5 January 2014

Tanzania: Impressive Pass Marks Should Reflect Real Situation On Ground

THE National Examination Council, NECTA recently announced Standard Seven Examination results for 2013 finalists. According to the council, the nation has recorded an impressive leap of pass mark to over 96 per cent.

This is quite remarkable. Perhaps it has never happened before in history for the pass mark level to hit the 'ceiling' and the dream for any country is to have its citizens well educated for production of skilled manpower.

However, in recent years the nation has witnessed series of challenges facing the education sector ranging from lack of desks, lack of classrooms, lack of sufficient number of school teachers, some absconding when deployed to distant schools, unpaid arrears to teachers among other challenges.

These are obvious challenges still appealing for permanent solution for the nation to make a genuine leap to education success. Perhaps the myriad challenges in the education sector as debated in the National Assembly towards end of last year had some bearing on reports about selection of pupils to join secondary school who could not read or write.

There is nothing to be proud of under such circumstances as psychologists have established that all children with upright minds have the ability to learn, some grasping new concepts quickly and others slowly but they learn something in the course of action.

There is no justification to blame those who finish primary level without being able to write their names because the drawback can fairly be attributed to the economic hardships facing the school teachers.

For example, a classroom which should accommodate 45 pupils is crammed with 200 pupils sitting on the floor from Class One to Seven. Although the reported leap sounds good, there is a need to evaluate the learning environment that resulted into the 'resounding' education success.

We suggest that stakeholders should work together to revive and improve the standard of education. Impressive pass mark may not reflect the situation on the ground.

A strong education background gives additional advantage for pupils to pursue studies at higher levels with comfort. Let relevant authorities address challenges facing school teachers alongside efforts to ensure quality education was provided to the pupils who need to be well taken care of.

There was a time Tanzania won international recognition after successfully fighting of illiteracy. We believe the country has the potential to regain the lost glory as the nation can boast of a big number of academicians who can work together with policy makers to make a difference.

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