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Shortage of desks haunts Tanzania's education sector

Kinondoni Mayor Yusuph Mwenda

Two municipalities in Dar es Salaam face an acute shortage of desks for primary and secondary schools, leaving thousands of pupils stranded, retarding their development.

In an interview with this paper, Kinondoni Mayor Yusuph Mwenda admitted that the shortage of desks in his area is too high.

Kinondoni municipality has 1.8 million residents, more than any of the three municipalities of Dar es Salaam, others being Temeke and Ilala.

“This population obviously means that number of children attending school is also very high, hence the requirement of desks will also be high,” he said.

Mwenda explained that there are over 23,000 primary schools in Kinondoni, meaning that the demand for desks is very high.

BOA celebrates family day

Bank of Africa(BOA) Managing Director Ammish Owusu Amoah

 BANK of Africa (BOA) Managing Director Ammish Owusu Amoah has reminded the community to be mindful of others in the society as December festivities approach.

Amoah made the remark during this year’s Family Day party hosted by BOA in Dar es Salaam over the weekend.

Stressing on the importance of family in the organization he said the bank will always strive to ensure that their staff concerns both in and out of the office are adequately addressed to reduce chances of
suffering from depression or stress.

The fun-filled event saw the bank engage their staff and their families in various sporting and mind games
that sought to bring out creativity and innovation which form part of the group’s core values.

Pinda, other dignitaries to grace Mzumbe graduation

Mzumbe University main campus

 Prime Minister, Mizengo Pinda is expected to be one of dignitaries to grace the 12th graduation ceremony of Mzumbe University main campus in Morogoro Municipality today.

Rather than a high caliber official, premier Pinda is attending the graduation as a proud parent, there to witness one of his own children along with 1748 other graduates be conferred their degrees by Mzumbe University Chancellor, Judge (Rt), Barnabas Samatta.

Vice President Bilal supports fundraising for school desks

Asumpter Mshama, Nkenge Member of Parliament

Vice President Dr Mohammed Gharib Bilal late last week graced a fund raising event aimed at raising 100m/- for the purchase of some 2500 desks for Nkenge constituency in Misenyi District, Kagera Region.

Speaking to journalists in Dar es Salaam, the Nkenge Member of Parliament Asumpter Mshama, said the fundraising is organised via the Madawati programme.

She said that, in her district, more than 5000 students seat on the floor while attending lessons but through the Nkenge foundation trust fund and the Madawati program the problem will finally be solved.

Wanafunzi waliosoma nje ya nchi kuchaguliwa kujiunga kidato cha tano nchini


Colleges told to offer only NACTE approved courses

Prof Barton Mwamila (L), newly appointed chairman of National Council for Technical Education (NACTE), displays a certificate and an award presented to him by Education minister Philipo Mulugo (C).

The government has said that technical colleges will from next academic year only be allowed to offer approved courses, a move aimed at helping their graduates from joining higher learning institutions.

Speaking during the inauguration of an international conference on technical colleges organised by National Council for Technical Education (NACTE), deputy minister for Education and Vocational Training, Philipo Mulugo, said technical colleges will have to start offering only NACTE approved courses in the 2014/15 academic year.

JK tells rich nations: Do more for climate change

Chairman of the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change, President Jakaya Kikwete addresses the UN Conference on Climate Change (COP19/CMP9) in Warsaw, Poland 

Says Africa worst hit by greenhouse gases

President Jakaya Kikwete has called upon developed nations, who are the biggest carbon emitters to make available adequate, sustainable and predictable financial resources, transfer of technology on concessional basis and establishment modalities to finance the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

“Our position in Africa is that, developed countries should take appropriate action to reduce Green House Gases (GHGs) between 25 percent and 40 percent by 2020 and between 80 percent and 95 percent by 2050,” Kikwtete told attendants of the Climate Change United Nations Conference in Warsaw, Poland (COP 19).

Guidebook for students with albinism launched

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

The government in collaboration with Under The Same Sun (UTSS) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has come up with a guidebook on provision of education to students with albinism.

The document contains rules on how students with albinism in Tanzania can be given extra care so as to access better education like those without the disability.

