THE government has banned all schools in the country from demanding nursery school certificate to pupils registering to start Standard One studies.
Such government statement was issued by the Minister of State in the Office of the President (Regional Administration and Local Government) Ms Ummy Mwalimu, while supplementing an answer following Deputy Minister David Silinde, question asked by Mariam Kisangi (Special Seats-CCM).
"It is not allowed for schools to demand nursery school certificate for a fresh Standard One pupil. What I want to say, we have not done so well to increase access for children to start nursery school. So, it does not make sense that every child that is due to start Standard One must have a nursery school certificate," she warned.
However, the minister promised the MPs that the government was going to put in place efforts to improve access to nursery school, especially to children from poor families in rural areas.
"All those who claim a certificate of pre-primary school education should know that they are acting contrary to the government directives and guidelines," she pointed out.
In the supplementary question, the lawmaker posed that there has been a requirement for children to come with certificates of completing nursery school in the Dar es Salaam region when registering to enter Standard One.
He said that the challenge has been particularly in suburb areas like in Mbande, Maji Matitu, Charambe, Nzansa and other schools. The legislator wanted to know the government's stance to get rid of the challenge.
Responding, the Deputy Minister explained that the government does not have a procedure of issuing certificate at such initial level. He said that the procedures have been set up by some people, most often private schools.
"This mechanism does not exist. There is only one government statement here, that is, the existing certificates are for Standard Seven, Form Four, Form Six and so on. But there is no certificate for Nursery Schools. That is a process that the government does not recognize," he said.
In the basic question, the MP explained that the procedure for children enrolled for Standard One must pass through nursery school. So she wanted to know the government's plan to strengthen pre-primary school classes.
Responding, the Deputy Minister told the House that nursery school education is important in preparing and building strong foundation for pupils as they continues with their studies at all levels.
In view of that, he said, the government issued a directive that every Primary School in the country should have a class for nursery in order to accommodate the pupils of four and five years of age as preparation for them to join Standard One.
"The government has developed a curriculum for nursery school education that is in line with the type of education required for such children. The curriculum focuses on learning through games," the deputy minister said.
According to him, as of February 2021, about 70,712 teachers teaching Pre-Primary, Standard One and Standard Two have been trained on how to use the correct teaching methods, analysis and use of teaching tools.
The initiative, the deputy minister said, has strengthened teaching and learning in Pre-primary school classes in the country.
He pointed out that the government has directed all district councils in the country to ensure that nursery, primary and secondary school pupils are provided with quality classrooms that enable them to create a better learning environment