Minister directs institutions to embrace quality, transparency

MINISTER for Education, Science and Technology, Prof Adolf Mkenda, has called on educational institutions to offer quality services with transparency and justice in efforts to improve the education sector.

Prof Mkenda made the call on Tuesday when launching the Higher Education for Economic Transformation (HEET) project in Dar es Salaam.

The project estimated to cost 425 million US dollars, is funded by the World Bank.

The five-year project aims to promote higher education as a catalyst for economic growth.

Prof Mkenda asked Tanzania Commission for Universities (TCU), Higher Education Students’ Loans Board (HESLB) and Universities to effectively use HEET funds to provide more knowledge to enable the country build a blue economy.

He said the criteria to get a loan from the HESLB are clear and everyone who gets a loan should be identified.

Speaking about the universities, he said the ministry will continue to use the external examination system to ensure that lecturers teach, evaluate, give exams and marks fairly.

“There are cases of abuse of powers in higher learning institutions when it comes to marking exams,” Prof Mkenda said, adding: “we want to see high value of our education.”

Talking about promoting higher learning institutions, he said the promotion process was transparent, especially for public universities.

“It is good to rank them as per standards and guidelines. Our universities must compete with universities in other countries like South Africa, Germany or elsewhere,” Prof Mkenda stated.

He also asked the TCU to enroll a good number of students by adhering to criteria.

“Let’s increase the enrollment without compromising the quality of our universities so that our education can have high value within and outside the country,” he argued.

He also encouraged lecturers to pursue further education and knowledge abroad and bring it to Tanzania.

“Seek further education and knowledge abroad. We must learn from our peers,” Prof Mkenda insisted.

Prof Mkenda said the HEET project will help strengthen the capacity and quality of selected universities and institutes in terms of building capacity among researchers and graduates.

On his part, Permanent Secretary of the docket, Dr. Francis Michael said through the HEET project, the government will provide a grant of 1.1 million US dollars to private universities to get scholarships as part of the government’s strategy to involve the private sector in developing the higher education sector in the country.

On her part, the World Bank (WB) Acting Country Director, Ms Preeti Arora said the HEET project will help to address the critical need for high –skilled workers, ready for the labor market.

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