REMARKABLE improvements are beckoning for the low and middle- level education sector, following the launch of an initiative in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, under which an assortment of equipment will be distributed to nearly 2,000 schools.
The launch officiated by Prime Minister Majaliwa Kassim Majaliwa yesterday will empower 1,696 secondary schools that will get laboratory equipment, and 213 special needs schools (out of the total of 408) will benefit from learning and teaching materials.
The equipment and materials are worth 16.9 billion and over three billion shillings, respectively. Speaking at the event, the premier said the equipment would improve the teaching of science subjects in schools spread over various parts of the country.
He directed all councils to complete the construction of laboratories in their respective areas of jurisdiction, to facilitate success of the initiative, and told the audience: “The laboratory equipment will be distributed only to secondary schools that have laboratories.
The delivery to 1,696 secondary schools would be in line with the Chama Cha Mapinduzi manifesto. When I was launching the current parliamentary budget session, I explained the importance of giving priority to our children in science subjects. I said that if they don’t master science subjects, they won’t be active actors in the industrial economy promotion drive.
” Mr Majaliwa said distribution of the equipment demonstrated the government’s earnest commitment to create an enabling environment for students who pursue science subjects.
He called on parents, guardians and community members at large to encourage their children to take their studies seriously, and take absolute care of the equipment. “We invested a lot of money in this equipment. I am passionately calling upon you the students and teachers to use it properly and maintain consistently,” he stressed.
The Minister for Education, Science, Technology and Vocational Training, Prof Joyce Ndalichako, explained that distribution of the equipment would cover 11 education zones that comprise 1,625 public schools and 71 old schools.
“The equipment will meet practical teaching requirements by 100 per cent from Form 1 up to Form 6,” she explained.
She thanked the World Bank, the Swedish government and Global Partnership for education (GPE) who collaborated with the Tanzanian government to ensure that students get good and quality education through practice.
“Our government is fully committed to the improvement of the teaching and learning environment by supporting teachers and students. Today’s event is geared to that end, notably through the practical component of science subjects,” she remarked further.
Prof Ndalichako called on parents and community members at large to encourage children to pursue science subjects for their own benefit as well as of the nation at large.
On his part, the Minister for Defence and National Service, Dr Hussein Mwinyi, said Tanzania People’s Defence Forces (TPDF) would distribute the equipment to all the specified zones.
He hinted that lab chemicals would be stored in TPDF’s godowns, thereby enabling the government to save a lot of money it would have spent on hiring expensive private storage facilities.