not result in the development of real local capacity nor in the growth of sustainable and reliable quality textbook supply
  • The state textbook provision system destroyed the national bookselling network, reduced private sector educational, general and cultural publishing to a shadow and undermined the growth and development of commercial book printing in Tanzania
  • Even with significant financial and technical support from DPs it has taken almost 20 years to partially rebuild the private sector and to accomplish the transition from state back to commercial textbook provision based on de-centralized financing and school-based choice. Even after 20 years distribution remains weak and manufacturing finds I difficult to compete regionally
state textbook provision comment and conclusions 3
STATE TEXTBOOK PROVISION – COMMENT AND CONCLUSIONS - 3
  • State published textbook content, presentation and pedagogic quality were widely regarded as poor and sub-standard;
  • State produced textbooks used low quality text paper, which affected readability. Textbooks were manufactured with poor quality cover card, unsewn bindings and without cover varnishing or lamination, all of which seriously affected durability and increased the recurrent cost of textbooks;
  • The state publishing, production and distribution companies lacked qualified and experienced management and were frequently seriously under-funded
textbook provision in tanzania from 1966 20101
TEXTBOOK PROVISION IN TANZANIA FROM 1966 - 2010

PHASE 2:

THE PERIOD OF LIBERALISED, COMPETITIVE, COMMERCIAL TEXTBOOK SUPPLY

key stages in the re creation of commercial textbook supply 1
KEY STAGES IN THE RE-CREATION OF COMMERCIAL TEXTBOOK SUPPLY - 1

A New National Textbook Provision Policy was launched in 1991

SIDA –Pilot Project for Publishing provided

  • publishing skills training
  • The tendering of ICD (TIE) titles and manuscripts to the private sector
  • Bulk purchase and distribution via the MOE from 1995-2000 in order to support the re-financing of publishers
  • the creation of EMAC, which was a key institution in the development of competing, alternative textbooks
  • The introduction of competitive distribution via booksellers from 2000
key stages in the re creation of commercial textbook supply 2
KEY STAGES IN THE RE-CREATION OF COMMERCIAL TEXTBOOK SUPPLY - 2
  • From 2000-2005 the WB PEDP introduced
  • Capitation grants set at Tsh10,000 with Tsh4,000 recommended for textbook procurement, supplied from 2000-2004 via District Councils and from 2005 via individual schools
  • Capitation grants supported school choice and decision-making
  • School choice under-pinned the system of competing, alternative textbooks
  • It is perhaps noteworthy that there does not appear to have been any national training of schools in textbook selection or textbook usage. The PPP trained districts but not schools
key stages in the re creation of commercial textbook supply 3
KEY STAGES IN THE RE-CREATION OF COMMERCIAL TEXTBOOK SUPPLY - 3
  • From 2004-2009 the SEDP
  • legally required TIE to disengage from textbook publishing
  • tendered TIE mss to the private sector
  • introduced capitation grants for textbooks to secondary schools
  • set capitation grants at Tsh20,000 of which Tsh8,000 was recommended for textbook procurement
  • created a substantial secondary textbook market

In 2005 secondary enrolment growth reduced capitation grants to 68% of the established value

