No one should be left behind in the quest for quality of education

Sunday January 23 2022
Consolata

National Form Four 2021 best performer Consolata Lubuva from St Francis Girls Secondary School celebrates with her mother Beatrice Halii after the exam results were announced by Necta recetly. PHOTO | FILE

By Saumu Jumanne

One of the best moments for parents with candidates in Tanzania, be it at primary, secondary (O-level or A- level) schools, is when your child does well in the final exam. Parents don’t send children to school just for the sake of growing up while getting an education. In our settings, passing national exams is one of the most vital ingredients of the whole education system.

If you have not passed O-level exams you cannot proceed to A-level and to the university. Some very intelligent students, for one reason or the other, fail exams, unless they repeat or take an alternative route of technical education. No wonder as both parents and candidates wait for the exam results, it is with anxiety for in a way, determines the destiny or going forward as far as educational exploits are concerned.

Personally, I am happy and I thank God as candidates close to me, have all passed the exams, it is all joy. For parents and relatives with children that didn’t do well, there is extra work of counseling them, convincing them that life has much more than passing school exams. I know it’s not easy, but there is a need to do so. At this moment, it is very important for parents/guardians to be more close to such children than at any other time. In the past, we have heard of candidates who took their lives after failing exams.

In the list of 2021 Form Four exam results top 10 best performing students, 9 come from private schools and 1 from public school.

And it’s almost a girl’s world, only 2 boys out of 10. The National Examinations Council of Tanzania (Necta) exam results for CSEE 2021 is a very interesting factor that brings both joy and tears. That our girls are doing well is a cause for celebration for all that love mother Tanzania.

Yet, it’s a cause of great concern that our boys have been left behind. Sometimes back, a great number of parents didn’t even see any need for taking their girls to school. Today the enrollment for boys and girls stands at almost 50:50, at the lower levels. The journey started in 2016 when Standard I enrollment topped 48.9 percent of children.

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We need both our girls and boys to be the best performers for a balanced nation. According to Necta, out of 483,820 students who sat for the exam, only 173,422 candidates scored divisions I, II ad III. A total of 248,966 scored division IV. Meaning 61,432 candidates failed. What does this mean for the national economy? We need those who scored division IV and 0 to ebe anabled to curve their own life path, including giving them a chance to attend polytechnics or another chance to resit the exam.

As a nation, we also need to pull our socks and improve the performance, includng turning the numbers so that there would come a time when at least two-thirds score divisions I, II and III, while only one-third performs poorly.

Above all, every student who joins secondary education must be enabled to complete their education successfully.

Vision 2025 talks of a “nation with high quality of education at all levels.” It talks of producing “the quantity and quality of educated people sufficiently equipped with the requisite knowledge to solve the society’s problems, meet the challenges of development and attain competitiveness at regional and global levels.”

So long, as our society is not able to create adequate jobs for the majority who are graduating, it means we have got a long way to go. Sometimes back, The Citizen reported youth joblessness was a huge problem (https://www.thecitizen.co.tz/tanzania/news/-tanzania-why-youth-unemployment-is-still-the-elephant-in-the-room--2725016) no wonder in every election cycle it’s one of the biggest issue. Education should also be about job creation, national development and growth.