15 March 2013

Tanzania: Serengeti Officials Meet to Address Education Challenges

Mara — AROUND 300 key stakeholders are meeting today to layout strategies aimed at addressing serious challenges facing the education sector in Serengeti District, an official said on Thursday.

They include parents, teachers, senior government officials from both central and local government, financial institutions and various investors operating in the wildlife rich district of Mara Region. "We will also discuss why students are failing exams at this time and find out possible solutions," the Serengeti District Chairman, Mr John Ng'oina said on Thursday.

Mr William Makunja, in charge of Secondary School Education in Serengeti cited high rate of absenteeism among students and poor infrastructure, as some of the major problems hampering development of the education sector in the area. "Challenges facing the education sector in Serengeti are many and we believe the meeting will come up with some solutions," Mr Makunja said.

He hinted that the delegates will discuss the possibility of introducing sustainable school feeding programmes. Serengeti Member of Parliament, Dr Stephen Kebwe (CCM) is also scheduled to be present a paper. Serengeti is one of the districts in the country that recorded massive failures in last year's National Form IV Exams.

According to Mr Makunja, 26 per cent of a total of 2,065 students who sat for Form IV exams last year in the entire district with 24 secondary schools failed. "The situation in Serengeti was also not good because only 70 students scored division one to three." Results of 111 students of Machochwe Secondary School who sat for the exams in the area were deleted due to cheating, according to the official.

Nationally, a total of 240,903 representing over 60 per cent of students who sat for the certificate of secondary education last year failed, something which has triggered a national outcry. Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda has formed a probe team to find out reasons behind the massive failures.

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