key stages in the re creation of commercial textbook supply 4
KEY STAGES IN THE RE-CREATION OF COMMERCIAL TEXTBOOK SUPPLY - 4
  • By 2009
  • A strong international, regional and national educational publishing presence had been re-created comprising a dozen companies
  • Over 300 booksellers serving most parts of the country had been re-established but many were weak and lacked financial management expertise
  • 4 local textbook printers participated in textbook manufacture although they lacked price competitiveness and some important processes
textbook financing 1
TEXTBOOK FINANCING - 1
  • Between 2000 and 2009 the primary textbook financing requirements had been increased by 40% through currency devaluation, 50% through increases in required textbooks and 10% through increases in manufacturing costs.
  • At primary, the recommended Tsh4,000 per student per year should have risen to Tsh9,240 in order to maintain parity
  • In 2008-9 a total primary capitation of only Tsh6,000 was reported to be released - approximately 25% of the required level (assuming 40% usage for textbooks)
textbook financing 2
TEXTBOOK FINANCING - 2
  • Between 2005 and 2009 the secondary textbook financing requirements had been increased by 13% through currency devaluation, 57% through increases in required textbooks and 10% through increases in manufacturing costs.
  • At secondary, the recommended Tsh8,000 per student per year for textbooks should have risen to Tsh15,612 in order to maintain parity
  • In 2008-9 a total primary capitation of only Tsh2,375 was reported to be released - approximately only 8% of the required level for textbooks (assuming 40% usage on textbooks)
textbook financing 3
TEXTBOOK FINANCING - 3
  • “The pressure on the education system due to increased enrolment has been intensified while the resource envelope for education has not kept pace with...enrolment pressure and teacher needs......The short supply of qualified teachers as well as teaching and learning materials pose challenges to the quality of education against the rapid expansion of the education sector” (2009 Tanzania JESR)
  • The 2009 JESR confirmed 35 years of international research in its identification of teacher and textbook shortages as the prime causes of declining quality outputs. There was no mention in the 2009 report of multiple textbooks as a causative factor for poor performance.
textbook fund diversion
TEXTBOOK FUND DIVERSION
  • Already reduced capitation grants are further reduced by
  • Differences between fund allocation and fund release
  • Non-textbook uses
  • Misappropriation of funds
  • Piracy
  • Price mark-ups
  • These have combined to reduce the finance available to support the purchase of legitimate textbooks up to MOEVT target TPRs at both primary and secondary levels
  • There has been no recent reliable survey on textbook availability in primary and secondary schools but newspaper reports and anecdotal evidence suggest that current textbook availability in most primary and secondary schools has deteriorated seriously since 2006
late fund releases
LATE FUND RELEASES
  • The October 2009 PETS reports that although Dar es Salaam schools received first fund allocations at the beginning of the school year, other schools tend to receive first fund releases six months later
  • Many schools cannot therefore buy textbook sets for the beginning of the school year
  • Late fund release means delayed payments to booksellers and thus payments to publishers
  • 13% of rural schools spent less than Tsh1,000 per student on textbooks in 2008-09
  • There is also a reported significant gap between the purchase of textbooks and their usage by teachers in the classroom
emac issues
EMAC ISSUES
  • long delays in the approval of textbooks submitted for evaluation
  • reports that some approved textbooks may be sub-standard
  • the constant expansion of the approved list because there is no limit on how long a textbook stays on the approved list and no mechanism for removing textbooks from the list
  • the lack of minimum physical production standards as a condition of approval, which has an impact on durability and book life and on readability
  • the omission of price as a factor in evaluation. Thus the approved list circulated to schools contains no prices, which over-charging by some unscrupulous suppliers
moevt proposals 1
MOEVT PROPOSALS - 1
  • The MOEVT has suggested that the cause of deteriorating examination results lies with multiple textbook choice, which has confused parents, teachers and students.
  • As a result the MOEVT proposes a return to a single monopoly textbook for each subject and grade level, and perhaps to use this as a transition back to a state textbook provision system and the removal of school-based decision-making and purchasing
moevt proposals 2
MOEVT PROPOSALS - 2
  • In February 2010 the MOEVT proposed the introduction of an approved list of two textbooks per subject per grade for Primary grades 1-5 selected from the current list of approved titles.
  • It also proposed that for each district one textbook should be supplied
  • This effectively re-introduces monopoly textbook supply to every school and removes any choice from individual schools
causes of declining student performance 1
CAUSES OF DECLINING STUDENT PERFORMANCE - 1
  • There is no evidence that multiple textbook choice is linked to poor examination performance.
  • The available evidence suggests that the opposite is more likely to be true.
  • The advent of multiple textbooks and school-based purchasing power and decision-making at primary level coincided with rapid improvements in PSLE pass rates from 22% in 2000 to 70.5% in 2006.
causes of declining student performance 2
CAUSES OF DECLINING STUDENT PERFORMANCE - 2

The Public Expenditure Tracking Survey (PETS) suggests that the following are the main factors associated with good pass rates at primary:

