December 18, 2003

Education programmes leap forward

The enrolment of school-age children nationwide has increased by 6,7 per cent during the past year while the number of pupils in primary schools rose from 4.2 million to 6.5 million in the past three years. According to the Minister for Education and Culture, Mr. Joseph Mungai, the gross enrolment ratio (GER) in mainland Tanzania increased from 98.6 per cent in 2002 to 105.3 per cent this year exceeding a target of 85 per cent set for 2002 by the ministry.

In his opening remarks to the Education Annual General meeting held in Arusha, Mr. Mungai said that the percentage of 7-13 year-old pupils in primary school increased from 58.8 in the year 2000 to 88.5 this year. The minister was delivering his ministry’s mid-term review of its performance during the implementation of the five-year Chama Cha Mapinduzi Election Manifesto issued during the 2000 General Election. He proclaimed that those achievements were recorded in both primary and secondary education and that during the first two years of the implementation of the five-year (2002-2006) primary education development programme, some 13.396 class rooms and 7.732 teachers’ houses were built and some 107.007 desks procured. "It is expected that all school buildings will be completed during the remaining three years of the programme’s implementation and that every local government council has been directed to make an evaluation of construction work and put new targets every year whenever necessary. Between 2000 and 2003, 156 new secondary schools were registered without undue bureaucracy and the number of female students increased from 120.248 in 2000 to 157.863 this year, equivalent to 31 per cent", he additionally noted.

Meanwhile, he said, the ministry is putting final touches to its secondary education development programme due to kick off next year and last until the 2010. It will be implemented under similar guidelines as the primary education improvement programme which took off last year, and under which every class will have a maximum of 40 pupils. (Arusha Times)

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