Speaking at the launch of the book in Dar es Salaam Education and Vocational Training deputy minister Philipo Mulugo applauded efforts by UTSS and education stakeholders who were involved in preparing the document.

The book is the first in the country since attainment of independence and is expected to offer solutions to the problems facing students with albinism, he said.

VETA calls for collaboration with international institutes

Vocational Education and Training Authority (VETA)

Noting that Tanzanian colleges are not in a position to offer modern technology training in natural gas and oil extraction, Vocational Education and Training Authority (VETA) Training Director, Leah Lukindo has called on other vocational training centers to work with reputable international colleges that can bridge the technological gap.

Training Director, Lukindo was speaking at a stakeholders workshop held in Dar es Salaam at the turn of the week where she observed that: “Investors will bring new technology to the country and so we must prepare our youth.”

“Our colleges’ capacity needs assistance from developed countries that are more experienced in the gas and oil sector,” she summed up.

Student wins international competition


A Form Three student from the Arusha-based St Jude school has emerged the third winner in an international essay competition.

The student, who was identified by only one name as Wenseslaus (pictured), had attempted the International Youth Day Essay Competition run by the African Leadership Academy (ALA).

This is an institution based in Johannesburg that provides leadership programmes for secondary school students.

Wenseslaus is the only Tanzanian student who emerged a winner during the competition.

Global sasa yamaliza Kilio cha Wazazi wanaosomesha watoto nje ya nchi

Mkurugenzi Mtendaji Wa Global Education Link, Mr Abdulmalik S. Mollel akihutubia wakati wa uzinduzi wa Programu ya Mikopo Kwa Wanaosoma Vyuo Vya Nje Ya Nchi.

Global sasa yamaliza kilio cha Wazazi wanaosomesha Watoto Nje Ya Nchi.

ASILIMIA 99 ya wazazi wanaosomesha watoto wao vyuo vya nje ya nchi wamekuwa wakishindwa kulipia ada ya masomo yao kwa mkupuo, kutokana na hali ya kiuchumi ikilinganishwa na ada kuwa kubwa katika vyuo hivyo. 

Hayo yalisemwa jana Novemba 3,2013 jijini Dar es Salaam na Mkurugenzi Mtendaji wa Global Education Link Mr Abdulmalik S. Mollel wakati wa uzinduzi wa Mikopo ya Wanafunzi wanaosoma Vyuo Vya Nje ya Nchi, kwa kushirikiana na Benki ya Afrika(BOA Bank).

Mollel amesema kuwa baada ya kusikia kilio cha wazazi hao ikilinganishwa na hali ya kiuchumi kuwa sio nzuri kwa baadhi ya Watanzania huku wananfunzi wakiwa na nia nzuri na vigezo vya kuendelea na masomo lakini gharama kubwa zinawafanya kukosa fursa hizo za kusoma nje ya nchi.

“Unajua sisi kama Global tumesikia kilio cha Wazazi hao ambao wana nia ya kuwapeleka watoto wao kusoma nje ya nchi lakini kutokana na masharti ni lazima mzazi alipe fedha hizo za ada kwa wakati mmoja jambo ambalo limewawia vigumu kulipa kwa wakati mmoja kwahiyo tukaona tuanzishe programu hii ya kuwakopesha ili waweze kufikia malengo yao na ndoto za watoto wao,”alisema Mollel.

Aliongeza kuwa kuna baadhi ya kozi ambazo hazipatikani hapa nchini badala yake zinapatikana nje ya nchi huku gharama zake zikionekana kuwa kubwa na kuwashinda wazazi ingawa wanakuwa na nia ya kuwapatia watoto wao elimu ya kozi hizo lakini wanashindwa.

Baadhi ya kozi hizo ni pamoja na uhandisi wa mafuta,kozi za ndege yaani rubani,upasuaji wa ubongo na kozi nyingine ambazo hazitolewi nchini Tanzania na kwamba kwa sasa kilio hicho kinakaribia kuisha kama sio kupungua kutokana na mikakati ya Kampuni ya Global kuhusu elimu ya vyuo vya nje ya nchi.

