215 COBET centres to open in Mara

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A TOTAL of 215 centres offering Complementary Basic Education in Tanzania (COBET) programmes locally known as “Memkwa” will be started in Mara Region, this year.

The centres will be established under an ambitious project which is currently being implemented by the Graca Machel Trust, Mara Alliance and the Mara Regional Government with the aim of allowing thousands of children aged seven to 17 years, who have dropped out of school, to resume their studies.

COBET Education Specialist, Consultant and Advisor at Graca Machel Trust, Dr Naomi Katunzi said more than 438 teachers had been trained to teach the targeted children under the project, with COBET classes expected to commence early next month in many centres.

The centres will be established in Butiama, Bunda, Tarime and Musoma districts. According to her, majority of the teachers are those based in schools where the centres will be opened and a few are Form Four and Form Six leavers who had received special training.

Few hours before the press conference, findings of the study conducted in the districts were revealed during data dissemination and validation workshop that was presided by representatives from the three-main implementing partners (GMT, Mara Alliance and Government in Mara region).

The study conducted by Economic Social Research Foundation (ESRF) from house to house identified 11,666 children who are out of school. The findings show that 33 per cent of the children were from Bunda, 31 per cent (Tarime), 26 per cent in Butiama and 10 per cent in Musoma.

Ms Machel who is also the former First Lady of Mozambique and South Africa insisted that every single child has the right to get education and thanked all stakeholders working hard to bring back the children to school under the COBET programme in the area.

She also got an opportunity to visit and hold talks with some out of school children who had been enrolled under COBET programme at Nyamisisi Primary School in Butiama District. She urged the children to make good use of the second opportunity they have been given to get basic education.

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