Aneth Anselmo Komba
Drawing from previous studies and the international and local literature on education financing, this paper reviews the mechanisms that have been used to finance primary education in Tanzania, discusses the equity implications of the mechanisms employed and proposes criteria that could be used to develop grant distribution formulae to achieve equity in educational opportunities. The paper observed that the previous financing mechanisms predominantly used uniform flat grants distributional formulae, which were rigid and failed to address variations in: the local ability to finance education from their own sources; the community’s willingness to finance education; geographical location; the cost of purchasing materials; the pupils and schools’ educational needs; the existing quality and quantity of resources; the available sources of support; the schools’ performance in examinations; and the repetition, promotion and dropout rates. Indeed, the formulae disregarded the indicators of educational needs in the provision of support, suggesting that most of the equity issues were violated. This tendency contributed to inequity in educational opportunity across the districts, schools and pupils. The paper concludes by arguing that, to achieve equity, the government should distribute grants and resources using the equity indicators. A thorough assessment of the districts, schools and pupils’ educational needs should be conducted, which would result in flexible funding formulae that will accommodate the obvious, existing variations.
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