Samia’s recommendations for transforming education in Zanzibar

By Josephine Christophe

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

The head of state’s endorsements come at a time when the Zanzibar archipelago has recorded around 50% of students failing the 2021 regular secondary education exams.

She said that to stem the tide of disappointment caused by students getting division four and zero results in the form four exam results, the islands need to start some soul-searching and ultimately change their curriculum to align it with one who works in mainland Tanzania.

According to the president, this decision will provide students with similar capabilities in understanding and managing exams.

President Hassan was speaking at the official launch of a non-profit organization based in Zanzibar, the Mwanamke Initiative Foundation (MIF) which, among other things, focuses on promoting the level of education in the islands.

Speaking at the live-streamed event, President Hassan endorsed this education authority in Zanzibar to assess the level of school assessors and provide them with appropriate and quality equipment.

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“Thirdly, the exams actually designed as well as the qualities of the teachers responsible for providing better education to the children should be assessed,” she said.

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

“While 21,000 candidates entered the ordinary secondary school competition in 2021 from the Islands; only 231 candidates scored in the first division. While more than 10,000 other candidates have been registered between division four and zero,” the president said.

According to the President, despite the existing infrastructure problems in the islands, such as the lack of classrooms and teaching materials, the need to change social beliefs such as early marriage and gender discrimination is of paramount importance. .

Among the missions set by the MIF, which is already operational, is the promotion and improvement of the education of the young generation; both boys and girls.

MIF Director, Mrs. Fatma Mwassa, said the foundation operates under four pillars which promote vocational training and education.

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

“We also provide support for the economic empowerment of youth and women, as well as the promotion of better health care for adolescent groups,” Ms Mwassa said.

For his part, the Continental Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Adolf Mkenda, said his dossier would support his Zanzibar counterpart in sharing experience, training and focusing on program exchange.

“There are children from the mainland who study in the islands, and vice versa. Likewise, teacher training opportunities as well as important learning tools to open doors for better education can be shared between the two parties,” Professor Mkenda said.

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