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Situation analysis of the education sector in Zanzibar

The Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (MoEVT) in Zanzibar commissioned this situation analysis to review the current status of the whole education sector.

Georgina Rawle

Nicola Ruddle, Georgina Rawle

Education has been a key component of Zanzibar's national development plans for many years, and the government has been committed to giving every child the right to quality education since 1986. Whilst impressive strides had been made in increasing access to pre-primary and primary education, many challenges remained, particularly regarding quality.

The Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (MoEVT) commissioned this situation analysis to review the current status of the whole education sector. This situation analysis aimed to set out the current context and recent trends in the sector, to inform participants' discussions and eventual recommendations for the sector plan.


Well-known challenges included shortages of classrooms, learning materials, and appropriately qualified teachers. Equity in allocation and access to resources, and education outcomes, is an issue in terms of geography, gender, and socioeconomic background. Data were not available on many issues in the sector, including on learning outcomes.

From 2008-2015, the MoEVT implemented the Zanzibar Education Development Programme (ZEDP). As the ZEDP came to an end, a consultative process was used to develop a new sector plan for 2016 to 2020. Our situation analysis fed into this plan.

Our approach

We conducted the situation analysis alongside a small team of international consultants and members of the MoEVT's Department of Policy, Planning, and Research (DPPR). The review is sector-wide but focused on issues identified by the MoEVT (and overseen by the Ministry). The work was guided by the Framework for Situation Analysis developed by UNESCO, UNICEF, and the World Bank for the Global Partnership for Education.

The analysis draws on secondary data, largely provided by institutions under the ministry and other stakeholders, and existing research studies. The analysis team conducted over 100 key informant interviews with staff from many departments, units, and semi-autonomous bodies in the MoEVT, as well as a selection from development partners and other ministries. A small number of field visits were made to government-run education institutions.

Specific services we provided included:

  • We provided of a comprehensive analysis of the situation of education in Zanzibar, across the following sub-sectors/issues: social, demographic, and economic context; enrolment, internal efficiency, and out-of-school children, costing and financing, student learning, teacher management and resources, system capacity, equity, early childhood development, tertiary education, adult literacy, alternative learning and continuing education, and technical and vocational education and training.
  • We reviewed of existing studies and literature, collation, and analysis of education management information data and financial information, and conduct and analysis of a large number of key informant interviews.
  • We supported capacity building for ministry officials through on the job training, in frameworks for conducting situation analyses, use and interpretation of data and evidence, and conducting interviews.


Our report provided a comprehensive and concise review of the situation in the education sector, which will be made accessible to all stakeholders participating in the new sector programme consultation.

MoEVT invited the team to disseminate the report’s key findings to the ministry’s senior staff and the Education Development Partners Group, who engaged actively and provided substantial comments on the report. Further, members of the analysis team from MoEVT went on to present the report to the principal secretaries of other ministries and at regional level.

The support to education and financial management information systems has built the capacity of officers to conduct further analysis and improve the use and presentation of this data.

Areas of expertise