Dodoma. Members of Parliament have asked the government to take initiatives to improve the quality of education, saying it is the backbone of economic growth.
They were debating the Sh1.4trilion estimates by the ministry of Education, Science and Technology for financial year 2018/19, which was tabled on Monday in the House by the minister, Prof Joyce Ndalichako.
The lawmakers said poor quality of education was denying graduates opportunities of employment in both the formal and informal sector.
Speaking in Parliament, Vunjo MP James Mbatia (NCCR-Mageuzi) said it was the right time for the government to review the sector.
“We don’t have to politicize it. In order to rescue the sector the government needs to take into account professional advice,” he said on Wednesday, May2.
He also criticised the quality of Standard Two teaching books, saying they were misleading children.
“If the ministry was organised enough, we would be able to successfully fight corruption, ignorance, and embezzlement of public funds as well as promote nationalism,” added Mr Mbatia.
He complimented efforts by private schools, urging the government to borrow a leaf from them.
“Most leaders and government officials were trained in private schools. It is a fact that they are doing well in life,” he said, a view which was supported by Chemba MP, Juma Nkamia (CCM).
Debating the budget, Mr Nkamia urged government not to consider private schools as competitors, but service providers.
“They are not competing public schools but helping our children to get the best…they are part of us,” he explained.
He expressed concern over the tendency by some private schools to pick pupils too early the morning, saying chances were the children slept during lessons.
“Most privately-owned schools pick children around 5am even though classes start at 8am. The situation forces the children to sleep later in the day,” he lamented.
For her part, Ileje MP Janeth Mbene urged the government to hire a bigger number of teachers in rural areas to enable students to perform better in their final examinations.