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USAID, Tanzania Forge New Partnerships Under President Bush's Africa Education Initiative.

WASHINGTON, May 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Assistant Administrator for Africa, Lloyd O. Pierson, hosted a signing ceremony to launch a new education partnership between USAID, South Carolina State University and the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training in Zanzibar, Tanzania. The partnership -- officially called a "Textbook and Learning Materials Program" -- is one component under President George W. Bush's Africa Education Initiative, a $600 million commitment focused on sub-Saharan Africa. With USAID funding, the new partnership will produce 600,000 textbooks, as well as other educational materials in the sciences for secondary students and teachers.

As outlined in the agreement, South Carolina State University -- a minority-serving institution identified as a key partner in the Africa Education Initiative -- and Zanzibar's Ministry of Education will collaborate on the preparation and selection of all learning materials for the target schools. USAID will help manage the project.

"The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding today between USAID, South Carolina State University and Zanzibar's Ministry of Education honors President Bush's commitment to provide much needed, high-quality, culturally sensitive textbooks and learning materials to children in Africa," Assistant Administrator Pierson said. "The beauty of this program is its respect and support for local resources and traditional customs. The books will be published locally, in Zanzibar. The characters will have names like 'Halima and Hassan.' The pictures will look like Zanzibari children, and draw examples from the local context."

The new textbook program is a complement to the beginning phase of a new bilateral education program between USAID and the Government of Tanzania, also announced by Pierson today. The bilateral initiative builds on the success of a two-year pilot program in Zanzibar, and will be expanded to include mainland Tanzania. For the past two years, the pilot program, has achieved significant results. To date, the program has:
 * reached more than 102,000 children in over 300 schools;

 * helped establish 20 new madrasas;

 * provided more than 1,000 teachers with training;

 * strengthened the capacity of 4,359 school management committee members;
 and

 * provided 277,000 much needed textbooks to enhance the learning of
 primary school children in math and English.




"We know that through our joint efforts we have the power to unleash the promise and hope for a new generation of artists, mathematicians, scientists, teachers, community activists and world leaders," Pierson added.

Over the life of the Africa Education Initiative, 15 million textbooks and learning materials will be produced.

Last week, the U.S. and Tanzania signed an $11.15 million Threshold program agreement through the Millennium Challenge Corporation. USAID Deputy Administrator Frederick W. Schieck noted the agency's ongoing commitment to the country in education, health and the environment. For more information about USAID's support of the Africa Education Initiative, visit http://www.usaid.gov/about_usaid/presidential_initiative/afreducation.html

CONTACT: U.S. Agency for International Development Press Office, +1-202-712-4320, or Public Information, +1-202-712-4810

Web site: http://www.usaid.gov/
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 23, 2006
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