Govt to improve library infrastructure countrywide

KILIMANJARO: THE government has embarked on a programme aimed at improving all libraries in the country in order to provide opportunities for students, teachers and other people to have access to additional knowledge.

Minister for Education, Science and Technology Professor Adolf Mkenda revealed this yesterday during the inauguration of Martha Onesmo Public Library located in Msangeni, Ugweno area, Mwanga District, in Kilimanjaro Region.

“Libraries have a unique importance in the development of education, individually and even for the entire country and that is why the government has now decided to ensure that existing libraries are improved throughout the country,” he said.

He added, “the government is planning to set aside approximately 2bn/- for the work, which will be spent in purchasing additional books and improve infrastructure of the existing library buildings across the country.”

Prof Mkenda further said that the improvements of the 22 libraries in different parts of the country will enable students to gain additional knowledge after getting regular education provided in schools at various educational levels.

“Education in the classroom gives students the education that will help them find additional knowledge that will help them in their contributions to the development of the nation after school, they can find all these from the libraries which are the basics of additional knowledge,” he added.

Commenting on the launching occasion in Mwanga, Prof Mkenda congratulated the founder of the project, Ms Jennifer Dickson, saying her vision will contribute to the development of many people who will use the library.

“This library has come at the right time when the government has improved the education system with the aim of improving its quality, the library will be used by students, teachers and other residents to gain additional knowledge,” he said.

He added, “Jennifer, your vision has given us hope in the government that the future development of our country is safe because it has creative young people like you; Let me assure you and those who attended this event that the government will do everything possible to ensure that this library becomes sustainable”.

For her part, Ms Jennifer said that she established the library so as to fulfill her longtime dream, which was to have people, especially those in rural areas, to get library services so that they could increase their knowledge.

“This library, which is named after my grandmother Martha Onesmo, is a dream I had since I was pursuing my advanced level education, I am happy that the dream has come true,” she noted.

She added, “this library is also my contribution and support to the government’s efforts which are meant to improve the education sector in the country.”

Ms Jennifer went on to say that the library, which she said had also some contributions from Msangeni residents, will be a centre for entrepreneurship training and other types of education in general that would contribute to the development of the nation.

Ms Jennifer thanked various donors who enabled her to fulfill her dream, whom she said included Bayport Tanzania, Barick Gold Tanzania, Mwanga Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania (ELCT-MD) to mention but a few.

“I call on my fellow Tanzanians to develop the habit of using library services to study so that they can gain knowledge and abandon the misconception that libraries are for students, teachers and intellectuals only,” she said.

Speaking at the event, the Head of ELCT-MD, Bishop Chediel Sendoro congratulated Ms Jennifer for her creativity which he said will contribute to the development of individuals and the nation as a whole.

“This library, even though it is located in the Church building, will be used by all people regardless of their religious affiliation, the goal is to ensure that everyone gets the opportunity to develop themselves and gain additional knowledge for their personal development and that of the nation in general, ” he said.

He also congratulated parents of Ms Jennifer Dickson for the good parental upbringing they gave to their daughter which enabled her to come up with a vision that aims to contribute to the development of the nation.

“Let me take this opportunity to urge other parents to emulate Jennifer’s parents; May I also urge other children to emulate Jennifer so that the nation will continue to progress through our young people,” he said.

On his part, the University of Dar es Salaam Deputy Vice Chancellor, Prof Bonaventure Rutinwa said that the library is an educational infrastructure that enables a person, including young children to get extra education through reading books, whereby he said it was better that children start to be informed about the importance of using libraries early in their childhood stages.

“We study not to get school-based education alone but to improve our life in general and this is one of the real meanings of the existence of libraries, that libraries are meant for all people and not for students and teachers alone,” he said.

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