THE government is committed to increasing funding for science and technology research and development programmes so as to attain the recommended minimum of one per cent of the Gross Domestic Products (GDP).
Speaking at the fifth graduation ceremony of St Joseph's University in Dar es Salaam where 398 graduates were awarded degrees and diplomas in engineering, Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda said since 2011 the government has increased research funding up to 30bn/- annually.
In this financial year the budget stand at 35bn/-. "We are striving for a modern economy that entails the use of science and technology. In order to develop experts in these fields, our education system must be re-oriented towards emphasising on science and mathematics subjects," Mr Pinda stressed.
He underscored the importance of enhancing the teaching of mathematics, science, technology and ICT subjects. "This will increase the number of graduates in the coming years and also speed up the use of science and technology and ICT in our country," the Premier noted.
Mr Pinda hailed St Joseph's University under the Daughters of Mary Immaculate (DMI) for establishing Information Technology College and an Agriculture Technology College in Songea and a Business College in Makambako. He called upon DMI to open a college in Katavi Region, which is looking forward to establishing a modern college of agriculture.
"We have enough land for buildings and the land is fertile and great for agriculture and other infrastructure. As we are thinking along these lines, I invite the DMI community to come up with best approach to expand your programmes to other regions of the country," he added.
Earlier, the High Commissioner of India, Mr Debnath Shaw said Tanzania needs a far greater range of medical services to be available within the country, therefore establishment of medical studies and services by St Joseph's University will fulfil a part of this requirement.
"I am also delighted to learn that the university is bringing the best in the field of science and technology to this country. I wish you all the success in these ventures. The Auxilliary Bishop of Dar es Salaam, Bishop Eusebius Nzigilwa, who represented Cardinal Polycarp Pengo, praised the government decision to provide loans to all students of science, engineering, medicine and teacher education.
Bishop Nzigiliwa said the move increase the number of trained personnel in these fields of studies who are in short supply in the country when compared with other countries in East Africa. He cautioned graduates to ensure that they eradicate poverty and misery in societies in the country.
"It is a common saying that Tanzania is endowed with numerous resources but a few greedy politicians in collaboration with a few educated elite are betraying Tanzanians by their selfish appropriation of the national wealth, leaving majority of the public in a precarious condition," he stressed.
Two more campuses of St Joseph University will be opened soon in Arusha and Tanga, the President of the University Council Dr Thomson Xavier Ananth said.