Amewaomba wazazi wote ambao wana wanafunzi wenye vigezo vya kuweza kuomba nafasi za vyuo vya nje ya nchi kujitokeza kwa wingi kwani suala la kushindwa kulipa ada sio tatizo tena.

Serikali imeyataka makampuni kuiga mfano wa Global.

Naibu Katibu Mkuu, Ofisi Ya Waziri Mkuu TAMISEMI, Bw.Zuberi M.Samataba, akihutubia wakati wa uzinduzi wa Programu ya Mikopo Kwa Wanaosoma Vyuo Vya Nje Ya Nchi.

SERIKALI imeyataka mashirika na makampuni binafsi kuiga mfano wa Kampuni ya Global Education Link Limited katika kusaidia masuala mbalimbali likiwemo suala la elimu ili kuipunguzia serikali mzigo wa kufanya kila jambo.

Hayo yalisemwa jana Jijini Dar es salaam  na Naibu Katibu Mkuu Ofisi Waziri Mkuu Tamisemi Zuberi Samataba wakati wa uzinduzi wa mikopo kwa wanafunzi wanaosoma vyuo vya nje ya nchi na kwamba kitendo cha Kampuni hiyo kwa kushirikiana na Benki ya Afrika (BOA) ni kitendo cha kuigwa na baadhi ya makampuni, mashirika na Taasisi binafsi katika kuinua elimu nchini.

“Kusema ukweli kampuni hii ni mfano wa kuigwa katika suala la kuwawezesha Watanzania kupata elimu nje ya nchi maana hata mimi ni shahidi mwanangu wa kwanza anayesoma nje ya nchi alisaidiwa na Global kwahiyo kitendo hiki kinatufanya kushirikiana kwa ukaribu zaidi kuhakikisha kampuni hii inaendelea kuwawezesha Watanzania kupata elimu nje ya nchi,”alisema Samataba.

Samataba alisema kuwa kuna watoto wengi wenye uwezo mzuri kimasoma lakini uwezo wa kupata elimu ya juu limekuwa tatizo kubwa na ikilinganishwa na upatikanaji wa baadhi ya kozi hapa nchini sio kozi zote zinapatikana hapa jambo ambalo linamlazimu mzazi kumtafutia mwanaye kozi hizo nje ya nchi lakini gharama zake zinakuwa juu na kumfanya ashindwe kutimiza ndoto zake.

Samataba amesema kuwa baada ya kuzindua mpango huo wazazi wanatakiwa kujitokeza kwa wingi kuhakikisha wanajisajili ili kuweza kuwapatia watoto wao elimu nje ya nchi zikiwemo kozi ambazo hazipatikani ndani ya nchi.

No more Div. Zero as govt guts national grading system

The Permanent Secretary of the ministry for Education and Vocational Training, Prof Sifuni Mchome, addresses reporters in Dar es Salaam yesterday about the preparation of the new national examination grading system for both forms Four and Six levels. Right is the Commissioner for Education, Prof Eustella Bhalalusesa. PHOTO | VENANCE NESTORY 

Dar es Salaam. The government has changed the grading system in secondary schools so that it includes a student’s continuous assessment in their final national exam results.

The grading will also entail Grade Point Average (GPA) that is applied in higher education.

The changes which come to effect next year will see the elimination of Division Zero, as the new system will give results showing scores of Divisions One, Two, Three, Four and Five. 


Mkurugenzi Mtendaji wa Global Education Link, Mr. Abdulmalik S. Mollel.

Katika mkutano wake na waandishi wa Habari Mkurugenzi Mtendaji wa taasisi ya Global Education Link ambao ni mawakala wa vyuo vya nje ya nchi. Alisema, "Tumeamua kuunga mkono serikali kwa mkono wa pili kwani wao wameonyesha njia kwa vyuo vya ndani ya nchi na sisi kama GEL tutakopesha wanaosoma nje ya nchi katika fani mbalimbali."

