A good AP article over the added costs of school in Tanzania where “free” is not always free.
“Government Moves to Ease Shortage of Teachers”
This article discusses the shortage of teachers that is being experienced in Tanzania.
A major factor in the shortage at the secondary school level is the rapid increase in enrollment that has taken place over the last few years. The article reports that the number of students entering Form I has increased from 134,964 students in 2005 to 477,554 students in 2009. This rapid increase is due to the addition of many new schools and expanded enrollment in existing schools. It would be interesting to see these numbers for previous years as well. In 2004 Hagati Secondary, where I taught, expanded the number of Form I students from 80 to 120. In addition to this, the government built or took over three or four more schools in the area from which Hagati had formerly drawn students. So I imagine that 2004 saw a great increase in enrollment as well.
The increased number of students at secondary schools isn’t even fully captured by numbers given. In 2008, I believe, the government abolished the rule that students had to pass an examination in Form II to continue to study. As a result the number of students in Forms III and IV have likely increased by an even greater percentage.
While expanding access to education is wonderful, it would be nice if during such expansions as much effort was put into increasing the number of teachers as in increasing the number of students. If the number of Teachers’ Training Colleges were similarly expanded at the same time as, or, better yet, prior to, the secondary school expansion, then perhaps the shortage of teachers would not be so great. Instead an already existing shortage of teachers was greatly exacerbated. I only hope that the quality of education has not diminished too much as a result.
available on The Citizen
“Defiant Science Teachers Weaken Education”
This is a good article on the shortage of Ruvuma math and science teachers. Newly assigned teachers tend to ignore their placement to the region and end up at other, more developed, areas. What makes this article unique is it quantifies many of the losses.
Finally, a new law has been put into effect in Tanzania that will allow the education of one of the most important segments of society, mothers. Previously, when a student at any stage of schooling became pregnant, she would be expelled and any hope of a further education all but erased. The only way she could get back to school was through back-door channels, often involving bribes and cover-ups or private school. Therefore, the only ones who could take advantage of such a system were those whose families could afford it.
The new law will allow young mothers to return to their schooling after they have given birth. While students in countries like the U.S. can attend school even while pregnant, this law does not allow for that, but does give them some chance in the future. How many new mothers will take advantage of this is another question. First, they have had a long gap of several months in their education. Second, once they have given birth, care must be provided for the child. If there is no cooperation on the part of the mother’s family, going back to school will not even be an option, as she must now provide for her child. All the same, at least the option is now available where it once was not. After all, to educate a woman is to educate a nation. If the mothers are not educated, where will their children end up?
(full article here in The Citizen)
Congratulations to Kornel Mbele, one of our sponsored students! He has been chosen to study CBG (Chemistry, Biology, and Geography) at Ndanda Secondary School for Advanced Level High School, a two year continuation of secondary school, before entering University.
For A-Level selections, visit the Ministry of Education website.