Dar es Salaam — Over a million students who will selected to join public secondary schools next year will all be admitted at once, the government said yesterday.
According to the Minister of State in the President's Office (Regional Administration and Local Government), Ms Ummy Mwalimu, there will be no second or third selections.
This follows the government's decision to spend Sh302.7 billion of the Sh535.6 billion allocated to the ministry on the construction of classrooms.
The funds are part of the $571 million (Sh1.3 trillion) loan secured from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) through the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF).
Ms Mwalimu said the government intends to build 12,000 secondary school classrooms and 3,000 at satellite primary schools.
"All 1,022,936 candidates who were expected to complete Standard Seven this year will start studies on the same day next year. This is in contrast to previous years when thousands had to wait for second and third selections," she added.
A total of 25,536 classrooms are needed to absorb new secondary school students, who are expected to start their studies next January.
Ms Mwalimu said 12,000 new classrooms costing Sh20 million each were expected to have been built by December 15.
"The number pupils who sat this year's Standard Seven examination, number of local authorities and the extent of classroom shortages are the key criteria that will determine who gets how much among the regions."
Ms Mwalimu added that the new classrooms would accommodate 600,000 students, and directed local authorities to ensure that adequate desks were available.
The top five recipients of the funds are Mwanza (Sh19.7 billion); Dar es Salaam (Sh14.86 billion); Geita (Sh14.84 billion); Kagera (Sh14.18 billion) and Morogoro (Sh14.14 billion).
"Sh60 billion will be used to construct 3,000 classrooms at 970 satellite primary schools in areas that are under the jurisdiction of 148 local authorities, while the remaining 185 schools will be improved in the second phase," Ms Mwalimu said.
Some 45,000 desks are to be procured for the schools. Some Sh4 billion has been set aside for the construction of 50 dormitories at the cost of Sh80 million each. The dormitories will be used by students with special needs across the country.
Outlining the benefits, Ms Mwalimu said improved satellite primary schools would be registered as fully-fledged public primary schools.
"Teachers at these schools will be put on the government payroll, and their working environment will be greatly improved."
Sh226.6 billion for basic healthcare
Ms Mwalimu said 75 emergency medical departments (EMDs) and 25 intensive care units (ICUs) would be built at the unit cost of Sh300 million and Sh100 million, respectively.
Oxygen production facilities would be set up at Bunda, Karatu, Mlele, Masasi and Nyasa.
"Some 195 ambulances will be bought for council hospitals. Another 212 vehicles for the provision of health services, including vaccination and nutritional services, will be purchased," she said.
Furthermore, 60 X-ray machines will be commissioned at a total cost of Sh25.2 billion, and 116 houses will be built for healthcare workers in remote areas.
Sh5 billion for economic empowerment
Regional and district commissioners in Tanga, Mwanza, Mbeya, Arusha, Dar es Salaam, Temeke, Kinondoni and Ilala have been directed to submit requests for funds to improve the business environment in their respective areas.
Regional, district and council coordination and monitoring committees should be formed and tender reports issued after every two weeks.
Projects should commence not later that two weeks after funds have been deposited.
Changes in projects implementation should be communicated to the PO-RALG permanent secretary.
Regional, district and council leaders will be allowed out of their workstations only through special permission.
Value for money should be observed.
Suppliers should provide quality building materials.
The PO-RALG permanent secretary should appoint a committee of directors and deputies.
Anybody implicated in misappropriation of funds will be handed over to the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB).