ZANZIBAR Minister for Education and Vocational Training, Ms Lela Mohamed Mussa has said that more than 10,000 students have been re-enrolled back to school and are happy to continue with their studies in Unguja and Pemba since the launch of ‘Back to School Programme’ last year.
Speaking at an event to distribute school uniforms and other requirements, the minister said here that the government was happy with the implementation of the programme.
“We call upon parents and community members to support the initiatives by ensuring all children report to school,” she said.
The distribution of the school uniforms was held at Tumbatu Islet, where the Director of Department of Alternative and Adult Education in the Ministry, Ms Mashavu Ahmada Fakih, joined the minister to emphasize that no children will remain at home without education.
“We thank development partners, grassroot leaders, teachers and parents for working closely to ensure the programme is nothing but a big success,” Ms Fakih said.
She added that a study supported by UNICEF revealed that drop-outs is fueled by the children to engage in income generating activities and negligence on the part of parents who do not value education.
In August last year, development partners supporting the ‘Back to School Programme’ expressed their happiness by the arrangements which enabled the programme to start well with re-enrolment of some children.
The programme is targeting more than 30,000 out-of-school children in Zanzibar.
Giving their views during a visit at some schools, senior officers from UNICEF and the Qatar in the Middle East based EAC (Educate A Child) Institute, expressed their satisfaction with beginning of the project, but said a lot of efforts were still needed to bring more children back, especially girls.
Led by the UNICEF Representative in Tanzania, Ms Shalini Bahuguna, and Ms Mary Joy Pigozzin-Executive Director of EAC visited Fukuchani, Potoa, and Mkokotoni Primary Schools in Unguja North A District, where some out-of-school children are already back to class.
“Let us increase awareness among parents and guardians so that both boys and girls are back to school. The target is to have 35,732 children identified to be out- of- school, back within three years of the implementation of the project beginning 2021.
The Zanzibar Ministry of Education and Vocational Training signed an agreement with ‘Educate A Child (EAC)’ institute to implement the 6 million US dollars project also supported by UNICEF.