1.7tri/- EDUCATION BUDGET:Quality tops priorities

THE Minister for  Education, Science and Technology has tabled 1.7tri/- budget for the Financial Year 2023/2024, outlining five key priority areas, among them, strengthening the country’s capacity in research and the use of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) to speed up the envisaged industrial economy.

The minister responsible for the docket, Professor Adolph Mkenda told the National Assembly that the government expects in the next fiscal year to complete the review of the Education and Training Policy 2014 and the education curriculum as well as kick off its implementation.

Also, the ministry plans to increase opportunities and education quality for vocational training in secondary schools and vocational training colleges, increasing opportunity and quality education in both primary, secondary and higher learning institutions.

In the key priority areas, Prof Mkenda said that the government’s major aim was to increase the quality of education, help Tanzanian youth to acquire knowledge, skills, confidence as well as ability to be employed or employ themselves.

According to him, apart from accomplishing the review of the education and training policy, the government was equally planning in the next financial year to review and amend the National, Education Act by considering directives provided in the new policy as well as different legislations of Education institutions so that the law conforms with the demand of the new version of the education and training policy and curriculums.

“We also expect to prepare the Food and Nutrition Guideline as well as the Guideline for Environmental Management at all Education and Vocational Training institutions in ensuring that provision of food at colleges is implemented well by service providers,’’ he said.

In strengthening education quality assurance, Prof Mkenda said that at the primary, secondary and teachers’ colleges, the government was expecting to improve the system for education quality assurance in schools through decentralisation from the zonal level to the regional level so as to bring services closer to stakeholders as well as reaching out to many.

Regarding plans to improve learning results as well as increasing pass rates, Prof Mkenda said the government would continue to intensify capacity building sessions to teachers both in primary and secondary schools by training 10,000 science and mathematics teachers in secondary schools, ICT training to 4,500 teachers of 1,300 secondary schools, among other training.

The minister further said that in the next financial year, the ministry is expected to train 12,000 primary school teachers in identifying skills for reading, writing and counting in 10 regions which show that such skills are still at the lowest level.

Also, the government said it is mulling to revive the reading culture which recently seems to have gone down. Therefore, he said, the government plans to improve library services, and that through the Library Services Board, the ministry will come up with the National Policy for Library Services.

On research, Prof Mkenda said the government was expecting to conduct research in 177 different areas of education, Science and Technology, language, agriculture, trade, livestock, fisheries, human rights, peoples’ development and communications, among others.

“Also, we expect to prepare 1,806 publications with an aim of disseminating research results,’’ added the minister.

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