Education policy, curricular draft wins accolade

EDUCATION stakeholders have hailed the first draft of the newly revised version of the proposed education policy and curricular, suggesting more focus on teachers’ capacity building as well as an increase in budget for the sector.

On Tuesday, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology released the first draft of the proposed new edition of the education and training policy and curricular, whose focus is competence and skills-based training. The proposed new draft of the Education and Training policy shows that the formula will be 1+6+4+2/3+3+.

The formula stands for one year of pre-primary education, six years of primary education, four -years of ordinary secondary education, two years of advanced secondary or three years of technical education and three years + tertiary or higher learning education.

The draft which was released through the ministry’s website, intends to have in place a vibrant, diversity and result-oriented policy and curricular thus increase the number of skills and competent graduates in various fields to meet the national and world market demands In response to the draft, Mr Ochola Wagoya, Tanzania Education Network (TenMet) National Coordinator, told ‘Daily News’ yesterday that the draft was good and accommodated several crucial things.

However, he emphasised the necessity of putting the policy into action, saying that the 2014 policy was contentbased and that investment did not correspond to the requirements to achieve the desired results.

“More investment is required; hopefully, it will receive priority this time. The only outcome of the 2014 policy was fee-free education. He continued, “Since we are aware that the policy is implemented for eight years before being reviewed, more work needs to be done, if we want the country to benefit from this new policy and curricular.” Mr Ogola added that it was high time the government make sure that the education sector received more funding and that teachers were trained to see into it that the curricular fulfilled the collective needs.

He argued that the government should, if at all possible, take an inventory of all teachers, including those who are expected to teach French, Chinese, and Arabic in addition to other subjects and make them well versed with the revised policy and curricular.

Teachers are a crucial part of the curricular change, so it is crucial to make sure they are well-versed in how to put into practice, because that is what is required, according to Mr Ogola.

Ester Kessy, a teacher at Karume Primary School in Dar es Salaam, opined that for the new policy and curricular to achieve their goals, the government must also prioritise funding for textbooks and teachers. Preparing teachers for the new curricular is essential, she said.

“They should do like it was done in the past by providing short courses to teachers, so that they can change and understand what is required of them.” HakiElimu Executive Director, Dr John Kalaghe said it is important that the government increases the budget for the education sector as it has often been inconsistent with internationally recommended standards.

“The Incheon resolution of 2015 calls on Sub-Saharan countries to allocate at least 20 per cent of their government’s main budgets for the education sector, but the government has allocated an average of only 14 per cent in the financial year 2015/16- 2022/2023,” he said.

He added,” We call on the government to look at this important matter. It is clear that many challenges could be solved and the quality of education in the country improved if the resolutions were to be implemented.” Meanwhile, Minister for Education, Science and Technology, Prof Adolf Mkenda said yesterday that implementation of the new edition of education policy and curricular is expected to take off in January next year.

However, he said the implementation will be made in phases. The first phase will be classes that will be part of the new system are pre-primary schools, standard one, and three.

Prof Mkenda said from 2025 all standard seven leavers will go directly to ordinary secondary schools under the new curriculum.

“The standard seven leavers will go through an assessment test, as it is the case with standard four currently and proceed to ordinary secondary education to meet the ten-year compulsory education,” said Prof Mkenda.

Debating, Mr Cecil Mwambe (Ndanda-CCM) said the policy and circular proposal have a positive future for the country’s education but they must incorporate the customer service, which fails most of the sectors.

Mr Charles Mwijage (Muleba North-CCM) said since the qualification set for primary school teachers is diploma, then, the government must see how they (teachers) can upgrade their qualifications instead of being left behind.

Mr Khamis Tabasam (Sengerema-CCM) underscored the need for the ministry to ensure there are enough textbooks to meet the schools’ demands, whereas he was told that the Tanzania Institute of Education (TIE) is working on the matter.

The draft is available for public to present their final views by May 31st this year before the final procedure to make the document official.

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