SONGWE: SONGWE Region in three years of Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan’s presidency has implemented projects worth over 343bn/-, which cut across all sectors to address the citizens’ problems and upscale their livelihood.
Songwe Regional Commissioner (RC), Dr Francis Michael made the revelation in his office on Tuesday in a press conference held to highlight socio-economic progress achieved by the region since the six-phase government assume office in 2021.
Dr Michael said the region has undergone great transformation in key sectors including education, health, water availability and electricity supply from, which citizens enjoy better livelihood and production.
Detailing the transformation of the education sector, he said the number of nursery and primary schools have increased to 519 as of December 2023 from 453 schools in 2021, this is an addition of 67 schools since Dr Samia assumed presidency.
Dr Michael noted that the number of pupils at nursery and primary schools climbed to about 290,000 last year, from 270,000 in 2021 equivalent to an increase of 20,000 pupils. He said the magnificent increase in enrolment was due to increase in schools complemented with addition of classrooms.
He said the increase in the number of schools went simultaneously with an increase in the number of teachers to 40,000 last year from about 39,000 in 2021.
Furthermore, he said provision of textbooks at nursery and primary schools reached a ratio of one book per every three pupils as of December 2023 in comparison to a ratio of one textbook in nine pupils in 2021, adding that all pupils also sit on desks.
Overall, Dr Michael said in the corresponding period, nursery and primary schools in the region received a total of 24bn/-, for improvement of infrastructures and daily operation.
On the other hand, he said secondary education mounted to 153 last year from 120 schools in 2021, with the number of students reaching over 57,000 from 53,000 in the corresponding period.
“Fee free education has increased accessibility to education to all children supported with addition of classrooms, allowing all students to be accommodated,” Dr Michael said.
Adding “the tendency of having 200 students congested under one roof has ended, currently, there are 40 to 50 students in one classroom, we have met international standards,” he said.
Likewise, he said the government allocated a total of 56bn/- for upgradation of learning infrastructures and day to-day-running of the schools as the government since in 2016 introduced fee free education to all public ordinal secondary schools, from Form One to Form Four.
He noted that regional-wide, secondary schools’ academic performance went up to 90 per cent last year in comparison to 89.5 in 2021.
Dr Michael said the trend of performance has been impressive even at advanced secondary schools, whereby Form Six graduates passed by 100 per cent in December 2023 in comparison to 99.8 per cent in 2021.
In another development, he said the government allocated a total of 39bn/- for improvement of health services provision including access to hospital and water.
He said the region last year had a total of 10 hospitals, 23 dispensaries and 230 health centres both private and public owned noting that government intensified investment in the health sector made specialist health services including surgery available for the prosperity of all citizens.
Moreover, he said the government has provided six ambulances to strengthen citizens’ access to hospitals while four cars for the sector supervisors in the region.
Once again, he said the government on expanding road networks in the region allocated about 40bn/-, expounding that network under Tanzania National Roads Agency (TANROAD) reached 992 kilometres in 2021/2022 Fiscal Year.
He said in December 2023 the tarmac road hit 256 kilometres from 206 in 2021and gravel road in the corresponding period reached 845 from 759 from the base year when Dr Samia took power.
Nevertheless, he said the government through Tanzania Rural and Urban Roads Agency (TARURA) in the region allocated about 43bn/- for renovation of street roads counting over 3,300 kilometres in the region.
In ensuring clean water availability, he said the government in three years allocated over 39bn/- in which, water access in urban and rural areas reached 78 per cent and 51 per cent respectively in 2023, in comparison to 54 and 45 per cent respectively in 2021.
Also, Dr Michael said the government disbursed a total of 18bn/- for boosting electricity supply hitting through the Rural Electricity Agency (REA) all districts were connected to power urging citizens to subscribe the move by lighting their houses.
He said the government provided over 103bn/- for the region’s economy and production sector which were injected into agriculture by procuring farming inputs such as fertilisers and development of irrigation dams including Kasine Dam.