TANZANIA needs 24,716 Science and Mathematics teachers as well as some 355 instructors for technical subjects as well as laboratory technicians for 10,000 schools in the country, Parliament heard yesterday.
Deputy Minister for Education, Science, Technology and Vocational Training Stella Manyanya told the lawmakers that the government was doing all it could to reduce the shortage of teachers.
“ There is need to encourage students to study science-related subjects as well as Mathematics as the only way of producing more of the direly needed teachers for the two subjects,” she noted.
The deputy minister made the revelation in response to a question asked by Special Seats MP Susan Lyimo ( CHADEMA) who argued that the Education Policy of 2014 stated that in the secondary education, students were required to study all science subjects while in Form One and Form Two and while in Form Three select subjects of their choice.
She wanted to know who gave the minister authority to direct all students from primary school level to Form Four to study all science subjects. “Is there any research done by the government whose findings revealed the need for all science-related subjects like chemistry and physics?” she wondered.
But the deputy minister explained that the Education Act, 1978, which was reviewed in 1995 gave the minister powers to issue any directive on educational matters, based on the needs of that time.
She further explained that several evidence-based research projects had shown the acute shortage of science experts, for instance, in the health sector that called for better trained scientists in the fight against maternal and new born deaths.
Manyanya noted that her ministry was always in the forefront of encouraging students to study science subjects in order to help fill the gaps in Science, Mathematics and other related professions in the country in the future.
However, she told the House that the ministry was yet to issue any circular or policy requiring all students to study science but had instead embarked on improving laboratories, teaching and learning equipment as well as allocating more teachers to needy schools.
DELAYS is discharging of petroleum products at Dar es Salaam Port is denying the country a saving of US$ 600,000 (1.3trn/-) per annum in demorrhage charges paid to shipping liners.
Sources at Dar es Salaam Port said each oil tanker that delivers petroleum products to the country is paid on average US$ 25,000 as demorrhage due to delays in offloading caused by delivery of the product to 17 different oil marketing companies.
The country receives on average two oil tankers every month which means that a record US$ 50,000 is paid in demorrhage charges to shipping liners.
“This money is paid to shipping companies because every oil marketing company has fuel discharged to its own tan farm,” said a source who requested not to be identified.
The Tanzania Ports Authority source said there has been resistance by some oil marketing companies and shipping liners to have petroleum products delivered at Tanzania International Petroleum Reserve (TIPER) Limited which is jointly owned by Treasury and Audax Oryx Group.
“Most oil marketing companies and shipping liners are resisting the move because of alleged costs which will be incurred by each company in collecting their consignments from TIPER,” the source said.
The sources however noted that TPA Director General, Deusdedit Kakoko had proposed to settle the bill of OMCs collecting their share from TIPER which is closer to the port and has a huge tank farm to accommodate the monthly deliveries.
“The TPA Director General said he will find out a way to cover the cost in future but there is resistance to the move,” the sources noted.
TIPRL is one of the largest tank farms in East Africa with capacity of over 300,000 metric tons enough to accommodate the country’s consignment.
Last December, Prime Minister, Kassim Majaliwa appointed a probe team to find out how best can the fuel discharging exercise be improved to reduce costs imposed on consumers.The probe team which is chaired by TPA is yet to submit its reports to the PMO, sources said.
In his latest report, Controller and Auditor General, Professor Mussa Assad said Dar es Salaam Port is still haunted by inefficiencies including fuel discharging at Kurasin Oil Jetty.
“I noted several inefficiencies in the performance of Tanzania Ports Authority operations where in most cases the Authority has been experiencing performance below the agreed key performance indicators. Among these indicators is the dwell time, where, most of the ports had an average dwell time ranged between 6.1 and 8.6 days which is below the agreed dwell time of 5 days,” the CAG said.
He added that vessels take an average of four days at one particular berth instead of the agreed three days which has negative effects on the competitiveness and future service delivery of the Authority.
“TPA faces a problem of low discharge rate of oil at Kurasini Oil Jetty (KOJ) and Single Point Mooring (SPM) mainly due to distance from SPM or KOJ to the tank farm (receiving point), pump pressure and diameter of the oil pipe,” Prof Assad noted.
He also faulted TPA for continuing to discharge oil to storage tanks without passing through non-operating 16 flow meters at KOJ that has a negative impact on the Authority’s revenue.