Analysis of the Unit Costs of the Government’s Provision of Pre-Primary Education in Tanzania

Aneth Komba


Analysis of the Unit Costs of the Government’s Provision of Pre-Primary Education in TanzaniaAneth Komba

University of Dar es Salaam, School of Education, Department of Educational Foundations Management and Lifelong Learning



The realisation of universal pre-primary education in any country requires serious government intervention to finance it. To be able to provide adequate funds, governments require information regarding the annual unit cost of educating a child in a pre-primary class. This study uses the 2012 Tanzanian census data to determine the unit cost of providing pre-primary education in public pre-primary schools in Tanzania for two years. The study employed the qualitative research methodology using a basic/generic research design. Data were collected from existing documents, through observation and telephone and face-to-face interviews with head teachers and pre-primary class teachers in 260 primary schools located in Dar es Salaam and Pwani regions. The analysis was performed using the Excel program and content analysis. The findings revealed that the public pre-primary unit cost is 517,262 and 221,960 Tanzanian shillings (Tshs.) for effectively implementing the financing strategies for year one and the following year, respectively. This amount means that, for the first year of financing pre-primary education, the unit cost is Tshs. 2,666 or $1.25[1] for each school day and Tshs. 53,325 or $25.15 for 20 school days per month. For the following year, the unit cost is Tshs. 1,144 or $0.54 a day and Tshs. 22,882 or $10.79 a month. The paper suggests the need to finance pre-primary education on the basis of the actual unit cost. Hence, the optimal cost of financing pre-primary pupils is US$ 25 a month in the first year of establishing a preschool programme and US$ 10 in the following year. This sum could be provided as part of the capitation and development grants.


Keywords: pre-primary education, unit cost, Tanzania


Analysis of the Unit Costs of the Government’s Provision of Pre-Primary Education in Tanzania

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