Tanzania assures stakeholders of a well-articulated education policy, curriculum implementation plan

Minister for Education, Science and Technology, Prof Adolf Mkenda, addresses the Parliament. PHOTO | COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • In a bid to revolutionise the nation's education system, Tanzania embarked on a transformative journey with the implementation of the New Education and Training Policy 2014, edition 2023.

Dar es Salaam. The Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology has responded to the concerns of various education stakeholders regarding the implementation of the recently launched education policy and curricula.

Despite teething challenges and doubts among stakeholders over the implementation of the reviewed education policy and curriculum, the government remains steadfast in its commitment to ensuring a seamless transition towards a more robust educational trajectory.

In a bid to revolutionise the nation's education system, Tanzania embarked on a transformative journey with the implementation of the New Education and Training Policy 2014, edition 2023.

Addressing concerns raised by various education stakeholders, Minister for Education, Prof Adolf Mkenda on Wednesday, February 7, 2024, reiterated the government's assurance of a well-articulated implementation plan aimed at achieving full transformation by 2027.

Emphasising a gradual approach to implementation, Prof Mkenda affirmed: "We are proceeding cautiously to avoid any perception of haste."

One of the foremost challenges highlighted pertained to the readiness of teachers to embrace the new policies and curricula. Critics pointed out the shortage of competent teachers, particularly those equipped to deliver practical training—a cornerstone of the revamped curriculum.

The Parliamentary Committee on Education echoed these sentiments in its 2023 report submitted to parliament on Wednesday, underscoring the imperative of bolstering teaching colleges' capacity and funding to produce a cadre of practical educators.

In response to these concerns, Prof Mkenda said the government has taken proactive measures, conducting training sessions for over 10,000 teachers nationwide and they had a plan to roll out training to all wards across the country.

He said the efforts aimed at equipping educators with the necessary tools to navigate the evolving educational landscape reflect a concerted commitment to ensuring a smooth transition.

Despite these initiatives, suspicions lingered among some stakeholders, who expressed concerns about the abruptness of the curriculum rollout.

An education expert, Dr Amos Majure voiced his concerns, advocating for a more phased approach to implementation to mitigate potential disruptions for students and educators alike.

Acknowledging these concerns, Prof Mkenda insisted the need for a methodical approach, stating: "We are proceeding step by step to ensure effective implementation."

The phased rollout, starting from pre-primary education to Form Five and teacher training colleges, Prof Mkenda said, aimed to gradually adjust stakeholders to the new curriculum without overwhelming the system.

However, divergent views persist regarding the pace of implementation.

Some stakeholders advocate for a more gradual approach, starting with first-grade students and Form One, to allow adequate preparation time for both teachers and students.

The government, while cognizant of these viewpoints, remains steadfast in its commitment to the outlined implementation plan, emphasising the importance of systematic progress towards the 2027 milestone.

Amidst these deliberations, the overarching goal remains clear, according to Prof Mkenda: to usher in a transformative era in the country’s education.

"Our objective is to reach a turning point in implementation by 2027, underscoring the government's dedication to the long-term vision of educational excellence,” Prof Mkenda reiterated before the parliamentary committee.

However, collaboration emerges as a linchpin for success. Prof Mkenda highlighted the indispensable role of stakeholders in facilitating the seamless transition, emphasising the need for collective engagement to realise the shared vision of a revived education system.

Dr Majure noted: “Our education transformation journey is characterised by perseverance, collaboration, and a steadfast commitment to excellence. While challenges abound, the government's assurance, coupled with proactive measures to address concerns, instills confidence in stakeholders and our educational trajectory.”