Pia Mr. Mollel alizungumzia kuhusu taasisi ya Global iliyojikita katika tasnia hiyo kwa takribani miaka 7 sasa na kuongeza kuwa wamefikiria kuanza kuwakopesha wanafunzi  ili kuweza kuinua maendeleo ya elimu nchini ambao utaenda sambamba na mpango wa sekta ya elimu wa matokeo makubwa (Big results) .

 (Bw  Abraham A. kiishweko  meneja masoko wa  GEL kanda ya kaskazini akifafanua jambo kwa  wanafuzi wa shule ya secondari  ILboru kuhusu utaratibu wa kusoma nje ya nchi)

Govt urges colleges to introduce courses in jewellery technology

Stephen Masele, Deputy Minister for Energy and Minerals

The government has urged technical colleges and universities to ensure they introduce courses in lapidary and jewelry technology in an effort to create local experts who will be able to add value to the diverse valuable gemstones found in the country.

Loans board:Value retention fee aims to make higher education fund sustainable

A UNIVERSITY graduation ceremony. 

The beneficiaries of the
Higher Education 

Students’ Loans will pay value retention fee
to help sustain the fund. (File photo)

THE Higher Education Students’ Loans Board
(HESLB) has been issuing loans to students since

2005 but even before then, the government,through the
Ministry of Education started issuing loans to students

in 1994, being an implementation of Cost Sharing

So far 137,204 students have benefited from the
scheme since 1994 and the government has spent

1,502,620,320,764/58 as at the close of 2012/2013
academic year. The Higher Education Students’ Loans

Board (HLSB) was established by Act No. 9 of 2004
and became operational in July, 2005.

The objective of the Board is to assist (on a loan basis)
needy students who secure admission to accredited

higher learning institutions, but with no means to pay
for the costs of their education.

The Board is also entrusted with the task of collecting due loans from previous loan beneficiaries in order to have a revolving fund in place so as to make the Board sustainable.

HESLB inherited loans amounting to 51,103,685,914 /- that was already issued to 48,378 borrowers by the government through the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology between 1994/1995 and 2004/2005. 

The HESLB itself has since July 2005 to June 2013 issued loans amounting to 1,451, 516, 634, 850/58 Loans amounting to 222,090,318,636/00 from 137,204 borrowers were due for repayment, out of total loans 1,502,620,320,764/58 as at 30th June, 2013.

The remaining amount was not yet due for repayment for the reason that the students who benefited from these loans are either continuing with studies or their one year grace period of repayment is yet to expire.

Due loans that would have been collected as at 30th June, 2013 was 57,331,512,710/13 Despite issuing loans to students, the fund needs to be sustainable so that more of the needy can benefit in future.

Considering the increase in number of needy students joining higher learning institutions every year, it is obvious the government can not cope with the numbers of students in some 10 years or more to come.

This trend has necessitated the education sector stakeholders to think of the ways to retain the value of loans to higher education students to maintain more of them joining the higher education levels.

HESLB proposed ways of making sure that at least the value of loans issued to one student has to be able to foot another student’s education costs after some years when the former has graduated.

The proposal showed how effective the strategy would be and that the amount will not pinch beneficiaries on repayment. 

The result of the proposal was to allow a little amount of a fee on top of the amount that a loan beneficiary used to pursue studies. 

Since students’ loans are not commercial, so they do not attract any interests on repayment.

To put the value retention fee clear, the government through the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training in 2011 approved that all students who will be issued with loans from 2011/2012 academic year, will have to repay back their loans plus 6 per cent as value retention fee.

Before the introduction of value retention fee, the tendency was that, students who were issued with loans, were supposed to start repaying their due loans one year after they have graduated in the same amounts they were loaned.

Again loans are not paid in lumpsum but rather they are calculated in a way that due loans are segmented into small instalments and a loan beneficiary is paying per month according to his/her monthly earnings.

Private schools seek government capitation grants

Moshi Town, Kilimanjaro Region

Owners of private schools in Kilimanjaro region are asking the government for capitation grants that will help them reduce operation costs allowing them to lower fees and other expenses in turn permitting many students from poor families to access quality education.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with The Guardian over the weekend Faustine Furaha, the Executive Director of Catholic Church Moshi Diocese owned St. Amedeus Boys Secondary School said school fees in private schools are higher than those of government schools in part due to the lack of capitation grants.

