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Education in Tanzania - An Overview

The United Republic of Tanzania comprehended that quality education is the mainstay of national development. The republic is committed to supplies quality education so as to get quality manpower to serve in different sectors and to build the economy. Through quality education Tanzania will be able to make a strong and comparable economy that will be able to cope up with the challenges of national development.

The formal education and training in Tanzania comprises pre-primary education (2 years), primary education (7 years), Junior Secondary – Ordinary level (2 years), Senior Secondary – Advanced level (2 years) and Tertiary education (3 years or more). Education system in Tanzania is distributed over 3 levels: Basic, Secondary and Tertiary levels.

Basic level education also called first level education in Tanzania includes pre-primary, primary, and adult education. Secondary level education or Second level education furnishes Ordinary and Advanced level of secondary education. The third level of education or tertiary level education comprises programs and courses offered through non-higher and higher education institutions.

The Ministry of Education and Ministry of Higher Education of Tanzania government are the two ministries responsible for administering education all over the country.  Management of Basic education is the responsibility of Ministry of Regional Administration and Local Government.  At Tertiary level, planning and service delivery are vested with the institutions themselves through their Governing Councils. On the other hand, co-ordination and quality control is the sole responsibility of Higher education and Accreditation Council (HEAC). At primary and secondary levels quality assurance remains to be the responsibility of School heads, Ward Education Office and School Inspector.

Tanzania has adopted bilingual policy in education, children requires learning both Kiswahili and English.  Learning English is compulsory as second language, this connects Tanzania through rest of the world in technology, commerce, and administration. The learning of the Kiswahili language facilitates Tanzania’s students to keep in touch with their cultural values and heritage. English is taught as compulsory subject at primary level and at post primary level educational instruction is provided in English.  At primary level Kiswahili is the medium of instruction and taught as compulsory subject at secondary level. Learning of Kiswahili is optional at tertiary level education.

The education reform started taking place in Tanzania in 1995. The sole objective of introducing educational reform with other initiative is to make sure the growth rising and evenhanded admittance to high quality formal education and adult literacy through facilities expansion, efficiency gains and quality improvement, escorted with efficient supply and use of resources.

In the beginning of 1997, Tanzania government developed a Basic Education Master Plan (BEMP) to direct progress in basic education stipulation. In response to the local Government reforms agenda, an action plan for conveying responsibility to local school committees has been prepared. A pilot project for transference through a Block Grant system swathes 37 Local Authorities. In principal less developed regions/districts are given preferences for opening new secondary schools or receiving assistance to do so.

The government is also encouraging private sector to take active part in educational reform programs, the new role of the government also lessen the burden on government machinery. Private investment in education will institute an added learning environment that will allow conveying both knowledge and technology to the youth for a more active participation in the agricultural sector and the economy as a whole. Tanzania has joined UNESCO on March 6, 1962. A UNESCO Cluster Office is built in the country in Dar es Salaam. For more details about Tanzania Government Education Policies, please click here.

Distance Education in Tanzania

Distance Education is a boon to those left behind for various reasons, poverty, and inability to join due to tuitions fees or need to begin work to feed a family. Also distance education in handy in enhancing qualification and career improvements. Tanzania strives since decades in the domain of distance education. The Open University of Tanzania is one of the major entities to provide tertiary education through distance mode. The university offers various undergraduate and post graduate degree programs. For program delivery and spread of education the university widely uses Computers and Information Technologies. The Commonwealth of Learning (COL) also helps in Tanzania in sending education to masses at all levels through distance learning.
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