DAR ES SALAAM: FORMER President Jakaya Kikwete has described the Global Partnership of Education (GPE) as a very important partner for Tanzania in the development of education sector.
The former Head of State offered clarification yesterday in Dar es Salaam when briefing journalists in his capacity as Board Chairman of the GPE, insisting that a lot is being achieved under their support.
He made the remarks prior to the three-day GPE Board meeting to be held in Zanzibar next week, the first time the meeting of such nature is happening outside the United States of America.
Before the briefing, the GPE delegation led by its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Laura Fringenti visited Majimatitu Primary School at Mbagala and Mikongeni Primary schools in Ukonga in Dar es Salaam to see the progress of projects implemented through GPE funds.
“The good relationship between Tanzania and GPE dates back from 2013 whereby a total of 332 million US dollars have been allocated to fund education systems in both Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar,” GPE chairman said.
Dr Kikwete added: “It has been supporting in the training of teachers and over 43,000 teachers including female teachers, teachers for special needs and children have been trained with support from GPE.
He said GPE also supported the printing and distribution of 10 million school textbooks and helped a lot to revive the printing press that is owned by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.
He explained that during the COVID-19, GPE spent 500 million US dollars in 66 partner states to enable students continue learning. He said part of the amount that Tanzania got was used to revive the printing press …and “now, we have the capacity to print books on our own.”
Again, Dr Kikwete explained that GPE has helped to build over 400 learning classrooms and 30 dormitories plus taking to school almost 30,000 students with special needs.
“Only yesterday (Thursday), our CEO signed with the government of Tanzania a grant of 85 million US dollars, hence this underscores that the GPE is an important partner of the country in the development of education.
“The focus of the grant will be on teachers…we need trained and competitive teachers who are able to close the gaps in places where teachers are not there,” he remarked.
Moreover, GPE chair disclosed that after inspecting the projects’ implementation at the schools in the city, Ms Fringenti was satisfied with what she saw as their support was wisely utilised.
On her part, Ms Fringenti noted that there is a strong desire to ensure that the education system in the country focuses on quality, promising to help in attaining the goal.
“I have seen that progress is being made on the ground and our role is to see how the government will respond to the challenges,” she said.
However, at Majimatitu Primary School, GPE contributed construction of eight classrooms as well as toilets to cater for the big number of learners as the school accommodates 5,124 pupils.