“As you know, government schools get capitation funds while most private schools depend on charges to the students,” he said explaining that “…this situation makes their running costs higher than those of government schools,”

Data for the average annual increase in school fees for private schools in Tanzania was not readily available. However, most people interviewed share the claim that ‘school fees have been increasing faster than the overall inflation in Tanzania.’

In fact the President, Minister of Education and parents alike have on separate occasions raised concerns over the rapid increase in school fees charged by private schools, so much that, it has even been suggested government establish a board to regulate fees charged by private schools.

However, setting a ceiling on school fees charged by private schools is not suggested. Simple supply and demand theory has it that, unless the government is willing and able to subsidize private education, such a ceiling would cause a decrease in the number of private schools and water down the quality of education provided by the remaining schools.  

Only 31 pct of girls enroll at universities

Ummy Mwalimu - Deputy Minister for Community Development, Gender and Children

Private schools in the country have been urged to facilitate female students to reach higher learning institutions but as for now, only 31 percent of women are enrolled in universities according to statistics conducted in various universities.

The low figure was revealed earlier in the week by the Deputy Minister for Community Development, Gender and Children, Ummy Mwalimu who was guest of honour during Baobab Girl’s Secondary School 6th graduation ceremony held in Bagamoyo municipality in Coast Region.

Mwalimu commended Baobab Girls Secondary School for their initiative to construct a university specific for nurturing and empowering women in the country.

"We praise Baobab for realising girl’s contributions towards national development by starting a girl’s secondary school and its intention to establish a university solely for women,” said Mwalimu.

She however reassured the country saying the government has put strategic plans to ensure by 2015 the ration of female students is reached 50/ 50 with male students.

Mwalimu cautioned that in order for the government to achieve its plans, parents have to abandon negative perceptions that girls don’t deserve to go to school.

Earlier, Baobab secondary school chairman, Shaban Bakari, said that the plans to construct the university are in the pipeline and that by 2020 will have commenced.

Baobab Secondary School Head-teacher, Venance Hongoa, said that about 131 form four leavers are expected to sit for their Form four national examinations next month and he is optimistic that all students would pass. 

Dar's Kambangwa school gets an e-learning centre

Communication, Science and Technology minister Prof Makame Mbarawa looks on yesterday as students of Dar es Salaam's Kambangwa Secondary School use computers running on solar power.

Communication, Science and Technology minister, Prof Makame Mbarawa, has launched an advanced, solar-powered e-Learning Centre at the Kambangwa Secondary School in Dar es Salaam.
Using a Samsung Solar Power Generator designed specifically for rural areas and regions with erratic power supply, the e-Learning Centre includes Note PCs, a smart e-board and a multifunction printer. Vodacom Tanzania has undertaken to sponsor the connectivity for the centre.

“This is a programme that will make sure that all our secondary schools get connected to the rest of the world. I am, on behalf of the government, grateful to Vodacom Tanzania and Samsung for this great move and I urge all the targeted schools to make good use of this opportunity,” said Mbarawa yesterday.

Head of Vodacom Foundation, Yessaya Mwakifulefule, noted that the initiative is in line with the telecommunication service provider’s goal of supporting Tanzania’s efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

“Education is the key to the development of any society; that is why Vodacom is committed to ensuring that as many students as possible get access to learning facilities without much struggle. Also, in a world where technological developments are rapidly being adopted, we have come out strongly to ensure that we offer access to such developments to schools countrywide,” said Mwakifulefule.

Vodacom Foundation, has in the past been involved in various initiatives aimed at supporting the country’s education sector.

Such initiatives include, among others, the Community Power Initiative, a project launched recently to supply solar power to rural schools located near network sites. The excess power generated from the sites is being supplied to the nearby schools.

Mwakifulefule said the Foundation has also invested heavily in building and equipping classrooms, providing stationary and other learning materials to schools countrywide.

Samsung Electronics Tanzania Managing Director, Dongha Jang, said the Samsung Solar Power Generator, launched in March this year, provides easy and renewable power at an affordable price to schools and community centres across Africa.

