Research Triangle Institute (RTI) International, a U.S not-for-profit organization has partnered with DataVision International, a Tanzanian consultancy firm to undertake a job contracted by UNICEF to conduct EGRA, EGMA, WASH, Teacher Questionnaire, Classroom Observation, Head Teacher Questionnaire, and life skills assessment in three regions of Tanzania – Mbeya, Iringa, and Njombe.

EGRA has been used in 58 countries and over 100 languages. It is a criterion-referenced test to measure basic competencies that are required for effective reading and comprehension. The objective of EGRA is to help countries begin the process of measuring, in a systematic way, how well children in the early grades of primary school are acquiring reading skills, and ultimately spur more effective efforts to improve performance in this core learning skill.

EGMA is a complementary assessment used to measure basic mathematics and reasoning skills that lay the foundation for basic numeracy and comprehension. As with EGRA, EGMA is a tool to help countries develop systematic processes of measuring how well students are able to understand and work with numbers and mathematical reasoning.

In addition to traditional school subjects, life skills are also an important aspect of development of students in school and out of school. Broadly defined, life skills seek to arm individuals with the skills needed to cope with the diverse challenges of life, related to behavior and interaction with others. These life skills are incorporated into the curriculum and will also be assessed through this work.

Finally is the WASH inventory, the need to collect complementary data on water and sanitation facilities in schools, such as the available and functional hand washing facilities (HWF), including type and functionality of water points, and availability of soap with the HWF. These sanitation aspects can impact the health and wellbeing of students, and this information is useful for parents and policy makers to ensure students have the necessary facilities at school to ensure a good learning environment.

The project started on the 6th of October with an in-depth training to the assessors who will be going in field conducting interviews to the teachers and students of the chosen schools. Prior to the actual field work, the pilot will be conducted involving an interview of 192 students.

The actual project with all of its tasks is envisaged to span over 4 Months with an estimate of 960 students interviewed in the three regions from 60 schools chosen from each region in a period of two weeks.