Leveraging technology to overcome the English language barrier in Tanzania.

E-Shuleni is our solution to address the English literacy gap in Tanzania. Selfless Solutions supplies public primary schools with tablets containing sophisticated educational software that makes learning English fun and enjoyable. The program is seamlessly integrated into the schools’ normal curriculum and schedule. Our mission is to ensure that every graduate from the primary schools that we work with has the essential language skills needed to succeed in an English-speaking environment.

In Tanzania, the native language of Swahili serves as the medium of instruction in public schools throughout the primary level. However, in secondary school and beyond, English is used as the language of instruction.

This unique situation is a major cause of the high dropout rate (only 31% of eligible children are enrolled in secondary school), as many children leave primary school without even basic English knowledge. Studies have shown that as many as 8 out of 10 primary school graduates are unable to read a short story in English that is only at a second grade reading level.

A child is sitting at his desk using a tablet, while a dozen other kids look over his shoulder.

In 2022, Selfless Solutions ran a year long after school program at our pre-primary school to test the concept of using tablets to improve English comprehension among public school students. The pilot was successful as many children saw rapid increases in their English levels. The success of the program motivated a local public school to request that we establish the program at their school and incorporate it into the regular school day.

Therefore, we will be re-launching our new and improved E-Shuleni program in January 2024 at Sing’isi Primary School with all 90 of their class 3 students. By the time the children complete grade 4, they will have reached a second grade English level according to U.S. standards. Thus, the children will have formed a solid English foundation from which they can build upon over the next three years before transitioning to secondary school.

Five children gathered around an instructor looking at a tablet.