Education in Tanzania

//Education in Tanzania

Tanzania – General Information

Country Size:945.087 km²
Inhabitants:49.253.126 (in 2013)
Political System:Presidential System
Capital:Dodoma
President:John Magufuli
Language:Swahili

Information on education

The Tanzanian school system was strongly influenced by the British colonization. There is a seven-year elementary school (Primary School), which according to the prevailing compulsory school attends all students free of charge. Afterwards, the pupils attend secondary school, which has a total of six years of schooling (divided into four and two years). With the successful completion, pupils obtain a university entrance qualification.

Since 1 January 2016, thanks to a new law of the Tanzanian President Magufuli, the attendance of public secondary schools up to and including the 11th class is also free of charge. The new regulation follows the objectives of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. However, the 12th and 13th grades still have to be paid for the Graduation. The visit of private schools is still subject to charges, but these schools have been called upon to reduce their fees, in order to allow more children to take up school education.

By abolishing school fees in secondary schools, more pupils now have the opportunity to complete their school education and thus to pursue a better paid profession. The new regulation aims particularly at girls and poorer families.

But the new law also has potential disadvantages for all parties involved. The prevailing acute shortage of teaching will dramatically increase in the foreseeable future, and it is not unusual for up to 70 pupils to be taught by a teacher in a classroom at the same time. Teachers often have difficulties to devote themselves to each student individually and to ensure a general learning progress. In addition to this, there are still many costs for families, such as transportation, school uniforms, meals, schoolbooks and learning materials. The danger that these costs will be raised to reinstate the missing funds from the school fees and thus to cover the running costs of the schools is ubiquitous. In addition, the attendance of the advanced level is still subject to a fee, which is a major financial burden for families when the child is to obtain a degree. Particularly in the country, where teacher deficits and lack of money are the strongest, many children, especially girls, do not go to school at all.

The new school law is a very good step in the right direction. However, with a lack of support, a decline in the quality of the classrooms and an additional burden on particularly low-income families is threatened. It is all the more important that the students continue to be supported so that they can complete their school education and take the first step towards a better future.

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