Isles marks 52 Years of Free Education

ZANZIBAR government has committed itself to address challenges facing the education sector, including clearing the debt it owes teachers to improve the sector.

The Isles President, Dr Ali Mohamed Shein, made the assurance on Friday at Amani National Stadium when addressing students, parents and politicians who gathered to mark 52nd years of Zanzibar’s free education.

“Education remains a key sector in development, therefore we are committed to invest more in the sector. Let us work together to achieve our goal,” Dr Shein said.

He said shortage of science and mathematics teachers, lack of laboratory equipment in public schools and libraries, congestion and lack of teachers’ motivation, were some of the challenges that smudged the recorded successes in the education sector.

“Let everyone play his/ her role well in improving the sector. The performance or examination results must reflect our efforts and achievements recorded in the past 52 years,” Dr Shein said, insisting on provision of free education in nursery and primary schools,” he said.

He said as the government continues to clear teachers’ arrears and improves students’ learning environment including increasing the number of teachers, the Ministry of Education “should work closely with private schools to have acceptable curriculum that will lead to produce good students.”

In a speech at the ‘Free education Day’ which attracted hundreds of enthusiastic children and teachers, the president said that despite the challenges, Zanzibaris should celebrate the achievements recorded so far.

He mentioned some of the visible success as increase of nursery schools from one in 1964 to 286 to date; primary schools from 62 to the current 365 and secondary schools from five to 281 this year.

“We had no university in the past 20 years, but now we have a considerable number and we also have colleges and vocational training centres for our youth. We are planning to construct more training centres and more schools to reduce congestion,” said Dr Shein.

President Shein said at the colourful event attended by the Second Vice-President, Ambassador Seif Ali Iddi, House Speaker, Mr Zubeir Ali Maulid, Ministers and Legislators that the recorded admirable achievement declaration of free education on September 23, 1964 by the late Abeid Amani Karume, First President of the islands with the aim of making sure that all children get a chance to education.

Although the late Karume declared free education for all’ in 1964 after revolution, later in 1990s parents were required to contribute to the exercise after the Government’s failure to meet all educational needs.

However, in 2014 the president abolished the contributions, saying the government was capable of implementing the ‘free education’ policy following a promising economical growth.

Dr Shein thanked development partners for supporting the education sector as the Minister of Education and Vocational Training, Ms Riziki Pemba Juma, asked them to team up with teachers to improve behaviour in schools.
Isles marks 52 Years of Free Education Isles marks 52 Years of Free Education Reviewed by on 10:46:00 PM Rating: 5

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