Money Management

Tanzania: How Magufuli, spearhead of reforms, paid off in education

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FROM its independence from Great Britain in 1961 until today, Tanzania has made progress in developing national policies aimed at expanding educational opportunities for its people.

Outgoing President John Magufuli has also contributed immensely to the development of the sector during his five and a half years in office. In 1963, for the first time, Tanzania attempted to offer Free Education (FFE) which reduced the schooling disparity between children from rich and poor households.

Therefore, the government funded the education system and provided free primary education at the university. However, the global economic crisis of the 1980s influenced free education and the cost-shared education policy was reintroduced in the 1990s.

Subsequently, in 2001, tuition fees in primary education were abolished following the implementation of the Primary Education Development Plan (PEDP), which aimed to improve access and quality of education. education in the country. Parents were required by each school to pay certain necessary contributions and costs, including textbooks, uniforms and school running costs.

For example, in 2004 the fees for day schools in secondary schools were reduced from 40,000 / – to 20,000 / – and 70,000 / – for boarding schools. However, the concept of free education and fee reduction aims to increase access to and enrollment in education.

According to a report by Hakielimu published in 2017, the new version of the Education and Training Policy of 2014 extends the abolition of tuition fees from primary to lower secondary – Basic education. The policy was implemented as a result of the education circulars (issues 5 and 6 of 2015 and 6 of 2016) which led the implementation of Free Basic Education (FFBE) in Tanzania.

He further indicated that the circulars made it clear that the government was funding textbooks, chemicals and laboratory equipment, furniture, sports equipment, repair of machinery, construction and repair of school infrastructure, provision of meals in boarding schools and subsidies for each student.

Parents are obliged to bear the costs of school uniforms, sports equipment, exercise books, to pay medical and meal expenses for day school students, to pay travel expenses, to purchase mattresses and bedspreads as well as personal hygiene items for students in public school residences.

Providing free basic education was among many pledges ex-President Magufuli made during the 2015 general election campaigns. He pledged to waive tuition fees and other contributions for primary and secondary education. ‘he was elected the fifth president of Tanzania.

Since the introduction of the free education policy five years ago, Tanzania has recorded tremendous achievements indicating that over the next few years the country could rank among the best countries in the world for the implementation of sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Primary and secondary education As of February 2021, the government had spent around 1,291 tril / -, which increased the primary school enrollment rate from 1,386,592 in 2015 to around 1,557,453 in 2020. The initiative increased the primary school enrollment rate from 8,298,282 in 2015 to 10,925,896 pupils in 2020, while the pass rate for the fourth year increased from 68% in 2015 to 85.8% in 2020 and that of the sixth from 97% to 99.51%.

Dr Hassan Abbasi, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports, said that with free basic education, the number of students who have so far received education Primary school increased from 8,298,282 in 2015 to approximately 10,925,896 in 2020. Under his leadership, the number of Standard 1 registrations increased from 1,386,592 in 2015 to 1,557,453 in 2020.

The number of students in secondary schools increased from 1,648,359 in 2015 to 2,185,037 in 2020 and the number of students entering grade five increased from 66,090 in 2015 to 74,478 in 2020. 1,305 schools ( 1,260 primary and 45 secondary) were distributed.

The government printed and distributed 4,443,586 copies of textbooks for all subjects in Standard Seven at a 1: 2 ratio to students, and 253,408 copies of teacher’s textbooks for Standard Seven to all boards nationwide .

During his tenure, the government also printed and distributed 45,671 copies of standard programs one through seven and 319,697 copies of standard programs one through seven to all councils across the country. In order to improve the learning of students with special needs, under the leadership of the late Dr Magufuli, 40,802 copies of textbooks for students with special needs for the blind and the virtual disabled have been published.

These books are the ones in Braille. Another milestone recorded is the printing of 17 textbooks to train one to four students. Currently, the Tanzania Institute of Education (TIE) is implementing a book preparation process based on both the needs of private and public schools.

Higher education The government of the late Dr. Magufuli has increased student loans to higher education institutions from 125,126 students in 2015 to 142,179 in February 2021 over the past five years; the Higher Education Student Loans Board (HESLB) spent a total of 2.82 tril / – on student loans.

Student loans increased from 341 billion / – in 2014/15 to 462 billion / – in 2020/21. The total amount spent on loans for higher education students from 2015 to 2021 is 2.82 tril / -.

Vocational education and training The initiative and efforts of President Magufuli’s government to improve the Vocational Education and Training Authority (VETA) have enabled the country to have a skilled workforce, especially in the framework of current industrialization.

Dar es Salaam University College of Education (DUCE), Senior Lecturer Dr Joviter Katabaro said the government initiative is important for the future, especially for the needs of young people who most complete high school without any skills; while employment has declined in the formal sector.

“Young high school graduates have to do it with certain acquired skills needed in production activities. The government’s decision to improve VETA is perfect for preparing young people to face industrialization; because it creates a competent generation of skilled workforce that can create self-employment or be employed, ”he said.

The government’s initiative to build more VETA centers aims to support the country’s industrialization dynamic by creating an adequate skilled workforce, he said. Dr Magufuli once pointed out that with a sufficient number of vocational colleges across the country, Tanzania will be able to feed all factories with a skilled and competent workforce.

“In order for us to achieve industrialization, we need to invest more in vocational schools and that is what the government is doing, and we will keep the spirit of it,” he said at the inauguration of the VETA center in Bukoba.

At present, there are 712 vocational training colleges across the country, up from 672 registered in 2015 and 62 of them are government owned, of which 20 are at the regional level and the remaining 42 are at the district level. More than 226,767 students have been admitted to vocational training in the country.

This is an increase from the 96,697 students admitted for study in 2015. Currently, public colleges have a total of 56,400 students. Dr Magufuli’s late administration adopted industrialization as a panacea against youth unemployment, as a sufficient number of factories guarantees employment opportunities for locals.

Under his administration, the construction of more than 33 VETA centers is among the recorded achievements, four are regional and 29 at the district level, with the intention of having at least one college in each district nationwide.

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