THE Minister for Education and Vocational Training, Dr Shukuru Kawambwa, has challenged the newly launched Tanzania Commission for Universities (TCU) board to come up with better intervention measures on addressing issues of quality and relevance of education being delivered.
Launching the board over the weekend, Dr Kawambwa said currently there were increasing complaints from employers, both in the private and public sectors, about the shortage of qualified and work-tuned employees, especially with regard to graduates from local institutions. "This is an issue of the quality and relevance of education being delivered.
The Commission should take up these challenges more seriously and advise the government accordingly on better intervention measures" said Mr Kawambwa.
"There are new opportunities and challenges related to the East African Common Market. You have to cut a niche and address them with a view to enhancing the credibility of our country's higher education system in the region and the rest of the world," he added.
He said TCU should retool itself and develop relevant policies and implementable strategies in addressing the massification of higher education and the need to regulate quality and relevance and ensuring compliance with quality standards.
Moreover, he said, the Commission should work on the scarcity of resources, be it human, physical and financial, which threaten the quality and relevance of the education provided.
Dr Kawambwa said the board should also address the growing autonomy of higher education institutions and the need for their transparency and public accountability so as to have justification and accountability for government funding, especially in public higher learning institutions.
He also urged them to consider benchmarking of curricula programmes offered by universities to ensure the relevance of the programmes to the needs of the employment market.
"I urge this Commission to help us by developing a framework for the realization of academia-industry linkages in order to translate knowledge and skills provided by our institutions into usable outputs in the form of goods and services" The Minister said.