What teachers’ support programme launch means

DAR ES SALAAM: EFFORTS to improve teaching quality in the country got fresh impetus yesterday with the launch of the Global Partnership for Education Teachers Support Programme (GPE-TSP).

Officiating the launching in Dar es Salaam, on behalf of President Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan, the Deputy Prime Minister, Doto Biteko said the government wishes to see investment in the education sector positively impact on teachers.

Dr Biteko said the newly launched programme aims to improve the teachers’ performance, quality as well as working infrastructure and accommodation.

“The government’s aim is to continue investing in the teaching staff with the aim of ensuring that we provide quality and productive education for the development of our nation,” Dr Biteko said.

Dr Biteko further said through the new programme, the government has planned to improve some of the priority areas related to the teaching staff, including the construction of teachers’ houses in peripheral councils that are in dire need of more teachers and teachers’ houses.

He also said the government will also improve system for providing incentives to teachers in order retain them in the teaching profession and increase responsibility at the school level by strengthening the teaching and learning environment.

He added that the government recognises the importance of teachers in preparing human resources for country’s development in the social and economic fields.

“Due to the good work done by teachers in this country, the number of students who passed in the Standard Seven exams increased from 907,802 in 2021 to 1,092,984 in 2023 which is an increase of 20.4 percent,” he said.

Moreover, Dr Biteko said that from the year 2014 to 2018, GPE provided 94.8 million US dollars equivalent to 241.5bn/- and from 2019 to 2023, the partnership provided 127.7 million US dollars equivalent to 325.3bn/-.

According to Dr Biteko, from 2023/24 to 2026/27, the partnership has provided three funding opportunities worth 171.69 million US dollars equivalent to 438.67bn/- in order to solve education challenges in the country, noting that so far the government has received 84.66 million US dollars equivalent to 211.65bn/- as the first phase of GPE-TSP implementation.

For his side, former president Dr Jakaya Kikwete, who is also Chairperson of GPE Board of Directors, said that GPE was established by the world’s advanced economies countries to stimulate the development of education in developing countries, especially lower-income and lower middle-income countries including Tanzania.

He said the GPE is the largest partnership and fund dedicated solely to advance quality education in developing countries with the target of ensuring that no child misses education because of gender, poverty, physical disability or environmental hardship.

“It is in 89 countries in the world, of which 44 are in Africa and three-quarters of the money has been invested in Africa, more than 6 billion US dollars have been invested to develop education systems in Africa where Tanzania has already received 330 million US dollars,” Dr Kikwete said.

According to Dr Kikwete, the partnership deals with basic education including early childhood, primary and secondary school.

He said Tanzania has been implementing development plans with positive results in the education system which has achieved various successes including the increase in girls who join secondary education.

However, he said GPE congratulates Tanzania for making changes in the education policy, including allowing a female student who became pregnant to continue with studies immediately after giving birth, “I promise that GPE will always be there for the government of Tanzania” Minister for Education, Science and Technology.

Professor Adolph Mkenda said that the programme is in line with the country’s education policy which emphasises on the teacher’s development by empowering them.

He said in the current education policy, new teachers will be interviewed before being hired to meet the criteria of position rather than hiring a teacher just because of a teaching certificate.

Speaking earlier, Swedish Ambassador to Tanzania, Ms Charlotta Ozaki Macias said that Sweden in collaboration with other stakeholders will continue cooperation with the Tanzanian government to ensure that programme achieve great success.

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