Education is recognised as a tool of liberation, both mentally and economically, but it is a key sector whose transformation has been moving at a snail’s pace.
Calls for total overhaul of the country’s education system are long overdue. However, there is hope that things will soon change for the better after the Minister for Education, Science and Technology, Prof Adolf Mkenda, disclosed in Parliament on Tuesday that reforms were on the cards.
Hopefully, the reforms will focus on meeting the demands of a world that is undergoing massive change, and nurture future leaders in the new global landscape.
It is an ambitious plan, which will define the future of the nation, but the envisaged reforms should not be carried out hastily.
The process should be inclusive enough to ensure that all groups of Tanzanians benefit equally from the reforms.
It is imperative that the reforms centre on competence because the majority of graduates have become a laughing stock, with only a few meeting current market demands.
Technology is also changing many important functions of modern society. This calls for new education policies and practices to keep up with the pace.
Sweeping educational changes are welcome, but they should go hand in hand with improvement of teachers’ welfare.
Overhauling the system may not work if teachers’ grievances are not addressed. They are underpaid, and the majority of them work and live in unfriendly environments.
The rapid changes and increased complexity of today’s world present new challenges, and puts additional pressure on the education system.
International agencies are calling for major changes in global education systems. Unesco has highlighted the need to rethink the role of schools, teachers, and curriculums by taking into account the current world.
The reforms are expected to revamp the education system, and equip the younger generation with knowledge, skills and attitude required for the 21st century.
CURB MALARIA IN PREGNANCY
Reports of lack of awareness among many women of child-bearing age regarding the risk of malaria infection and unavailability of drugs used for prevention of the disease during pregnancy call for concerted efforts to save the lives of expectant mothers. In Lindi Region, for instance, women have confessed that they had no idea that skipping early antenatal clinic visits puts their lives at the risk of death from malaria.
Widespread unavailability of antenatal care drugs is proof that multiple approaches should be applied to protect pregnant women and their unborn babies.
The Health ministry and other stakeholders should come together and craft a strategy for a massive campaign to educate women on the risks of skipping clinic visits from early pregnancy onwards.
Considering the huge costs that come with the death of pregnant women from malaria, the authorities should allocate sufficient resources for countrywide campaigns to promote antenatal care, as well as for the purchase of drugs used in the prevention and treatment of malaria in pregnant women.