The generator can provide power for up to eight years before batteries require a refresh. “By harnessing the sun’s energy, we are able to provide communities in Africa with an extremely affordable power source, characterised by an environmentally-friendly footprint,” he said.

Kambangwa Secondary School is the latest beneficiary of Samsung’s advanced Solar Powered Generator. The first, Phomolong Secondary School in South Africa, received its Solar Power Generator earlier this year, which is expected to slash 90 percent off the school’s power bill and offer significant benefits to learners.

Under Samsung’s global ‘Hope for Children’ campaign, Samsung Africa is focusing on education, rural access and connectivity, and developing programs that speak to the broader basic needs of communities. Through these initiatives, the company aims to directly impact the lives of 5 million Africans by 2015. 


Form Four exams rot: players demand report

“ There is nothing new in what the report is saying…so it is surprising that the government is hesitating to make it public,” Nominated MP James Mbatia (NCCR - Mageuzi)   

Dar es Salaam. Education stakeholders appealed yesterday to the government to officially release the report of the commission of inquiry that investigated the 2012 mass failure in Form Four examinations.
In interviews with The Citizen, they said the state should spearhead national dialogue on the damning findings of the commission and the obstacles that stand in the way of quality education.
The call came after an exclusive story in The Citizen on Tuesday on the report of the commission of inquiry chaired by the current PS for education, Prof Sifuni Mchome.
The report was handed over to Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda in June but has yet to be released to the public. The commission was formed after 60 per cent of form four students scored division ‘0’ in their national examinations.
Yesterday, Prof Mchome said he would not comment until Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda released the report. Prof Mchome, who was appointed to his current job soon after heading the commission of inquiry into the education crisis, added: “We submitted the report to the PM. Let us give him time to work on it and comment once he makes it public.”
Among those advocating the immediate release of the report is University of Dar es Salaam education don, Dr Kitilya Mkumbo. “Why has the government held on to the report despite the commission delivering it since June?” he asked. 

“We want to know its content, interrogate the findings and give recommendations on how to improve education in this country.”
As a key stakeholder, he added, he was not impressed by some of the reasons being given for the deterioration of education standards in Tanzania--such as blaming the syllabus and examination content.
He dismissed claims that some teachers lacked professionalism as an insult to teachers and the colleges where they were trained--considering that there was no clear measure of competence.
Nominated MP James Mbatia told The Citizen over the phone that what the report describes as the causes of the mass failure is just a small part of a private members’ motion he tabled in Parliament but was not discussed.
Mr Mbatia, who turned down a request by the PM to join the commission of inquiry, said: “There is nothing new in what the report is saying…so it is surprising that the government is hesitating to make the report public.”
According to the MP, his motion was meant to demonstrate the serious challenges in the education sector. 

He cited the education policy, lack of official curriculum for secondary and primary education and weaknesses in approving learning and teaching materials for secondary and primary schools as some of the severe shortcomings.
The acting secretary general of Tanzania Teachers Union (TTU), Mr Ezekiel Oluoch, accused the teachers’ service department and the quality assurance department in the Ministry of Education of not doing enough to provide in-service training and seminars so teachers could update their skills.

Of 65,000 secondary school teachers, he added, only 481 teachers were trained on the new syllabus. One-third were from private schools and the rest were government teachers who had not been included in the training.
Moreover, there is a shortage of 40,000 teachers in secondary schools countrywide. “Some schools don’t have teachers of Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and English. “Just imagine, of the nine core subjects five lack teachers…. what do you expect?”
Many schools in the rural areas are reportedly so poorly supervised that teachers choose to work at their own pace. Poor school inspection is also a key element of the problem.

 Last year, only nine per cent of Tanzania’s schools were inspected, most of them private. In the circumstances, Mr Oluoch said, mass failure in government schools was inevitable.

HESLB reopens loan applications

The government has directed the Higher Education Students' Loans Board (HESLB) to give a second chance to the 1,107 students who were left out of the loan scheme this year but had the required qualifications explaining that they had not filled the forms appropriately.

