Tanzania: Former President Jakaya Kikwete Concerned Over Teachers' Plight

Kibaha — Former President Jakaya Kikwete has expressed concern over increasing number of unemployed teachers despite the shortage at schools.

He said during his administration the government embarked on various efforts to increase the number of teachers after realising serious shortage.

He acknowledged that the number has continued to increase and credited his predecessor for picking from where he left.

However, Mr Kikwete said the success has rendered most of the teachers jobless.

"During my administration we embarked in various efforts to address teachers shortage including one, which was famously known as 'Vodafasta', the programme allowed Form Six leavers to teach in secondary schools. The programme helped a lot to address teachers shortage, especially in rural areas" Mr Kikwete said of the programme which later ceased.

He outlined other projects initiated under his administration to improve education sector, as construction of secondary school in each ward across the country.

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The former President was speaking yesterday during the 37th graduation of the Open University of Tanzania (OUT) in Mbugo, Kibaha, where he was the guest of honour.

Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa told the Parliament in September that the government plans to employ 16,000 teachers in this fiscal year.

Responding to a question from Mlalo MP Rashid Shangazi, the premier said the government has started to issue employment permits to the 16,000 teachers.

Speaking about the government decision to drop a programme to use Form Six leavers as teachers, permanent secretary at the ministry of education Dr Leonard Akwilapo said the programme no longer apply under the current situation.

"We have dropped the programme because we have enough teachers, some of them are unemployed," said Dr Akwilapo in a telephone interview.

He added: "The programme wasn't different to the one introduced in 1974/75 when the country faced acute shortage of teachers.

About 3,900 students from inside and outside the country graduated yesterday in the 37th graduation ceremony.

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