Smooth enrolment as schools reopen

DAR ES SALAAM: AS schools are set to reopen next month for the new academic year the government has attained 92 per cent of the target of constructing 302 primary schools and 21.5 per cent of secondary schools in efforts to ensure smooth accommodation of the increasing number of students being enrolled in country’s schools.

Between April and June this year the government set a target of constructing 302 primary school and 228 secondary schools through BOOST Primary Student Learning Programme and Secondary Education Quality Improvement Project (SEQUIP) projects.

Speaking during the working session with all Regional Commissioners (RCs) in the country on Saturday, Minister of State in the President’s Office (Regional Administration and Local Government) Mohamed Mchengerwa said that the government through the two projects is determined to increase the number of schools and classrooms in order to address the shortage of the infrastructure.

“About 477.38bn/- has been allocated for the execution of the two projects which were meant to construct 302 new primary schools and 228 secondary schools of which 16 new boarding schools are for girls… the work also involved renovation of other schools’ infrastructure such as classrooms, laboratories and toilets,” Minister Mchengerwa said.

He said that under the BOOST project a total of 277 schools have been completed of the 302 target, which is equivalent to 92 per cent while under SEQUIP project a total of 49 schools of the 228 schools have been completed which is equivalent to 21.5 per cent of the entire project.

The minister further said: “The construction of the 16 boarding schools for girls are at various stages of completion ranging between 30 and 50 per cent. The work attained was not satisfactory at the time we visited the site.”

He mentioned eight regions that have not completed the construction of schools as 7 schools each in Rukwa and Ruvuma, 4 schools in Dar es Salaam, 3 schools in Kigoma while Arusha, Manyara, Coast and Kilimanjaro   have not completed one school each.

“Since you have made a commitment of completing construction by January please make sure that is done so as our children can start and continue with their studies,” added Mchengerwa.

Mchengerwa urged RCs to make sure all the new schools are registered so that they can start enrolling students when schools reopen next month.

He, however, reminded RCs that from January 2024, the government is starting to implement the new curriculum for class one and three, asking them to make sure that the new education policy is well implemented.

Dar es Salaam RC Albert Chalamila, said that they expect to   enrol 123,866 pupils for pre-primary schools but so far the region has registered a total of 35,998 pupils equivalent to31 per cent.

“For class one we expected to enrol 113,629 pupils, and until this month we have already registered 70 per cent of the target and more than 90,000 Form One students of the 91,444 have been registered until this month,” RC Chalamila said.

The RC cited limited space as one of the factors that led to four schools not being completed thus, they decided to   construct storey classroom buildings which will be completed next month.

For his part, Mbeya Regional Commissioner (RC), Mr Juma Homera said so far, the region encompasses 828 primary schools and 276 secondary schools, saying in the next academic year the region is projected to enrol 70,872 pupils for pre-primary schools but the region registered a total of 31,594 pupils, equivalent to 44 per cent.

“In terms of preparations to enrol Form One students in next academic year, more than 47,039 students expect to be enrolled in various schools in the region… the region does not have a shortage of classes; we have an excess of 55 classrooms,” he asserted.

Dodoma Regional Commissioner (RC), Rosemary Senyamule unveiled that the region planned to enrol 94,243 pre-primary pupils adding so far they registered 55,212 equivalent to 58.5 per cent.

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