Free Basic Education and Gender Disparities in Tanzania: An Empirical Assessment of Challenges and Policy Options


  • Christopher Awinia


Gender parity in education, basic education, education policy, girls’ education, primary and secondary education


This article seeks to evaluate whether free basic education is contributing to the achievement of inclusive education for girls in line with the global Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 to achieve inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all as envisaged by the Education and Training Policy of 2014 (ETP (2014)). The study objective was toidentify key areas of gender disparities in free basic education. It investigatedwhat needs to be done in-order to restore gender parity and promote inclusive and equitable education in the public education system in Tanzania. The study is based on empirical analysis of published basic education statistics to arrive at correlation analysis between gender and key statistical indicators for education improvement mainly using excel worksheet and the statistical package for data analysis known as STATA. Empirical data analysis was supplemented by a review of secondary data and archival sources on basic education performance since 2016. The main conclusion of the study wasgender disparities were increasing with education level leaving females disproportionately deprived; and that social and cultural disparities impinged on gender parity in public education

Author Biography

Christopher Awinia

The Open University of Tanzania