Philippo Mullugo, Deputy Minister for Education and Vocational Training, has said the government will not allow the ongoing mushrooming of unqualified and unregistered schools established in the name of free market.
He made the remarks over the weekend during a two-day (June16-17) Tanzania Schools Exhibition held in Dar es Salaam under the organization of the Feyak Company under sponsorship of The Guardian, Nipashe, ITV, NMB, Exim Bank and Mantra Tanzania Ltd.
“…schools in the country must be established under the given guideline and the set quality qualifications must also be met…” he outlined making clear that the Ministry of Education wants an increase in “…quality and not quantity of schools!”
While the broad concept that is the free market ideology applies also to the education sector, proprietors of educational institutes must meet and keep the set standards as outlined by the ministry. The deputy minister believes such adherence will reduce the ever recurring cases of exam leakages, growing number of drop outs and influx of unqualified and or negligent instructors.
Mullugo was disappointed with the turnout noting the schools in attendance were not representative of the average public and private schools found across the country but rather sub-lets of international academies and institutions. What caused the poor attendance? The reason was self-evident to Mullugo and he was blunt about it
“…preparations for this exhibition were very weak…” he declared and offered a word of advice,
“…continue to brainstorm lets see how other schools across the country will be enabled to participate next time.”
The Minister elaborated that the very turnout of schools at the event was an indicator of the prevalent misleading perception that city and international schools are better, a concept that, according to him must be curbed.
He reminded the attendants and organizers that the government and other institutions have invested heavily in education and not only in the cities but rather across the nation and so rural and city outskirts schools must be involved in such events.
Feyak Company Managing Director, Jane Tesha admitted that the turnout remained poor despite their efforts and that three years of consecutive exhibition experience did little to change the fact. She however speculated on what she supposed was the cause…
“Maybe schools that failed to attend lacked funding to cover the participation fees...” The fees are set at 500,000/- it is worth noting though that especially rural schools such an amount is well above their excursion budgets with many lacking even basic needs like clean tap water or dormitories and even desks.
But Tesha saw attendance to such exhibitions was an investment on the part of the institutions and she informed them that such events are
“…the only place and chance to promote their schools and attract more students…” The Feyak company director also had a simile to describe the action of the schools that opted, if indeed it was an option to begin with, not to attend the event. She advised them to make effort to attend such events instead of ‘…burying their head in the sand’ like Ostriches…”
Tesha did take the time to excuse by excuse list out the myriad of challenges her office encountered, inadequate funds was top on her list which said caused poor advertisement then there was the lack of a permanent venue to host the exhibition. Confined with that array of restraining factors she explained that it was difficult to set a recurring annual date.