Tanzania: Samia – Classrooms Aplenty

PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan has assured that not a single student will miss out on an opportunity to join Ordinary Level studies due to the lack of classrooms.

She said in the past 100 days, the government has managed to construct a total of 8,000 fully furnished classrooms for secondary schools countrywide.

Dr Samia said that the classrooms are ready to be used when schools open for the academic year 2023 starting next week and will accommodate at least 400,000 students.

“This historic achievement will bring relief for at least 400,000 students,” she said in her twitter handle yesterday.

In less than two years of President Samia in office, the government has surpassed the target of constructing classrooms for secondary schools by 198 per cent.

Going by the Third National Five- Year Development Plan (FYDP-III) being implemented between 2021/22 and 2025/26, the government planned to construct 4,040 classrooms for secondary schools across the country.

However, last year alone, the government constructed 8,000 new classrooms, ready to be used starting next week when schools open for the academic year 2023.

Accomplishment on the construction of new classrooms was revealed recently by Deputy Permanent Secretary in the President’s Office, Regional Administration and Local Government (PO-RALG) Dr Charles Msonde.

The deputy PS made the statement during the 17th Annual General Meeting of the Tanzania Heads of Secondary Schools Association (TAHOSSA), saying the new classrooms are meant to ensure effective enrolment of all students, who have been selected to join Form One.

Already, the government has announced a selection of over one million new students who have qualified for secondary schools after passing their Standard Seven exams held in October last year.

The new classrooms were constructed at the budget of 160bn/- that was disbursed by the government, being part of implementation of the strategy to ensure accessibility to basic education to all children in the country.

Dr Msonde said the government was eager to ensure all children eligible to join secondary schools are given full access to it, a move that will help in fighting ignorance as one of three enemies of the nation.

“The aim is to ensure all children who have passed their Standard Seven examinations join secondary schools at one go, the government is taking all measures to attain the target,” he said.

The deputy PS also commended heads of schools for effective supervision of the projects in their schools, emphasising that the government was determined to improve learning and teaching environment in the country.

Recently, Minister of State President’s Office Regional Administration and Local Government Ms Angela Kairuki said that a total of 1,073, 941 pupils, consisting of 514,846 boys and 559,095 girls will be joining secondary education this month.

She said the number of selected students has increased by 166,139. A total of 907,802 joined Form One in 2021.

Cognisant of the increased performance, the government embarked on early preparations to allow all students who passed the examination to begin their studies on the same day as the academic year starts on January 9, 2023, said the minister.

“All the 1,073,941 students who passed their exams will begin their studies on the same day as the academic year starts on January 9, 2023,” the minister insisted.

The 8,000 new classrooms come as the government in 2021 completed construction of 15,000 classrooms for primary and secondary schools across the country.

In October last year, President Samia also guaranteed Standard Seven pupils, who were sitting for their final exams that no passing student will miss out on an opportunity to join Ordinary Level studies.

Having abolished school fees, the government commitment to ensure every Tanzanian child pursues education to the best of their abilities is now on setting up adequate school facilities across the country to meet the rising demands prompted by increased enrolment.

Reaffirming her government’s resolve to improve the education sector, President Samia pledged timely completion of school infrastructures to accommodate all students who will excel in their primary school exams.

Moreover, under her directives, the government is also constructing 245 secondary schools to specifically provide education to girls.

The new schools are being built in wards without secondary schools and this is aimed at reducing the distance covered by girls to and from school.

Minister for Education, Science and Technology Prof Adolf Mkenda said a total of 180bn/- has been allocated for this purpose.

As part of the government’s efforts to provide education to girls, construction of a special secondary school for girls is ongoing in Dodoma at the cost of 17bn/-, he said, noting that upon its completion it will accommodate 1,000 students.

Statistics for pupils’ enrolment in pre-primary education in public schools show that a total of 1,363,834 students were enrolled last year, of which, 676,028 are boys and 687,806 are girls, compared to the previous year, whereby 1,198,564 students were enrolled (604,995 being boys and 593,569 girls).

The data further show that 1,581,823 students were enrolled for Standard One last year (788,620 boys and 793,203 girls) compared to 1,549,279 students enrolled in 2021.

In secondary education, at least 907,803 students were enrolled in public schools last year.

During the implementation of Five-Year Development Plan II, the government increased the number of secondary school classrooms from 115,665 in 2015 to 136,292 in 2020.

It also increased the number of desks from 3,024,311 desks in 2015 to 8,095,207 desks in 2020; primary schools from 16,899 in 2015 to 18,158 in 2020.

Also, the number of secondary schools increased from 4,708 schools in 2015 to 5,402 schools in 2020.

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