VICE-PRESIDENT Philip Mpango has reaffirmed commitment by the government of Tanzania in putting emphasis on transformative education system since the sector is among important components towards attaining Development Agenda 2030.
Dr Mpango made the reaffirmation on Tuesday in New York, United States, during a Summit on Transforming Education which is part of the ongoing 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 77).
The VP is in the United States to represent President Samia Suluhu Hassan at the annual UNGA meeting which was officially opened on September 13, this year.
“Since President Samia assumed office, she has placed great emphasis on ensuring transformative education system in Tanzania,” Dr Mpango remarked.
On the other hand, the Tanzanian VP reminded delegates at the summit on the need to strive for mobilization of ambitions, actions and solutions to transform the education sector.
“This summit could not have been timelier, particularly for Tanzania, as it comes after issuance of presidential directive last year to reform the sector, including education and training policy, legislations and curriculum.
“The reform process has reached out to all education stakeholders and we believe that the process will have transformative impact on our education system and thus adding to many milestones we have achieved,” he told delegates at the summit.
Dr Mpango mentioned some of the milestones which have been recorded by Tanzania to include implementation of free basic education which has resulted in improved enrollment of pupils in primary education.
Since the system was introduced, enrollment of pupils in primary school in Tanzanian schools has surged from 85 per cent in 2016 to 100 per cent, this year, he explained.
The VP also cited attainment of gender parity ratio of one to one and increased investment in technical and vocational education as well as higher learning institutions as among areas where the country has made notable achievements.
“Tanzania has also made integration of technology in the education sector and increased allocation of funds, where the sector receives the biggest share of the government’s budget to the tune of 18 per cent per annum,” he explained.
Dr Mpango further assured delegates at the summit that Tanzania commits to ensuring inclusive access to education for all irrespective of disability, poverty or gender by responding to emerging issues.
In a related development, the VP told leaders at the global summit that the country has embarked on strengthening both formal and non-formal skills development opportunities by investing in community-initiated technical and vocational training centres.
“We are also reviewing the skills which are offered in order to prepare graduates to become job creators rather than job seekers.
He, however, pointed out that even with the milestones which have been recorded in the education sector, the country is still facing a number of challenges which need to be addressed to attain the desired reforms in the sector.
Dr Mpango mentioned some of the setbacks in the education sector as the need to reduce shortage of teachers to attain the required teacher to pupil ratio in order to improve the quality of teaching and learning.