  • high levels of non-wage expenditure (which includes textbooks);
  • low pupil/teacher ratios.
  • At secondary the factor most associated with good pass rates is high levels of non-wage expenditure (which includes textbooks)
causes of declining student performance 3
CAUSES OF DECLINING STUDENT PERFORMANCE - 3
  • Research in 6 districts conducted for the 2009 JESR concluded that the main causes of poor student performance were (a) lack of qualified teachers and (b) lack of textbooks – exactly the factors identified by international research over 35 years as the key determinants of student achievement.
  • At secondary, the PETS concluded that the factors most associated with lower pass rates are (a) poor school facilities; (b) poor Pupil Teacher Ratios; and (c) lower teacher quality in rural and remote areas.
  • PETS data demonstrates the huge expansion in secondary exam candidates from rural and remote areas over the past few years, where pass rates are much lower than for government secondary schools in urban areas by up to 19 percentage points.
production and content quality comparisons
PRODUCTION AND CONTENT QUALITY COMPARISONS
  • Production quality comparisons between state and commercially published textbooks demonstrate that commercially published textbooks are generally better produced with better quality raw materials, more appropriate processes, higher levels of quality control and that attractiveness, readability and durability are all better with commercially published textbooks
  • Content quality comparisons between state and commercially published textbooks demonstrate that commercial textbooks are better written, edited, designed and presented with better and more relevant illustrations and better use of colour. They are considered to be more attractive and stimulating to students and teachers and are pedagogically superior
state text book provision issues
STATE TEXT BOOK PROVISION ISSUES
  • There are pedagogic advantages in maintaining a system of multiple competing alternative textbooks which cannot be achieved easily by single monopoly textbooks
  • The establishment of a state printing factory, unless operating on a fully competitive basis, would probably increase manufacturing costs, lower quality output and provide reduced services to publishers.
  • The removal of textbook purchasing responsibility from schools implies a return to state organized textbook distribution, which has signally failed to operate well or to achieve sustainability in all SSA countries where it has been attempted.
  • The return to state organized textbook distribution would almost certainly mean the destruction of Tanzania’s retail bookshop network for the second time.
impact on the tanzanian book trade
IMPACT ON THE TANZANIAN BOOK TRADE
  • The return to a single monopoly textbook supported by a state textbook provision system, would have a devastating impact on commercial publishing, bookselling and printing.
  • It could result in the closure of a majority of commercial publishers, booksellers and printers and the loss of up to 1,500 jobs.
  • Within the EAC Tanzania would be the only country operating such a system and would be the only country without established commercial publishing and a developing bookselling sector and the professional and cultural skills associated with publishing and bookselling
  • PATA estimates that the decision to restrict supply to two approved titles per subject per grade will leave publishers with over USD40 million in unsaleable stock
impact on culture and society
IMPACT ON CULTURE AND SOCIETY
  • The demise of publishing and bookselling will have an impact on Tanzanian cultural output and will represent a barrier to the development of a reading society and the growth of literacy.
  • The re-development of commercial publishing in Uganda and Kenya has led to the development of book exports and increased export earnings
  • The very large sums of DP and private investment over almost 20 years in the re-development of a commercial textbook provision system will be wasted.
other state textbook provision systems
OTHER STATE TEXTBOOK PROVISION SYSTEMS
  • A review of state textbook provision systems in the Former Soviet Union, Central and Eastern Europe and elsewhere in Africa demonstrates the widespread failure of state textbook provision and its almost universal replacement by commercially driven competitive systems.
  • This is particularly so in the East African Community where a return to state monopolistic systems would leave Tanzania isolated as the only country not operating a competing alternative textbook system with de-centralized financing and school-based decision-making
considerations on current policy proposals
CONSIDERATIONS ON CURRENT POLICY PROPOSALS

