Zanzibar — A HIGH number of married female teachers are asking to work in urban areas creating a problem in the education sector, the Zanzibar Minister for Education and Vocational Training, Mr Ali Juma Shamuhuna, said yesterday.
In a performance evaluation meeting with President Ali Mohamed Shein, Shamuhuna said many female teachers apply to work in town for easy contact with their husbands.
"This is a challenge as we now have many female teachers teaching in urban areas." In a separate development, the minister mentioned other challenges facing his ministry as congestion of students in classrooms, and difficulties caused by students who do not pay back loans to the Higher Learning Loans Board.
"There have been delays in paying back the money lent to students from institutes of higher learning. Some of these students do not have jobs, and therefore cannot pay back," said Shamuhuna who however thanked the government for increasing the budget for students loans from 4bn/- last year to 8bn/- this year and that the number of loan applicants has tripled from 209 to 800.
Shamuhuna said the shortage of science and mathematics teachers is still a problem prompting the ministry to ask for assistance from Nigeria, Egypt, India, and Ghana. "Fortunately Nigeria responded and sent 13 science teachers," he said.
The minister informed the president that education sector has been developing, and that 13 out of the 16 new secondary schools under construction were complete. The new schools are being financed with a loan from the World Bank.
Some of the new schools with storey buildings are Mpendae, Kiembe samaki, Kwamtipura, Kibuteni on Unguja Islands, while on Pemba Island the schools include Mkanyageni, and the improvement of Benjamin William Mkapa Teachers College at Mchanga-Mdogo.
The Minister also said that the ongoing shifting of the State University of Zanzibar (SUZA) main Campus from the old buildings at Mnazi-mmoja in Stone Town to the new campus at Tungu area in South Unguja was good idea. "We have seen an increase in the number of students from 1,413 last year to 1,837 this year," said Shamuhuna attributing the increase to ample space and the new academic programmes at the state university.