24 February 2013

Tanzania: Premier Forms Team to Probe Massive Failure

MASSIVE examination failure saga attained a new development as the Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda formed a special commission to look into reasons for depressing failures in the just-released national Form Four examination results.

The results announced on February 18, this year, by the Minister for Education and Vocational Training, Dr Shukuru Kawambwa, indicated that over 60 per cent (240,000) of a total of 367,750 candidates who sat for the national examinations on October, last year, failed completely.

In a statement made available in Dar es Salaam, the Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), Mr Peniel Lyimo, said the special commission would begin working on the special assignment next week.

Mr Lyimo noted that the special commission comprises of stakeholders from Tanzania Association of Managers and Owners of Non-Government Schools/Colleges (TAMONGSCO), Religious institutions providing education, University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM), Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that deal with education.

According to the statement, other stakeholders are drawn from the Tanzania Teachers' Union (TTU), the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Social Services and the Tanzania Heads of Secondary Schools Association (TAHOSSA).

"The government appeals to all education stakeholders, parents, guardians and the general public to cooperate with the special committee to yield authentic results," Mr Lyimo said in the statement. The government measure comes amid confusion among parents, guardians, politicians and other stakeholders regarding ways to improve the education sector in the country.

A section of interviewed individuals have earmarked a variety of possible factors behind massive failures that have ruined the academic future of thousands of finalists.

Among factors pointed out for underperformance of the education sector included lack of teaching facilities especially in ward secondary schools, shortage of teachers, unpaid outstanding demands of teachers, confusion in the curriculum among others.

The fate of the victims is yet undecided and the formation of the probe team comes at the opportune time as people hold high expectations to learn about proposals to be put forward for the improvement of the education sector.

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