Private Education Tanzania
Rita Mutuku
Published: 19-JUL-07

The growth of private education institutions in Tanzania in the 1980s led to inequalities in access to education. Tanzanian education analysts say the option of parents taking children to private schools has been brought about by the perception that the performance of state schools has continued to let students and parents down.

Like in Uganda and Kenya, the Tanzanian government has appreciated the need to have private schools come on board as alternatives to public schools, although the government has had to step in with some liberalization mechanisms. By 1990 five of the 20 mainland regions accounted for 60 percent of all private schools and the bottom twelve regions had only 24 percent. A fifth of all private secondary schools are in the Kilimanjaro region and by 1992 nearly 50 percent of private secondary schools were run by Christian churches while six percent were run by the official Muslim schools body.

The number of primary schools in Tanzania stands at about 10,927, of which 10,908 are public schools and 19 private schools while the number of teaching staff stands at 103,900, of which 296 are in private schools. There are over 3,2mn pupils in primary schools.

The number of secondary schools stands at 598 of which 259 are public schools and 336 are private schools. Secondary schools have a teaching staff of 10,612, out of which 5,818 are in public schools and 4,798 in private schools. The number of students stands at 99,154. Higher education is offered by eight public and 13 private universities. Tertiary education is offered by four technical colleges and 18 tertiary education institutions. In addition, there are 160 institutions providing certificate level training. These are scattered all over the country and are managed by over 15 different ministries.

Among the oldest universities in the country include the University of Dar-es-Salaam founded in 1961, Sokoine University of Agriculture established in 1984, Muhimbili University College of Medical Sciences in Dar-es-Salaam established in 1992 and University College of Lands, Architecture and Survey, formerly Ardhi Institute of Dar-es-Salaam.

In 1995 an Open University was established for distance education. In 1998 Zanzibar established its first ever university in a newly built campus in the outskirts of Zanzibar town, known as the University of Zanzibar. Three more private universities were established between 1997 and 1998. The delivery of education is guided by Tanzania�s economic blue print, Vision 2025 which spells out the need to have a well educated and learning society in order to respond to development challenges and effectively compete regionally and internationally.

It is also guided by the National Strategy For Growth and Reduction of Poverty (NSGRP) in Swahili known as Mkakati wa Kukuza Uchumi na Kupunguza Umaskini Tanzania (MKUKUTA) as well as International commitments of Education For All (EFA) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

TANZANIA�S 10 YEAR PLAN (2006-2015)

Tanzania Education Sector Review (ESR) in February last year noted that significant progress has been made in the last five years, notably in primary education. The progress is significant in areas of increased school infrastructure, enrolment, teacher supply and provision of teaching and learning materials. However, the review revealed a number of challenges facing the sector. These include low enrolment especially at secondary, folk, vocational, technical, tertiary and higher education levels.

Others include inadequate and obsolete physical facilities and infrastructure at all levels, inadequate qualified teaching staff at all levels, inadequate teaching and learning materials and equipment at all levels, the curricula is not demand driven, inadequate capacity in governance, management, monitoring and evaluation, inadequate capacity of the existing education system to address cross cutting issues, inadequate linkages and synergies within the education sector and the overall inadequate funding of education programmes.

Consequently the government and non state actors have developed a plan to be implemented in 10 years (2006-2015). The plan lists a set of priorities, strategies and targets.

Among the seven priorities identified include expanding access, quality and equity at all levels of education both formal and non-formal including vulnerable groups, reforming folk, vocational, tertiary and higher education and training, strengthening capacity in governance, management, monitoring and evaluation, institutional arrangements and retooling at all levels.

Others are improving the quality of curricula, teaching/learning and provision of vocational life long skills, ensuring implementation and coordination of cross cutting issues (HIV/AIDS, environment, entrepreneurship, good governance, gender and ICT), strengthening management of education and training sector development programme with clear coordination mechanisms and inter linkages and strengthening the monitoring and evaluation of the education sector.

-Business in Africa Online

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