MINISTER for Education, Science and Technology, Prof Joyce Ndalichako, on Monday handed over 39 vehicles worth 5.2bn/- to education colleges to address challenges facing the sector.
She noted that 35 vehicles were for the colleges to facilitate their operations.
“We are aware that some colleges are located many kilometres away from municipal/town councils, hence there is need for reliable transport for smooth operations,” she said.
Not only the colleges, but also the government has set aside about 40bn/- for the construction of 201 vocational training centres, with 25 institutions already being constructed in 25 municipal councils, according to the minister.
Prof Ndalichako reiterated that the government had been doing whatever possible to improve the education sector, including rehabilitation of old schools whereas 65 out 88 schools had been improved.
Other 23 schools will be rehabilitated in this fiscal year as the government has already set aside about 201bn/- for schools’ infrastructural improvements.
She added that the free education initiative was also part of the government’s efforts to improve the sector, saying school performance had increased from 67 per cent in 2015 to 88 per cent last year.
According to her, the initiative has also increased performance in science subjects, citing improvement in chemistry subject, whose performance increased to 76 per cent last year from 60 per cent in 2015.
The representative of development partners, who serves as education adviser in the Department for International Development (DFID), Dr John Lusingu, noted that the influx of students in schools as a result of the free education initiative was a testimony to the government of Tanzania and partners’ efforts to boost education.
He said education access had improved substantially as enrolment in primary and secondary education had increased by 500,000 pupils and 200,000 students.
“Over three-quarters of schoolchildren pass the primary and secondary school examination. The recent Certificate of Secondary Education Examination results showed 81 per cent of students passed Form Four examinations in 2019 compared to previous years,” he said.
However, according to him, the sector still faces many challenges in the provision of better education for vulnerable, poor, pastoralists and nomadic groups, children with special needs as well as girls.
He added that the provision of education left much room for improvement and evidence showed that the level of education financing and inputs had not been able to match the pace of expansion, hence average student learning outcomes might have suffered.