Tanzania’s long dream for free education as come to realization. This has come about after the recent issuance of a circular, on how the policy of free education will be carried out.
The circular paper number 5 of 2015 is part of the process to ensure effective execution of the free education and Policy training policy of 2014, which in part brings into fulfillment the pledges President John Pombe Magufuli, made during October election Campaigns.
This move, nullifies all former circular that required for parents and guardians to provide contributions in public schools. This initiative is garnered towards ensuring that, education which is a human right, is accessed by all children in the country, especially those who come from low income families, with parents who can’t afford school fees.
This policy covers for children’s education from standard one to form four (ordinary level certificate), that are enrolled in public schools.
The government has kept away a total amount of 137bn for this initiative, and up until January the government had issued over 18bn to facilitate the implementation of this initiative.
The Prime Minister clearly explained that, the money that has been disbursed is enough to cover the cost of the first semester that is January to June 2016, this includes both boarding and day public Schools. The PM further added that, the government will also cover the national examination cost, which is 10,000 per student.
The initiative is already causing a positive impact where the number of student enrollment has sky rocketed. Thus, ensuring the right to education is provide to all for all.
There challenges that are facing the policy, some of the issues include the insufficiency of budget, a plead made by many heads of schools, but this is basically due to school administration failure to prepare a budget that reflects the realities of their schools, that is the number of student they are expecting to have and all other minor things should have been considered.
There also cases of schools charging parents and guardians contribution fees, this issues are to be dealt with.
All in all, the government needs to work on creating wide awareness of this policy, to the general public in order to ensure effectiveness in its implementation. This will also allow further understanding of the concept of free education to all the stakeholders. For example in the policy of free education, parents and guardians are supposed to provide uniforms as well as school material like pen, pencil, exercise books and other small needs.
The government has acknowledged the challenges, and will work towards creating long lasting and sustainable solutions, to the challenges facing the implementation of this policy.