Leading learning in Zanzibar

School in Zanzibar
Stephen Nock
By Stephen Nock: July 6th, 2011

I was delighted to hear about the fantastic progress of a research project that I’ve been supporting in Zanzibar. VSO volunteers Martin Brown and Yasmin Ajmal were working directly for the Commissioner for Education and Director of Inspection in the Zanzibar Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (MOEVT).

Over the course of their 18-month placement Martin and Yasmin interviewed and worked with 260 education stakeholders including head teachers, teachers, parents, students, school inspectors, VSO volunteers, NGO representatives and senior ministry officials.  Together they examined the relationship between school leadership and quality education by considering:

  • What quality education means to the people of Zanzibar?
  • What are the attributes and actions of an effective school leader in Zanzibar?
  • What systemic changes would empower school heads to lead educational change and raise the standards of student outcomes?

The primary research findings were documented in VSO Tanzania’s Leading Learning report (to be published late 2011)  which was shared with the Ministry, and has already informed policy changes on quality education. A trial model of practice based on the report’s recommendations is currently taking place in Zanzibari schools.

VSO Tanzania’s Education Programme Manager Douglas Taylor said:  “The MOEVT has requested that the full report be published and a summary report containing the top 10 recommendations be disseminated to all schools in Zanzibar. The MOEVT is also reviewing the salaries and incentive packages of head teachers in response to the report’s recommendations. This is fantastic news for head teachers – and ultimately for the children of Zanzibar”.


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