In that regard, the students have been directed to re-fill the online loan application forms for the 2013/14 academic year.

The government has also called on the various institutions where these students had applied to join to let them begin classes ahead of next year’s loan disbursement.

The government’s directives come after Chairperson of Parliamentary Committee on Social Services Margareth Sitta inquired as to the measures the government has taken following the recent student demonstration against been left out.

Speaking yesterday at the meeting with Parliamentary social services committee and HESLB officials, Education and Vocational Training Deputy minister Phillip Mulugo explained that it was true that some students didn’t get their loans due to failure to correctly fill the application form through internet (online).

Of these students, 111had applied for Science related courses, 20 for Mathematics teaching, 20 Agriculture science, 164 for Science teaching, 617 Teaching, 7 Irrigation engineering,70 Engineering and 98 Engineering and science.

“We have realised that there are students who were left out of the loan scheme despite having all the required qualifications, we have now directed the loan board to reopen its website portal and allow students to refill the forms,” he explained.

The ministry will spend 1.9bn/- that was earlier allocated to cover other costs (OC) and the board will use 21bn/- from loan interests and OC budget as well to ensure that the qualified students get their due loans.

Mulugo explained that the money does not include tuition fees but reassured the students that the government is entering into a contractual agreement with the colleges to go ahead and enroll the said students while payment is deferred to the next financial year.

The sum total of the student loan for the 1,107 students is 1.9bn/- and it is to be distributed as follows, Food and shelter costs, 221.4 m/- Books and publications, 686.3 Practical learning and 221.4 Faculty special needs.

Mulugo also announced the ministry’s plan to inspect various colleges deemed to be operating without proper registration by the National Council for Technical Education (NACTE) warning that they will all be closed down.

Colleges in the red-light are Media and Research Center (DSM), Vision Hotel and Tourism College (DSM), East African College of Hospitality and Tourism Management (DSM), The African Institute of Business Management (DSM) and Aspiration Training Center (DSM).

Others are, Morogoro School of Medical Science (Nursing-Morogoro), Dar es Salaam School of Hair Design (DSM), Media and Value Training Center (DSM), Information Technology Training Center (DSM) and Morogoro School of Medical Sciences (Lab Ass-Morogoro).

“I will start the inspection very soon and during the exercise security enforcers will accompany me purposely to arrest the concerned management and teachers found to be teaching after this warning” he said.

Following the students’ demonstration against being left out of the loan scheme, the government told HESLB to find an amicable solution to the matter but HESLB made it clear that it had run out of funds to sponsor anymore students even if they did qualify.

HESLB Director of Information, Education and Communication, Cosmas Mwaisobwa said the loan board had closed its doors and that no more sponsorships will be offered because it had exhausted its budget. At which point the students were advised to reapply in the next academic year.

“We have closed all the doors…the amount we were given for them is exhausted… we are very sorry for those who missed it,” Mwaisobwa had said.

For the academic year 2013/2014, the government allocated 306bn/- for loans to students. The qualifying students were mostly new beneficiaries but about 61,692 were continuing students at different stages.

According to him, of 31,647 students who applied for loans, a total 29,754 students were approved for loans in the academic year 2013/2014. 


China's Huawei to set up e-learning in 150 schools

In an effort to improve education system in the country, Chinese telecommunication firm, Huawei has announced plans to assist at least 150 secondary schools adapt e-education which Huawei president William Xu, says can address the shortage of teachers as well as textbooks in the country’s.

Xu told Tanzania Prime Minister, Mizengo Pinda – who is on a nine days visit in China tour – that the National Fibre Optic Cable network termed ‘National ICT Broadband Backbone (NICTBB)’ that was set up by his company, can help uplift the education standards of the country.

According to the President, in the first phase, at least 50 schools from various regions will get e-education through multimedia classrooms and computer labs fitted with projectors and teaching done through online video and other online applications.

Already the firm has selected 100 schools to get aid in regular form of education but in the second phase, these too will be upgraded into online applications.

This is possible thanks to the Huawei’s headquarter and signalling centre in Dakawa, Morogoro Region.

