Children in Tanzania will start school at the age of seven. Schooling is compulsory for seven years and after that students can continue to voluntary supplementary studies, divided into two stages of four and two years respectively. In schools, there is a shortage of both teachers and teaching materials.
After independence in 1961, Tanzania invested considerable resources in education, but as the country’s economy deteriorated during the 1990s, the school system was hit hard. Only about half of the children attended elementary school, and only a twentieth pupil continued to the secondary school. The proportion of literacy in the population dropped sharply.
- COUNTRYAAH: Country facts of Tanzania, including geography profile, population statistics, and business data.
Since Tanzania had a portion of its large foreign debt written off (see Financial overview), the government began in 2001 to abolish the fees in compulsory school. As a result, millions of new students poured in, and much teaching had to be held outdoors in the acute shortage of premises. The teacher shortage was also great and it appeared that up to 200 children had to be brought together in one class.
Nowadays, the situation is better. Eight out of ten children start school and just under one in four pupils go on to the secondary school. The number of schools has grown significantly since the turn of the millennium. However, the quality of teaching is still low and the lack of textbooks, school desks, toilets and clean water is great. In 2017, elementary schools had an average of 47 students per classroom. Even though school fees are removed, students still have to pay for school uniforms, books, school food and more.
The University of Dodoma opened in 2007 and is the country’s largest educational institution for higher studies. There are another 20 universities in the country and a large number of colleges with teacher training and other vocational studies.
- Educationvv: Provides school and education information in Tanzania, covering middle school, high school and college education.
FACTS – EDUCATION
Proportion of children starting primary school
79.9 percent (2017)
Number of pupils per teacher in primary school
Reading and writing skills
77.9 percent (2015)
Public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP
17.3 percent (2014)
Public expenditure on education as a percentage of the state budget
17.3 percent (2014)
Minister kicked for drunkenness
President Magufuli dismisses Interior Minister Charles Kitwanga since he appeared drunk in parliament and according to the president has not been able to answer questions correctly.
Less money in the pay envelope
President Magufuli announces that he will lower the salaries of public servants who earn the most and raise it for those who earn the least. According to Magufuli, the range is now between $ 140 and $ 18,000 a month. From July 1, new rules will come into force. The highest possible salary will then be $ 7,000 a month. Magufuli also says that the general income tax should be reduced from 11 to 9 percent.
The United States is withdrawing aid
The United States freezes planned support of nearly $ 473 million for Tanzania’s expansion of the electricity grid as a protest against how the re-election on Zanzibar went. The protest is also directed at a recently adopted law on cyber crime in Zanzibar that, according to the United States, does not guarantee freedom of expression and association.
CCM wins at Zanzibar
New elections are held for the post of President of Zanzibar after the October elections (see October 2015). The opposition on Zanzibar boycotts the election, thereby winning the ruling CCM candidate, incumbent President Ali Mohamed Shein, with over 90 percent of the vote. The election is criticized by Western diplomats who believe that the electoral commission should have waited to announce elections until the gap between the opposition and the government is bridged.