Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

Tanzania: Jakaya Kikwete - All Girls Must Go to School

PARENTS should shun the misguided belief that girl-children should be groomed in such a manner that they become competent in attending to household chores.

They should instead prepare the children to pursue academic education which would help them in future, President Jakaya Kikwete has urged. Mr Kikwete made the call here when addressing students shortly after inaugurating Nachingwea Girls Secondary School. "If a girl is enabled to acquire good education she would certainly be able to carry out the domestic chores without any problems.

I also advise schoolgirls to work hard in their studies," Mr Kikwete said. He also pledged to help ease shortages of dormitories and teachers' houses, a critical problem that afflicts most schools in the country.

The president praised district officials in Nachingwea for realizing the importance of educating girls by converting abandoned colonial-era buildings belonging to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives into classrooms and dormitories for the new school.

"This shows commitment on the part of leaders in the district. It is imperative to ensure that girls are enabled to access education," Mr Kikwete said. The Nachingwea District Executive Director, Ms Mwamvita Mrindoko, said that the school faces a number of challenges including shortages of dormitories. There are only three dormitories against a demand of seven, she said.

"The other challenge is the shortage of teachers. There are only six teachers in this school against a requirement of eight," she said. Ms Mrindoko also cited the lack of a perimeter fence as another challenge at the school. The security of the students and their belongings remains at stake in the absence of a perimeter wall round the school, she said.

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