EI is demanding greater investment in quality teachers and respect for their professional and trade union rights, in a bid to improve education quality in Tanzania. The call follows the announcement by Tanzania’s Minister for Education and Vocational Training, Dr Shukuru Kawambwa, that the country’s students performed poorly in the 2012 Certificate for Secondary Education Examinations.
More than half of the students failed the examination, with just 126,847 out of 397,136 students who took the exams passing them, according to Kawambwa.
Teacher shortage leading to poor exam results
The Minister highlighted that the results showed that students in seminaries and same-sex schools remained the best performers. He attributed the poor performance overall to the shortage of trained teachers, as well as the lack of teaching and learning materials in most schools.
“Various efforts have been undertaken to address the shortage of teachers and the government has recently announced plans to deploy some 20,000 staff to various schools,” Kawambwa said. “We aim to ensure the availability of quality teachers in schools located in both urban and remote areas.”
Commenting on the recruitment of teachers, Oluoch Ezikiah, Acting General Secretary of EI affiliate, the Tanzania Teachers’ Union (TTU), stated that TTU was deeply concerned about the shortage of teachers and was closely monitoring the government’s promise to recruit more teachers. “This must mean the recruitment of qualified teachers,” he emphasised.
EI: Dialogue with unions key to improving education quality
“We welcome efforts and investment made by the Government to enhance education quality in the country,” said EI Chief Coordinator for Africa Assibi Napoe. “Students’ results can and must be improved. This will only be achieved if the teachers recruited and deployed are properly qualified and decently paid.”
She added: “We also wish to stress that dialogue with the professional and responsible teacher unions is crucial for creating and implementing effective education policies which will contribute to the achievement of quality education for all.”