A two-day conference bringing together education stakeholders in Dodoma today is yet another opportunity for them to reflect on how best to address the persisting quality concern in Tanzanian schools. Huge investments made in this sector have seen the mushrooming of both public and private primary and secondary schools across the country. This development subsequently led to high enrollment numbers, but questions linger on quality. Several researches have revealed huge gaps that hinder the provision of quality education, especially in public schools.
These challenges include rapid expansion of classes, which has not been matched by teacher and resource availability; poor teaching methods emanating from poor and rushed training of teachers, and the lack of textbooks. The list is much longer. Yet the challenges Tanzania faces are not unique. What needs to be done going forward is for stakeholders to put their heads together to revisit this critical issue.
So much can be achieved with broad participation from civil society, teachers, unions, bilateral agencies, regional authorities, the private sector and research institutes and foundations. Tanzania must strive to achieve the new United Nations Sustainable Development Goal number 4 (SDG 4) that seeks to ensure “inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”. This dream can’t be far-fetched.