Tanzania’s National Costed Plan of Action and Access to Education for Aids Orphans:an Exploratory Study of Early Childhood Education in Makete District
Author: Sylvester Isuja
Supervisor: Margaret Angucia
Despite the vast research by social protection experts that underlines the central role of education in reducing children vulnerabilities and promoting of their human capital, little is known about the contribution of children specific social protection programs such as the Tanzania National Costed Plan of Action (NCPA I) in promoting access to Early Childhood Education. The overall literature on access to education for vulnerable children including AIDS orphans point out to af-fordability, stigma and discrimination and lack of supportive environment as the main hindering factors.
Through in-depth interviews and discussions with 39 key actors in the area of social protection in Makete district, this study explores the contribution of the Tanzania national programme for most vulnerable children in promoting access to education with specific focus on early childhood education for AIDS orphans. Interviews and discussions with parents/caretakers of AIDS or-phans, teachers, members of most vulnerable committees, key local government officials and the orphans; reveal the views and perceptions of each towards the program, its effectiveness and ef-ficiency and, the level of inclusiveness of AIDS orphans in the existing Early Childhood Educa-tion services.
An analysis of these interviews and discussions yield individuals and groupís own explanations which point to a countryís programme that is underfunded from domestic sources and thus huge-ly dependent on external supports thus being sporadic and with limited impacts. Besides, the analysis of interviews and discussions gives a picture of a programme that is less coordinated with limited workforces to adequately mobilize resources in support of AIDS orphans access to education. The study also presents some successes of the programme in terms of fostering orga-nized processes for identification of most vulnerable children and provision of linkages for en-rollments to early childhood education.
The study forms part of body of knowledge for better understanding of the best options for pro-tecting children within the increased need for sustainable social protection arrangements for var-ious groups. Relying on qualitative data from key local actors, findings from this study will con-tribute to future studies on contextual, relevant and viable social protection programming for children.