Govt touts private sector’s role in education

TANGA: THE Minister for Education, Science, and Technology, Professor Adolf Mkenda, has emphasized the significance of the private sector’s collaboration with the government in the implementation of the revised education policy and curriculum.

Speaking at the opening of the National Skills and Innovation Week celebrations that began on Monday in Tanga and are expected to conclude on Friday, Prof Mkenda stated that after the government’s review of the 2014 education policy, implementation has already begun at the primary and secondary education levels, with the goal of bringing efficiency to the education sector.

The minister explained that the government is preparing a national strategy on financing science, technology, and innovation in schools, saying the objective is to identify various strategies and sources of funding, as well as ways to finance and motivate the implementation of science, technology, and innovation in schools.

Minister Mkenda revealed that the government has begun the process of building 15 campuses that will focus more on competence-based education, providing vocational training at the degree level to improve and increase the capacity for students.

He mentioned that the government continues to provide subsidies in the education sector by paying the fees for students in all primary and secondary schools nationwide, with the free education scheme costing the government around 33.3bn/- per month.

Furthermore, Prof Mkenda stated that for the 2024/2025 financial year, the government plans to build around 100 technical schools nationwide, and the procedure is underway.

He added that the government has constructed about 29 vocational training colleges so far, with 25 at the district level and four at the regional level in the Simiyu, Geita, Njombe, and Rukwa regions.

Furthermore, Prof Mkenda mentioned that “the government has increased the enrollment of students in technical colleges from 171,581 in 2022/2023 to 235,804 in 2023/2024.”

In line with that, he said the government has started the allocation of loans to students at the diploma level.

Yesterday, he launched the guidelines for the issuance of these loans at vocational colleges and higher education levels, including students who will study abroad in fields such as nuclear science and space science.

Also Read: Law on dropouts return to school in pipeline

Deputy Minister, Prime Minister’s Office (Labour, Youth, Employment, and Persons with Disability), Patrobas Katambi, said there is a great need for the education provided in the country to produce highly skilled, innovative, and competitive professionals in the field of science and technology required in the labor market.

“It is sad to see a lot of ongoing projects that we are not able to do on our own but depend on foreign experts. We will always lose a lot of foreign and domestic incomes if we cannot prepare Tanzanians with skills and expertise in the areas of science and technology,” said Mr Katambi.

For her part, the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Education, Culture, and Sports, Husna Sekiboko, said the event will help unearth talents and innovations of students.

Ms. Sekiboko pointed out that in the implementation of the new education policy and curriculum in the area of skills, parents should also be involved by being given education and awareness to facilitate the quick understanding of students.

The Tanga Regional Commissioner, Dr Batlida Burian, commended the government’s efforts for the implementation of the ruling party CCM 2020-2025 election manifesto to implement fee-free education.

She also lauded the ministry for choosing Tanga as hosts for the event.

She urged residents and various stakeholders in the region to turn out in large numbers to learn and acquire various skills, including seizing various educational opportunities.

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