Sh1.67 trillion education budget to focus on five key areas

The minister of Education, Science and Technology, Prof Adolf Mkenda reads the estimated revenue and expenditure of his ministry for the financial year 2023/24 in Parliament Dodoma on May 16, 2023. PHOTO | COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • The education budget priorities sectors that will enhance job creation in order to combat the existing unemployment rate and fast rising population

Dar es Salaam. The ministry of Education, Science and Technology yesterday unveiled a budget of Sh1.67 trillion for the financial year 2023/24, with five priorities aimed at increasing access, improving quality and ensuring graduates employability.

In recent years, with the growth of science and technology, the education provided by local educational institutions seemed to be lagging behind amid current needs in the labour market, an issue that has put the ministry under the microscope for some time now.

However, one of the areas that the expected budget for the year 2023/24 which has increased from Sh1.5 trillion in 2022/23 will focus more on is completing the reviews of the Education and Training Policy 2014, the Education Curriculum and implementation, according to the minister for education, Prof Adolf Mkenda.

“The government will complete the review of the 2014 Education and Training Policy and the Education Curriculum and begin its implementation with the aim of strengthening knowledge and skills for graduates of all levels of education,” said Prof Mkenda.

According to education experts who spoke to The Citizen yesterday, this is an important area that was implemented quickly and with great attention to strengthen the provision of education to Tanzanians.

Another priority in the budget that aims to bring major reforms to the sector is to increase the opportunities and quality of technical training in secondary education and mid-level technical colleges.

This area is believed to play an important role in creating many jobs for the youth, and the ministry of Education noted that the government will facilitate the renovation of technical secondary schools and provide them with learning and teaching equipment.

In addition, Prof Mkenda said the ministry will enable the Kleruu and Mtwara Vocational Colleges to continue providing vocational teacher training with the aim of increasing the number of vocational teachers in the country.

“The government will register 130 vocational education and training colleges and thus have a total of 485 technical education colleges and 973 vocational training colleges, which will increase the number of students from 380,748 to 680,000,” he noted.

“The government will develop the concept of industrial training (teaching factory) that will enable graduates at every level to gain self-employment skills through training in teaching factories,” he added.

For the financial year 2023/24, the government also aims to increase the opportunities and quality of primary and secondary education as well as higher education.

Likewise, another existing plan is to strengthen the country’s capacity in research, the use of science and technology and innovation to stimulate the construction of the industrial economy.

In strengthening research, Prof Mkenda said, among other things, the government will conduct research in 177 areas, including education, science and technology, language, agriculture, business, fishing, livestock, medicine, human rights, people’s development, and communication.

“The government will do this to increase knowledge and solve various challenges in society. In addition, it will prepare 1,806 publications to disseminate research results to society,” he said.

However, experts in the sector said that the level at which the government has been allocating the education budget is not in line with the standards recommended internationally of 20 percent (around Sh8 trillion).

The government has been allocating an average of only 14 percent between the fiscal years 2015/2016 and 2022/ 2023 instead.

“If the government were to allocate 20 percent of the budget to the education sector, it is clear that many challenges could be solved and the quality of education in the country could be raised,” Dr John Kalage, HakiElimu’s executive director, said recently.