Tarime — Tarime District Council is set to initiate several alternative measures to accomplish the enrollment of all eligible children in primary schools.
The move will help top up the central government funds that have been received to foot the suspended school fees and other enrollment contributions from primary schools to Form Four effective this year.
As a sign of demonstration the authorities at the council level through the education department has proposed urgent resolutions that will be tabled in the full council for approval before the set deadline of 31st June.
The initiative will also involve seeking approval from the Councilors to divert funds from other less important department dockets into education.
Tarime District Executive Director (DED), Athuman Akarama told the parked baraza in Tarime during a regular quarterly assembly recently that earlier the district had projected to enroll around 16,221 pupils to commence Standard One.
But he was surprised that all primary schools here were overcrowded. The new entrant population stands at 18,521 as of now, hence a call for urgent measures.
He told the Councilors that the present district mission as far as the provision of free education is concerned is to suspend all projects that have no urgency.
Including postponing unnecessary council assemblies as well as motivating various education stakeholders in soliciting voluntary contributions to top the education budget when need arises.
The DED revealed that District planners had determined that by using the potential natural resources available in the area includes the Muriba Forest the council will produce timber that will be used to make school desks.
The initiative will help whittle down the present shortages in primary schools which stand at 16,613 including a need for 1,188 new classrooms. "We intend also to complete the construction of all classrooms and teachers' houses that are at roofing stage so as to motivate the manpower and resources that were contributed by local wananchi earlier," he said.
The projects have been delayed due to a lack of funds in previous fiscal budgets, he said. Concerning the hygienic conditions at primary and secondary schools the council Director said the shortage as of now stands at 2,573 latrine holes.
"We are aware that there is cholera in the district and it is evident that our medical and health officials have confirmed that two Districts of Matongo and Bisarwi are affected."
Akarama said the council has also taken advanced steps to guarantee girl child education by establishing special registers at village levels where authorities will take a comprehensive identification activity to ascertain all girl-students who were selected to join Form One in 2016 but failed to report due to negligence.
The council also envisages improving learning facilities at Borega Girls High School some 45 kilometers from Tarime town. He said there are tendencies by communities here to drop their under aged girls from school with the intention to marry them off in exchange of dowry.
Earlier Councilors had raised concerns about the difficulties experienced at grassroots level in explaining the actual practical definition of "free education" to local residents.
It has been reported that some less caring guardians had abandoned other natural obligations including providing uniforms and learning materials as well as food in the name of abiding by the "Fifth Phase Government's bid to provide education for free."