FORM Six students and finalist candidates from all teacher training colleges will now write their final exams from June 29 to July 16, 2020, the government announced yesterday.
Making the announcement yesterday, Minister for Education, Science and Technology, Prof Joyce Ndalichako, directed the National Examinations Council of Tanzania (NECTA) to release the results before 31 August 2020, to avail ample time for students to apply for admission to higher learning institutions.
The announcement comes a day after President John Magufuli announced June 1, 2020 as the date for reopening colleges, plus allowing Form Six students to continue with studies ahead of the exams.
"With this schedule, students will be able to join higher learning institutions on time without affecting the academic schedule for 2020/2021," she said.
Prof Ndalichako further said that all schools with form six students, colleges and universities should start preparations in advance so that students can begin studies by 1 June 2020.
All colleges will have to submit their schedules to the relevant authorities - the National Council for Technical Education (NACTE) and Tanzania Commission for Universities (TCU) - to ensure that the 2020/2021 academic year is not disrupted.
The timetable should be set in such a way that students compensate the time they spent at their homes.
"The ministry would like to assure students, colleges and higher learning institutions that the government has disbursed a total of 122.8bn/- , of which 63.7bn/- is for food and accommodation and 59.1bn/- is for tuition fees. "I am directing all university authorities to ensure that all necessary documents needed to receive funding from the Higher Education Students' Loans Board (HESLB) are prepared and submitted before 28 May 2020," remarked Prof Ndalichako.
The minister said doing so will enable HESLB to send funds in good time ahead of students' arrival at universities.
She also issued directives to universities to assign enough officials on the loan allocation mission, to enable students get the money early and facilitate studying, considering that they will have to be in class longer.
As for the coronavirus pandemic, Prof Ndalichako said all colleges and schools must ensure that they comply with all guidelines for protecting everyone by placing hand washing facilities in key areas like classes, conference halls and food outlets.
According to NECTA, Form six students usually sit national examinations in May every year. this year, however, the exams were rescheduled due to the danger posed by the novel virus.
On March 17, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa announced the closure of all kindergarten, primary and secondary schools across the country.
The Head of State directed the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, the Ministry for Finance and Planning as well as all other relevant ministries to make necessary arrangements within the remaining nine days so that students could access loans and other requirements for studies.
For secondary and primary school students, the Head of State said the government was continuing to observe the trend of infections.
Immediately after the issuance of Dr Magufuli's order, HESLB informed higher learning institutions that it had started arrangements for paying a total of 63.7bn/- to students for food and accommodation.
The board is also finalising arrangements for payment of 59.1bn/- tuition fees to over 70 higher learning institutions across the country.
According to information from the board's Communications Unit, the payments are being effected to meet the June 1, deadline as directed by the Head of State.
HESLB arrangements allow students to receive money for food and accommodation four times a year and thus receive the money at 60-day intervals.
The board is set to release a total of 450bn/- to 132,119 students during the 2019/20 academic year.