by Ben Taylor
Secondary School fees to be scrapped
President Kikwete announced in August that his government plans to waive school fees for public Ordinary Level secondary education. This will mean Tanzanians receive free education both in primary and secondary school, save for the last two years of Advanced secondary education. The president made the announcement at a meeting with students and staff of Mzumbe University in Morogoro Region. “At the moment we are working on scrapping school fees in all public secondary schools as a way of ensuring that every child who joins standard one reaches form four.”
Government changes policy on school books publishing
The government has resumed producing and publishing school text books after claims that private firms have failed to produce quality materials. The duties will now be handled by the government itself through the Tanzania Institute of Education (TIE) from September 2014.
Announcing the Minister of Education’s decision, Commissioner for Education Eustella Bhalalusesa said “Following the policy changes, the Tanzania Institute of Education (TIE) will produce and publish textbooks (one book for every class and every lesson) for Early Education level, Primary, Secondary and Teachers’ Training”.
Primary School exam results
The National Examination Council of Tanzania (NECTA) on Wednesday announced improved performance by 6.3 % for Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE) held in September.
NECTA Executive Secretary Charles Msonde said that of the 792,122 pupils who sat for the examination, 451,392 passed. The pass rate in 2013 was 50%, which rose to 57% this year.
Drop in Form Four entry
The number of students sitting the National Form Four Examinations has dramatically reduced from 427,679 last year to 297,488 this year as a result of many students having repeated in Form Two. Deputy Minister for Education Jenista Muhagama said that the decline was a result of restoring the Form Two National Examinations which at one point had been cancelled. It is expected that more candidates will sit for the 2015 exams to fill this year’s gap.