Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Is Co-Education a basis for students’ educational curriculum development

Tanzania government intends to revisit all public secondary schools which were converted to high schools, with the view of modifying them to admit Form One to Form Four students. Under the plan, furthermore, all initially girls-exclusive schools but which currently admit students of both gender for secondary school education will be reviewed. This issue was tabled in Parliament yesterday as a revelation by the Minister of State in the President’s Office (Regional Administration and Local Government – TAMISEMI), Mr George Simbachawene, in response to a supplementary question posed by Mtwara-Rural MP Ms Hawa Ghasia (CCM). “I honestly admit that we didn’t do our homework more effectively,” Mr Simbachawene said, elaborating: “When the government resolved to transform most of the junior public secondary schools, we didn’t pay much attention to the question of infrastructure.” He elaborated further that most of secondary schools that admitted both boys and girls were transformed to admit high school seniors, leaving facilities like hostels and classrooms unattended. Ms Ghasia cited Loleza, Ndanda and Mtwara girls in Mtwara Region, which were upgraded to higher schools but failed to use the facilities fully. “This has in turn been contributing to child marriages, as some girls are not admitted to secondary schools immediately. The existing schools are higher secondary schools that entail passing the Form Four examinations by the aspirants,” she said. She urged the government to consider taking comprehensive measures, including giving leeway to the schools to admit juniors for secondary education. “These schools have enough classrooms and hostels to accommodate more students but they have been limited to only take on board those joining high secondary education wings,” she said. In another development, the Deputy Minister in the ministry, Mr Suleiman Jaffo, told the august House that the government was similarly considering reconverting Mpanda Secondary School which used to admit Form One to Form Four students but now admits only Form Five and Six students. Mr Jaffo, who was responding to a basic question from Kavuu MP Dr Pudensiana Kikwembe, said the school was among seven high schools in Katavi Region.

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