World bank nods government’s efforts of scaling up vocational

TANZANIA: A World Bank senior official has acknowledged the government’s efforts in improving vocational training in the country.

Mr Nathan Belete, who is the World Bank Country Director noted that there has been some significant expansion in the coverage of technical and vocational education training institutions in Tanzania.

According to Mr Balete, who also heads the World Bank in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe, the coverage has expanded significantly over the last five years, with annual enrollment growing at more than 10 per cent.

“To date, more than 500,000 Technical and Vocational Education and Training students have enrolled in over 1300 public and private institutions pursuing formal certificate diploma degree programs as well as other short-term demand driven programs,” explained Mr Balete here midweek, at an event dubbed End Poverty Day Youth Engagement, Skilling for Better Jobs’, held at the Arusha Technical College (ATC).

The progress notwithstanding, the World Bank senior official was quick to point out that coverage was still small relative to the population.

“Despite all these efforts challenges remain mean as mentioned in regard to ensuring labor market relevance in needs to industry along with equitable access and tertiary education by female students and those from lower income quintas,” he said.

Mr Balete insisted that it was critical to support efforts to engage the private sector particularly in key sectors of the economy and also to support efforts to ensure girls are able to enter in secondary education, and in addition to tertiary education institutions prioritizing support for female students.

He added: “Our governments have shown strong commitment indications in recent time with some of our governments increasing spending in education to almost 20 per cent.”

He further pledged that the international financial institution’s solidarity with all countries to enhance human capital in skills development particularly for their engagement and strategies that focus on strengthening foundational learning promoting skills develop and leveraging financing and partnerships to make broad impact.

For his part, ATC Rector Dr Musa Chacha appreciated the World Bank’s commitment in funding the East Africa Skills for Transformation and Regional Integration Project (EASTRIP) at the college.

The project aims to increase technical TVET programs in selected Regional Flagship TVET institutes and support regional integration in East Africa.

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