Monday, September 9, 2013

Students’ enrolment rate in Tanzania schools is high, says UN report

A report titled New Global Partnership by United Nations has said that, Tanzania has far succeeded in students’ enrolment rate for both primary and secondary schools by 90 percent. Summarizing the report in Dar es Salaam last week an economic advisor with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Amarakoon Bandara said that, “despite Tanzania has succeeded in students’ enrolment the quality of education in the country is extremely poor”. He made this observation at a function known as ‘Fan Thursday’ which is being organized end of Thursday week of every month by UNDP office in collaboration with UN Information centre (UNIC). The objective of the occasion was to release recommendations of post 2015 development agenda.  The function was attended by Foreign dominated secondary school students of Saint Joseph Cathedral and Saint Anthony all located in Dar es Salaam. Also in attendance were some other local poverty fighting groups in the country. Fan Thursday is a monthly occasion organized with a view to inform youths various developments geared by the United Nations under the theme ‘Bringing young people closer to the United Nations’. The report that sets out what has been achieved so far by International community from various areas each country had signed for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2000 was issued globally in May this year. He said that, among the seven areas of the MDGs that Tanzania signed, it has done well in the universal primary education whereby enrolment rate is recorded higher. However, the report further indicates that, poverty is still a big issue in the country which continues to haunt people especially rural dwellers since 2001 to-date. Illustrative statistics by the Ministry of Education in the country shows that, as from 1961 to 2001 the number of primary school pupils increased from 486,470 to 4,875,764 but for the period between 2001 and 2012 primary school pupils increased by approximately 97 percent from 4,875,764 to 8,247,472. Secondary school students’ enrolment also increased from 11,832 during independence time (1961) to 289,699 in 2001 but the country experienced a drastic increase from 289,699 students in 2001 to 1,884,270 in 2012. Such a drastic increase of pupils and students in schools to various educational programmes implemented by the government through Primary Educational Development Programme ( PEDP) and Secondary Educational Development Programme ( SEDP). The two programmes have exacerbated the mushrooming of ward secondary schools which have been constructed in the country ever since the fourth phase government came in power in 2005. The new global partnership is a report which has been compiled by members of the UN Secretary General’s high level panel of eminent persons on the Post-2015 Development agenda that gives ways on how to eradicate poverty and transform economies through sustainable development. 

An economic adviser with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Amarakoon Bandara when presenting a New Global Partnership report in Dar es Salaam last week

The group members consisting of 27 persons across the globe were commissioned since July 2012 and started working on the development agenda beyond 2015 through thematic Consultations organized by the UN system and member states in every region. In Tanzania the exercise was conducted by UNDP in collaboration with the Economic and Social Research Foundation (ESRF) in both Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar and Pemba Islands focusing energy consultations. The two organizations did the consultations with the help of Civil Social Organizations (CSO) and contacted people to collect views which have to be carried forward as the main agendas after the MDGs set target in 2015. The ESRF found out that, Tanzania needs to get abundant energy supply in order to regulate the entire national economic activities. The outcome of the consultation report has revealed that the poverty stricken situation in the country which the government has failed to attend has become a major cause of the inflation affecting poor people. However, Bandara noted also that, despite of the abundant supply of the natural resources in the country, still Tanzania is faced with lots of problems emanating largely due to poor management system. He said that if the resources were well utilized, the level of poverty situation in the country would have been reduced to a certain extent and lowers the percentage rate than how the situation is currently seen. The deliberations of the panel in the report came with a sense of optimism that 13 years since the millennium have seen the latest reduction in poverty in human history, there are half a billion fewer people living below international poverty line of $ 1.25 a day. Children’s death rates have fallen by more than 30 percent with about 3 million children’s lives saved each year compared to 2000. Deaths from Malaria have fallen by one quarter globally. This unprecedented progress has been driven by a combination of economic growth, better policies and the global commitment to the MDGs which set out inspirational rallying cry for the whole world. The post 2015 agenda of the MDGs is a universal agenda with a practical focus on things like poverty, hunger, water, sanitation, education and healthcare which is driven by five big transformative shifts. According to Bandala, these are leave no one behind, put sustainable development at the core and transform the economies for jobs and inclusive growth. Others are build peace and effective, open and accountable institutions for all and the last involves forge a new global partnership. Summarizing the agendas, Bandara noted that, the major aim of this transformation is to reduce and end extreme poverty in all its forms in human history and ensure that every person achieves a basic standard of well being. However, he said, the developed countries have a special role to play, fostering new technologies and making the fastest progress in reducing unsustainable consumption only by mobilizing social, economic and environmental action together which he said could eradicate poverty irreversibly and meet the aspirations of eight billion people in 2030.

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