Tanzania: Ministry Considers Phasing Out School Evaluation Tests

THE government is considering phasing out exams known as evaluation tests students in public and private school are subjected to take.

Ministry of Education Science and Technology Permanent Secretary, Dr Leonard Akwilapo made the announcement here yesterday, adding that the ministry is considering the move after realising that majority of them are bogus.

"In some schools, pupils are subjected to a weekly kind of boot camps during the weekends and the ministry is currently engaging experts from outside and within to assess, whether they are necessary," he said during a two-day annual general meeting organised by the Christian Social Services Commission.

That was after the commission raised concern about unending tests children are subjected to in the name of academic progress.

The PS noted the ministry was aware of the tests, however, said a pupil's academic excellence should be as a result of quality teaching and school's management.

In a related development, he praised the Commission for giving priority to information and communication technology use among the students to improve learning.

Elaborating, Dr Akwilapo assured them that the ministry is ready to work with them further to enhance teaching and learning among the pupils in the whole country.

The commission supervises about 1,223 education training institution, where some are 404 Nurseries, 268 Primary Schools, 373 Secondary, 50 Seminaries, 9 Teachers Training Colleges, 96 Vocational Training Centres, and 22 Higher Learning ones.

The Commission's Executive Director, Mr Peter Maduki told the PS that schools under the Roman Catholic run assessment tests organised with guidance from the National Examination Council of Tanzania (NECTA).

He said the exams are organised in every zone involving both primary and secondary schools, adding: "Unfortunately, there has emerged an explosion of tests in the Wards and Districts with questionable quality."

Hence, he urged the government to review them and give pupils also a room to relax from taxing routine class lessons.

Equally, Mr Maduki said the meeting was strategically organised to bring together experts from the ministry of education, regional administrators, and local government officers charged with supervising the education sector.

"The commission hopes the meeting will provide a platform to discuss opportunities and challenges facing the education sector, including discussing better ways to adopt ICT in teaching and learning," he said.

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