Dar es Salaam. Twaweza Executive Director Aidan Eyakuze said here today that the organisation is expected to present the results of its randomized control trial known as KiuFunza on May 7 in the capital Dodoma in a function that will be attended by lawmakers and officials from the ministries of education and local government.
The event will also see teachers who took part in the three-year trial receiving their bonus payments. Twaweza did the trial in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and the President’s Office – Regional Administration and Local Government.
Twaweza has been testing KiuFunza, an intervention in which bonus payments are made to teachers based on student learning, since 2013 in order to inform government policy. The trial has had three phases so far, according to Twaweza.
During this phase of 2019-2021, School Quality Assurance Officers were part of the KiuFunza implementation teams with the government providing various types of support, including design advice, data and access to implementation schools. The National Examination Council of Tanzania (NECTA) reviewed and provided advice on the student assessments.
“KiuFunza continues to improve learning in a cost-effective way,” Mr Eyakuze told a press conference. “Between 2019 and 2021, Twaweza and the government worked together to begin to integrate key elements of the work into the existing education processes. We have solid evidence of what works to ensure that children learn. And Twaweza has secured new funding to expand the KiuFunza, in collaboration with the government, to some of the poorest performing schools.”
According to Twaweza, the trial’s early results have shown that KiuFunza generates improvements in pass rates equivalent to at least an extra third of a school year. So in one school year, a student in a KiuFunza school receives three months’ worth of additional learning, compared to pupils in schools with no incentives, the organisation said.
The research further shows that low-performing pupils benefit most from the program.
In April 2022, Twaweza rewarded 547 Standard I, II, and III subject teachers and headteachers for their performance in 2021.
Nine schools – the best performing school overall in each region – also received infrastructure bonuses to spend on projects of their choice.
The value of the total bonus fund in each year is Sh204,000,000 paid to teachers and headteachers from 100 schools across six regions. The average per teacher bonus is 3.5 per cent of the average annual teacher salary.
Almost all teachers support the idea of performance pay, according to Twaweza. Teachers have very favourable (77 per cent) or somewhat favourable (19 per cent) views on the idea of awarding high performing teachers bonuses based on student learning.
Mr Eyakuze believes that all people have a role to play in ensuring that children learn and teachers are both motivated and accountable for delivering that learning.
“We are also seeing the ideas behind KiuFunza and some of our approaches being taken up by different education actors,” he told journalists. “For example, the MP for Ubungo [Kitila Mkumbo of the ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi – CCM] offered incentives to mathematics teachers based on the KiuFunza approach. These are very welcome adaptations.”
Lukelo Francis is a Dar es Salaam-based The Chanzo’s correspondent. He is available at firstname.lastname@example.org.