Arusha. Students of six higher learning institutions intending to go for practicals are to be hired to address the shortage of 140 science teachers in public secondary schools within the Arusha city.
The part-timers will be recruited from the Arusha Technical College (ATC), Mwenge University in Kilimanjaro and Iringa-based Tumaini University.
Others will be hired from the Sokoine University of Agriculture (Sua), Institute of Accountancy Arusha (IAA) and the Monduli Teachers' College.
"They will be motivated with residential houses and other facilities to enable them settle down and teach science in our schools", said Valentine Makuka, an education officer in charge of secondary education in the city.
he told The Citizen this was one of the short term measures taken by the Arusha city authorities to address the shortage of science teachers which he described as critical.
The city, he says, currently has a shortfall of 140 teachers needed to teach Chemistry, Physics, Biology and Mathematics as well as allied subjects such as Accountancy and Commerce.
A total of 9,857 students have been selected to join 26 secondary schools in Arusha city this year, among them the technical schools and schools for the talented.
Two new schools in Moivaro and Murriet wards are nearing completion, according to the city director Athumani Kihamia.
Two secondary schools, Suye and Korona would be upgraded to high schools, he said, adding once-a-term inspection of the schools would now be mandatory in order to improve the quality of education.
Dr Erick Mgaya, the deputy rector of the Arusha Technical College lauded the move, saying the college was not only preparing the science teachers but also the science laboratory technicians.
Shortage of science teachers in government-run secondary schools in Arusha region has persisted for a long time. Currently it is estimated the shortage is close to 1,000 teachers.
An education expert here proposed recently that said due to the shortage of science teachers, there was a need to encourage students in elementary schools to seriously learn science so that they can take on teaching.