SINGLE MONOPOLY TEXTBOOKS AND STATE TEXTBOOK PROVISION SYSTEMS

textbook provision and the state
TEXTBOOK PROVISION AND THE STATE
  • Although textbooks are fundamental tools of education, textbook provision is never just an educational activity. It also involves creativity, industrial and commercial processes, large-scale procurement and high level financial and management skills.
  • Previous experience suggests that very few, if any, Ministries of Education have the knowledge, skills and professional and commercial management capacity to handle the textbook provision process efficiently
textbook provision and the state1
TEXTBOOK PROVISION AND THE STATE
  • The current commercially driven multiple textbook provision system in Tanzania requires only that the government should provide reliable and sufficient de-centralized financing for textbooks to schools and to ensure that it is used for the purpose for which it is intended.
  • A return to a state textbook provision system would require the government to become involved in author and manuscript development, large scale educational publishing, raw materials procurement, printing and binding, warehousing and distribution and all of the associated management, financial and quality and cost control skills and activities.
wb 1988 operational review of textbooks
WB 1988 OPERATIONAL REVIEW OF TEXTBOOKS
  • A previous WB review of state textbook projects noted “...poor quality books, inadequate book distribution systems, inability to establish and maintain production schedules, inadequate procedures for handling paper procurement, teacher training activities out of phase with book publications, poor coordination between curriculum development and manuscript development and above all, failure to establish institutions that can provide good quality books after project completion”
state and commercial characteristics
STATE AND COMMERCIAL CHARACTERISTICS
  • Managing the interface between curriculum development, teacher training, manuscript development, publishing, pre-press, raw materials procurement, printing, binding and finishing, storage and delivery is an extremely complex process.
  • It is the multiple choice of authors, publishers, textbooks, printers, paper suppliers and distributors which provides the commercial textbook provision system with its flexibility as well as its competitive edge and its in-built price and quality controls.
  • When the alternatives are removed and replaced by a single monolithic system, the competitive downward pressure on costs and the upward pressure on quality improvement and the need for deadline keeping and accurate scheduling all disappear
cost issues
COST ISSUES
  • State textbook publishing is not cheaper than commercial textbook publishing
  • A single monopoly textbook is not automatically much cheaper than competing alternative textbooks
  • In 2010 an ongoing textbook capitation of Tsh6,000 for primary and Tsh10,200 for secondary would be sufficient to achieve and maintain the 1:3 TPR if adjusted annually for currency devaluation and if fund diversion, misappropriation, piracy and price-marks were eliminated (see Section 7).
secondary textbook price comparisons
SECONDARY TEXTBOOK PRICE COMPARISONS
  • In 2007, the commercial, multiple textbook provision system in Tanzania produced the cheapest secondary school textbooks (in line with Kenya) out of a price comparison incorporating 19 SSA countries.
student performance
STUDENT PERFORMANCE
  • All of the available evidence suggests that the cause of falling examination pass rates is not the system of multiple competing textbooks.
  • The root causes are almost certainly the lack of an adequate supply of textbooks in schools caused by serious under-funding and the lack of sufficient well-qualified, motivated and supervised teachers at all levels of the education system.
  • The decision to revert to a single monopolistic system will not solve the problem of textbook shortages. Only a sustained increase in funding for textbooks will solve the problem.
  • Because an adequate supply of good quality textbooks is the most consistent and cost effective educational input associated with improvements in student performance, priority should be given to investment in textbook provision to schools
required reforms 1
REQUIRED REFORMS - 1
  • Because of the significant cost, management and reorganizational issues involved in any return to a state textbook provision system, without any guarantee that there will be any improvements in cost, availability or quality, it makes more sense to analyse and identify the current problems in the textbook provision system and to take steps to correct these problems.
  • A comprehensive survey of current textbook availability in schools should be undertaken to establish clearly the level of need and the investment required to achieve and maintain a minimum 1:3 TPR for all subjects at all grade levels
required reforms 2
REQUIRED REFORMS - 2
  • Long term commitments should be made by the government and development partners (DPs) to ensure adequate levels of ring-fenced capitation finance for learning and teaching materials (LTMs).
  • The current high cost of the Tanzanian curriculum needs to be reduced. Tanzania has more curriculum subjects requiring textbooks than any of its EAC neighbours
  • Capitation allowances are currently insufficient to maintain adequate levels of textbook provision. The allowances are further reduced by diversion to other purposes, misappropriation, piracy, photocopying, price mark-ups and problems of indebtedness.
  • Late payment of capitation and the partial release of funding in four tranches further increases the problems of getting textbooks in time for the school year
required reforms 3
REQUIRED REFORMS - 3
  • All of the above problems could be avoided and the full value of the textbook capitation could be made available to schools without payment delays and credit/cash flow problems by introducing a system of school LTM order forms supported by notional per capita budgets in which school orders were centrally consolidated and then ordered in bulk and paid for centrally on presentation of proof of completed delivery by schools.
  • This system has worked well elsewhere in SSA and would be simple, quick and easy to introduce in Tanzania
required reforms 4
REQUIRED REFORMS - 4
  • The EMAC textbook approval process needs to be reformed to achieve:
  • a competitive textbook evaluation in which books are approved for a fixed period of time;
  • a more limited approved list of textbooks to make school-level selection easier;
  • the inclusion of price as an evaluation criterion in order to achieve greater price control;
  • minimum production specifications so that all titles on the approved list had the same basic durability standards
required reforms 5
REQUIRED REFORMS - 5
  • There should be a comprehensive training programme in textbook selection for schools and the publication and distribution of a simple handbook for schools on the basic principles and methodology textbook selection from the approved list
  • Schools need to be re-trained in textbook usage in the classroom. A short handbook for schools on the uses of textbooks in class situations would be beneficial and would improve usage of the textbooks procured.
summary
SUMMARY
  • The modest package of reforms proposed above would be far less disruptive and far cheaper to implement than the wholesale rejection of the current system and its replacement by a state provision system which has been proved not to have worked in the past in Tanzania and to have failed in most other countries.