Some of the key findings from the assessment revealed there was low awareness and understanding of the Re-entry policy among students and parents.
UNESCO commissioned a study to assess the implementation and effectiveness of the Re-Entry Policy on Pregnant learners in Zanzibar, to investigate gaps for intervention and areas for improvement. The two-day meeting included directors from the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training-MoEVT and educational stakeholders.
The guest of honor was Hon. Simai Said, the Minister of Education and Vocational Training in Zanzibar. In his comments, Hon Said urged the ministry to support initiatives that would raise public awareness on the re-entry policy which refers to girls returning to school after giving birth. He added that, “As we are working on this matter, we need to find ways to combat the problem of young people getting pregnant while in school.”
According to data from the Registrar of Education, a total of 646 girls became pregnant from 2005 to 2020 in Zanzibar. Within this group, 190 learners were in upper primary level between ages 13 to 16; 452 at Ordinary Secondary and 4 were at the Advance level of secondary education aged 16 to 18.
The Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar (RGoZ) reiterated its commitment through highlighting the “Educational policy of 2006” on preventing adolescent girls from getting pregnant and which ensures pregnant school girls return after delivery.
Some of the key findings from this assessment revealed there was low awareness and understanding of the Re-entry policy among students, parents, and pregnant adolescent learners. The Ministry of Education has established Inclusive Education and Life Skills Unit and Office of Education Registrar which are key players in the implementation of the policy.
Some key recommendations given to effectively implement the re-entry to school policy include the need to review the existing Education Policy and realign it with the current situation, society demands and findings from the re-entry policy assessment. For example to develop national guidelines for the implementation, conduct needs assessment on what to include, strengthen guidance and counselling services at School, and support multi-sectoral collaboration to promote retention of pregnant girls in schools.
Mr. Tirso Dos Santos, the UNESCO Representative to Tanzania said, “UNESCO recognizes and commends government efforts through MoEVT, for putting in place conducive policy environment and structures that facilitate all school age children to enroll and complete their studies.”