The government has devised a plan to reduce shortage of teachers in ward secondary schools by over 90 per cent come 2014. This was said by the Deputy Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office - Regional Administration and Local Government (Education), Mr Kassim Majaliwa, over the weekend in Dar es Salaam.
He said the government had managed to recruit 13,000 teachers early this year, as part of the plan to reduce the shortage which stands at 37,784 teachers. According to Mr Majaliwa, there were about 3,340 public secondary schools in the country, out of which 2,850 were community secondary schools.
He said before the end of the year over 10,000 teachers would graduate from colleges and universities and subsequently be recruited and deployed in ward schools. He said the government was confident that it would meet its objective of putting to an end the problem of shortage of teachers in secondary schools because it had appealed to private universities and colleges countrywide to produce teachers.
Mr Majaliwa also said a system had been agreed that will ensure that teachers are paid on time and their arrears are settled in time to avoid strikes and confusions. He said administrative officers in all 133 districts had been instructed to make sure that the names of all teachers are entered into the treasury salary data sheet to facilitate timely payment of teachers' salaries through their personal bank accounts.
Mr Majaliwa called upon the teachers to make sure that when they report to their respective work places they take with them their important particulars and documents including teaching certificates and bank account numbers to facilitate timely processing of their payments.
The deputy minister warned the district councils against delaying the teachers' payments, saying they should ensure data are entered in the system in time to facilitate smooth payment of the salaries. Regarding housing needs for the teachers, Mr Majaliwa said that in this financial year the government had allocated 4.4 billion shillings which was shared by all districts for housing projects.
However, he appealed to all districts in the country to come up with a plan that would ensure that all teachers in their areas have houses come 2014. To address the shortage of teaching equipment for science subjects, Mr Majaliwa said his ministry had budged 3.2 billion shillings for setting up of functioning laboratories for Biology, Chemistry and Physics subjects in ward secondary schools.
He called upon the councillors in all districts to follow up closely and see to it that the funds allocated are used for intended activities. A survey conducted by TAMWA in January this year in 20 districts revealed that the problem of massive secondary school failure and dropout were cased by lack of teachers.
The survey showed even where the government had sent teachers, especially in rural areas, those teachers did not settle because their salaries were delayed and the school had no houses for them.