The government yesterday upheld its position that Sh72.3 billion it received as difference from overpriced radar purchased in 1999 from London-based private Company BAE Systems will be spent on school books and desks.
Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda stated the government position when responding to issues raised by members of parliament during debate of the budget of Prim Minister’s Office (PMO) for 2012/13 fiscal year.
He told the National Assembly that it was impossible to spend the money on building teachers’ residential houses as it would not bear desired results owing to the fact that much more money would be need for a housing project.
According to a MoU signed between Tanzania and British governments the funds are to be used on strengthening the primary education system.
Tanzania government was represented by the ministry of Finance while the British government was represented by the Department of Funds for International Development(DFID), BAE Systems and SFO (Serious Fraud Office) which was signed in March, 2012 on the use of the funds, (Close II of section.10 of the said MoU),
Seventy-five percent will be spent on text books purchase, teaching guides, summaries and thee guides and the remaining 25 percent will be spent on purchase of desks, Pinda said.
He added that the reason for the education option was based on the fact the book-student ratio was bad as it stood at one book for ten students, saying the situation denied students the opportunity of accessing useful books.
The lack of teaching guides made life difficult for teachers and resulting, partly responsible for massive failures at standard four and standard seven examination levels.
The PM said money spent on books will ensure bringing about the good f book-student ratio of one book for two students up to three unlike the current ratio where one book is for ten students.
This is Mathematics, Kiswahili, Science, English, and Geography which are core subjects.
The books would be purchased from 13 different publishing companies and it was agreed that it will be two books for every subject. The companies are Ben Company, Best Deal Publisher, E & D Vision, Education Books Publisher, Jadida, LongHorn, Longman, Macmillan, Mkuki na Nyota, Mture, Oxford, Tanzania Institute of Education (TIE) and Ujuzi Book.
“Among the appointed publishers, only two out of thirteen are foreign but with branches in Tanzania and the remaining companies are owned by indigenous Tanzanians,” said the Premier.
On desks he said statistics show about eight million students, which accounts for almost 50 per cent have not proper place to sit on.
This brings the total number of required desks to between 1,500,000 and 2,000,000, saying Sh18.1 billion would be enough for 400,000 desks as a single desk would be purchased at Sh50,000.
The PM noted that the decision has been based on the number of 16,000 schools countrywide. Even if a single house were to be built for every school only 6,000 houses would be build leaving 9,000 without houses as the cost is Sh12 million per house.
On the establishment of Kadhi court, the Premier said the process was under way and that the court to be run by Moslems would deal with maters including marriage, divorce, conflict resolution, inheritance but not deal criminal cases.
On the reports implicating officials with Sh300 billion deposited in the private bank accounts in Switzerland, the premier said the government read media information first reported in The Guardian on Saturday June 23, 2012.
“The government through its organs - Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) and Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) - has opened investigation on the matter, based on legal procedures. When the investigation is closed the outcome would be made public,” affirmed the Premier.