EXPANSION of education infrastructure to ensure every Tanzanian child gets access to quality education is a commendable stride.
President Kikwete said this when addressing the academic staff of the Muslim University of Morogoro early this week. According to him, entrance to secondary education from 524,325 seven years ago to 1.79 million in 2011 is an indication. The number of students accessing university education has also increased from 40,719 in 2005 to 166,484 in 2012.
His statement that the government will continue to invest in expansion of education infrastructure is an indication of a political commitment to improve the quality of education. We need to take note and give it deserving attention. It is widely accepted that any serious nation which is concerned with the welfare of its citizens must invest in education on the understanding that it is the lifeline of its future.
Thus, when education standards tumble is a matter of serious concern. We have seen this, that is why everyone is concerned by the massive failures that have been reported recently. Yes, education in this country is undergoing serious challenges. The last Form Four national examination results is a case in point. They results shocked not only students with their parents but all Tanzanians including the Head of State.
For over 60 per cent failure requires heads to roll to find the root cause with lasting solutions. A lot has been said and more is being said about the status of education of this country. We are confident that the probe team picked by Premier Mizengo Pinda to investigate the mass failures in our schools will be taken seriously. Solutions must be found. Whatever the situation, every one has role to play as; students, parents/guardians, teachers and the government.
If we may ask ourselves, how much effort a child or student is willing to put in excelling in school the results will be shocking. It seems they have lost interest in schools, too much time is spent on things such as sport, television and the social media. At the same time we understand that 50 per cent of the child's education competence depends on the child himself/herself.
How much time do the parents have for their children, especially when it comes to school performance and learning? Parents' involvement accounts for 30 per cent while teachers account for only 20 per cent for the child to do well in school. Hardships in life is consuming much of people's time. The situation is worse for the working parents whose responsibility to care for the children are left to the house helper.
The situation in public schools' infrastructure is pathetic. Students walk long distance to and from school sometimes on empty stomach. There are no enough text and reference books to cater for the needs of students. Teachers' houses, salaries and other remunerations are also wanting-the list is long. But even with the challenges mentioned, we should not lose hope. It calls for collective efforts to come together to find lasting solution to education problems. One thing is clear