The government yesterday said that all councils in the country will benefit from desks purchased by radar money refunded by UK’s BAE System and not some of the councils as announced earlier.
Minister of State, Prime Minister’s Office Regional Administration and Local Governments Hawa Ghasia told the National Assembly that the government has changed its previous decision of distributing the desks to some regions and instead they will be distributed to all councils in the country.
Ghasia was tabling to the Parliament a review on performance for 2011/2012 and work projection for 2012/2013.
She said 18.1bn/- out of 72.3bn/- of the refunded money will be used for purchasing desks for primary schools.
“Earlier it was proposed the desks to be purchased and distributed to councils which were facing acute shortage of desks but the government has decided to cancel the criteria and distribute to all councils,” she said.
She said although the desks which will be purchased will not be enough but will help to reduce the shortage of desks facing primary schools in the country.
Ghasia said that Tanzania received the radar change from the UK government and it was agreed that the money should be spent to improve education sector in the country.
She said out of the total amount it was agreed that 54b/- equivalent to 75 percent of the fund to be spent in purchasing text books for primary schools and 18.1bn/- equivalent to 25 percent for purchasing desks.
The Minister said that the purchase of text books will take
into account the books which were listed by Ministry of Education and Vocational Training in 2009 even before UK decided to refund the money.
She said each primary school in the country will benefit from the books adding the government will ensure that the companies which will be given the tender to print the books they take them direct to respective schools.
“In order to increase transparency in the entire process the books will be received at the schools by the school committees, pupils, parents and local government authorities,” Ghasia said.
Tabling the alternative budget estimates for financial year 2012/2013 Shadow Finance Minister Zitto Kabwe demanded the government to state the criteria it used to select some regions which could benefit from the desks purchased using radar money.
In May this year Regional Administration and Local Government Deputy Minister (Education) Kassim Majaliwa said the desks purchased will be distributed in three regions in the country.
Majaliwa said the said money will be used to purchase desks in Mwanza, Dar es Salaam and Morogoro, saying it will minimise the shortage of desks in the country by 80 percent if combined with the councils’ strategies in solving the problem.
According to Majaliwa the country has a shortage of 1.7 million desks in primary and secondary schools.