In a related development, Xu has handed over at least USD155,000/- to Kibaoni Primary School where Mizengo Pinda himself attended in Mlele, Katavi district.

The money is for the construction of two classrooms and purchase of computers and related products for the school.

An IT expert from Huawei, Moses Hella said the funds will serve for the construction of a multimedia classroom and a computer lab which will have at least 50 computers, 5 laptops for the teachers, 100 Huawei tablets and an audio system.

For his part, Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda applauded the firm for the donation and for accepting to introduce the e-education to the said 50 schools.

“I am very much grateful for the donation. I promised to do something memorable for my school...the donation will transform the school to a modern status…” he said applauding Huawei further for assistance to the Nelson Mandela University of Science and Technology of Arusha.


China to build library at UDSM worth USD16m

Dr Lu Youqing, Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania

China intends to construct a modern library valued USD16m at the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) in efforts to improve its learning environment Dr Lu Youqing, the Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania has announced.

He was speaking during the launch of the Confucius Institute (CI) at UDSM recently. The function was attended by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Bernard Membe as well as academicians, diplomats and other government officials.

In his speech, the ambassador, who also donated about 400 office chairs to UDSM, said his government is committed to strengthen its cordial ties with Tanzania.

Prof Rwekaza Mukandala, UDSM Vice-Chancellor, expressed gratitude for the support saying it serves a great contribution in the institution’s second phase of expansion. Revealing that they have other plans with China meant for the construction of a secondary school to be used for practical training of UDSM School of Education students. "We have signed an agreement with Chinese officials for implementation of the plan…," he said.

Construction of both the library, which is to be at least four times larger than the current one, and also that of the secondary school, will start next year. As to the Confucius Institute at UDSM where among other things mandarin will be taught, Membe said by learning the Chinese Language Tanzanians will not only add their knowledge of Chinese culture, but also create more employment opportunities in Chinese companies.

"It's very important to learn Chinese if we are to promote our tourism. China, with a population of 1.3billion offers great market," he said pointing out that unlike Alliance Francais and the British Council French and English are taught respectively China had no such institute until now.

The Chinese Institute at UDSM was established back in January this year to train university members of staff, government officials and individuals on Chinese Language and culture. 

Makerere Law School lecturers strike,demand evening classes allowance

Kampala. Lecturers at Makerere’s School of Law have gone on strike, demanding a review of their salary incentives just a month after a general strike by university lecturers demanding for a pay rise. 

In a decision communicated to students by the Law School academic board, the lecturers announced they will not teach evening students until they are paid the allowances attached to the evening programme. 

The lecturers say they want the current salary incentive reviewed, and evening allowances, which were scrapped in September, reinstated. 

The allowances were scrapped and instead consolidated in the 70 per cent salary increment given to lecturers so they could call off their two-week strike. (NMG)

MP launches school lab that he wants fellows to emulate

Ezekiah Wenje, Nyamagana MP

 Setting an example to be followed by other MPs, the Nyamagana MP, Ezekiah Wenje has led the inauguration of a mobile laboratory and other equipment worth 5.9m/- meant to secondary schools in his constituency.

The laboratory, complete with laptops, a projector and a solar panel, was presented to the Nyamagana Municipal Council in a short ceremony held over the weekend in Mwanza Region and received by Mwanza City Council Education Officer Emmanuel Katemi.

Presenting the equipment, Wenje made it clear that this was not a personal venture but the communal effort of all members of the constituency to raise the needed funds.

Nyamagana constituency has 30 secondary schools and of these, 12 schools have no laboratory making the donation invaluable. That being the case, the constituency fund committee unanimously agreed to spend the raised money to buy the mobile laboratory and needed equipment in a bid to solve the lack of laboratories in most schools in the area.

“As a member of parliament my major task is to make sure that schools are equipped with modern equipment to enable students study well. So I am optimistic that this mobile laboratory will improve performance in science subjects in our constituency,” he said.

The MP called upon Nyamagana Municipal Council to ensure that the mobile laboratory serves as many secondary schools in the area as possible pledging to purchase even more mobile laboratories to meet the students need.