Samia’s recommendations on transforming education in Zanzibar

Monday June 20 2022
Samia Zenji

President Samia Suluhu Hassan speaking during the launch of the Women Initiative Foundation (MIF) held at the Golden Tulip Hotel, Zanzibar on June 19, 2022. PHOTO|STATE HOUSE

By Josephine Christopher

Dar es Salaam. President Samia Suluhu Hassan yesterday issued four key recommendations that would improve education quality in Zanzibar.

The Head of State’s endorsements comes at a time the Zanzibar’s archipelago registered about 50 percent of students who failed in the 2021 ordinary level secondary education examinations.

She said in order to stem the tide of disappointments brought by students scoring Division Four and Zero in the Form Four examination results, the Isles must start soul-searching and ultimately change its curriculum to align it with the one working in Tanzania Mainland.

According to the President, the move will provide students with similar capabilities of understanding and tackling examinations.

President Hassan was speaking during the official launch of a Zanzibar’s based non-profit organisation-the Mwanamke Initiative Foundation (MIF) which among other things it focuses at promoting the standard of education in the Isles.

Speaking during the live broadcast event, President Hassan endorsed that education authority in Zanzibar to evaluate the standard of school appraisers and provide them with proper and quality equipment.

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“Thirdly, actual devised exams as well as the qualities of teachers entrusted to provide better education to children should be assessed,” she said.

She recommended measures cannot be executed by the government alone, rather they require joint participation of stakeholders, non-governmental organisations and parents.

“While 21, 000 candidates sat for ordinary level secondary examination in 2021 from the Isles; only 231 candidates scored Division One. Whilst, over 10, 000 other candidates recorded between Division Four and Zero,” said the President.

According to the President, despite existing infrastructure challenges in the Isles such as shortage of classrooms and teaching equipment, the need for changing social beliefs such as early marriage and gender discrimination are of paramount importance.

Among the missions set by MIF which is already in operation is to promote and improve education for the young generation; both boys and girls.

The MIF director, Ms Fatma Mwassa said the foundation operates under four pillars that promote vocational training and education.

“We also create awareness, promote psychological support care and treatment for children with mental disability, depression and trauma from sexual assault as well as gender based violence,” she said.

“We also provide economic empowerment support to the youths and women as well as promotes better healthcare to adolescence groups,” said Ms Mwassa.

For his part, the mainland minister for Education, Science and Technology, Prof Adolf Mkenda said his docket will support their Zanzibar counterpart in sharing experience, training and emphasizing exchange of programs.

“There are children from the mainland studying in the Isles, and vice versa. Similarly, teacher’s training opportunities as well as important learning tools to open doors of better education can be shared among the two sides,” said Prof Mkenda.