ZANZIBAR President Dr Hussein Mwinyi yesterday pledged to continue investing in education at all levels and review policies to improve the sector so that much-needed professionals are produced. He also underscored the importance of embracing digital technology and harnessing its full potential in the education sector.
"This is a growing world of science and technology, and therefore we need to be well placed to fit in the competitive world by making our children computer literate. We also need to create employable graduates to accelerate development," he said. Dr Mwinyi said this at the 17th graduation ceremony of the State University of Zanzibar (SUZA), after he presided over the awarding of certificates, diplomas, degrees, and postgraduate degrees to the 2020/2021 graduates of the university in Unguja.
President Mwinyi, who is the Chancellor of the University, also highlighted other measures in improving education in Zanzibar, which include revising the scheme of service and salary structure to ensure the lecturers and staff of the university are paid according to their position, experience and level of education.
"In recognition of the efforts made by lecturers and staff of the university, the government has approved to ongoing reforms which include reviewing payments structure, to ensure everyone's paid what he/she deserves, with consideration to position, duration of service and level of education," he said.
Dr Mwinyi said that the government in collaboration with the university leadership and the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training is looking for solutions to address the challenge of shortage of lecturers and other staff. "I urge SUZA management to prepare lecturers from among its best graduates, along with developing existing graduates and staff by coming up with specialized training programmes," he said.
In efforts to minimize financial challenges, he advised the SUZA management to find alternative ways of getting funds, including sourcing for loans and establish development projects which can benefit the university. "Let me encourage you that the government is ready to provide a guarantee to institutions which seek for funds through various ways, including loans," he said.
The University Vice-Chancellor, Prof Mohamed Makame Haji thanked the president and the government for the ongoing support to ensure the university provides quality education as part of the mission to create patriotic youth in their country. He said there are challenges facing SUZA that have been a hindrance to development of the institution.
However, he said different measures are being taken to address them. At the annual event, Zanzibar Minister for Education and Vocational Training, Mr Simai Mohamed Said promised to work with SUZA management to overcome challenges raised. A total of 1894 graduates in various fields, including health and medical sciences, catering, tourism, financial management, ICT and accounting graduated for the year 2020/2021.
Meanwhile, President Hussein Mwinyi has appointed four new commissioners for the Zanzibar Law Review Commission (ZLRC), the Chief Secretary, Eng Zena Ahmed Said announced in a press statement on Tuesday. The new commissioners are Dr Yahya Khamis Hamad, Dr Sikujua Omar Hamdan, Mr Juma Msafiri Karibona and Mr Salim Mohamed Abdalla.
The law review commission takes and keeps under review all the laws of Zanzibar with a view to its systematic development and reform.