A total of 30bn/- out of 84bn/- refunded by UK’s BAE Systems, following a controversial radar sale to the Tanzania government, will be used for purchasing desks in three regions in the country.
Regional Administration and Local Government Deputy Minister (Education) Kassim Majaliwa revealed this during a three-day meeting with Regional Administrative secretaries, executive directors and councils’ auditors which ended on Saturday.
The meeting was discussing the Controller and Auditor General’s Report for 2010/2011, recommending actions to be taken.
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.
“We have received the money and the processes are underway to identify tenderers for manufacturing the desks,” Majaliwa said.
Majaliwa said the country has a shortage of 1.7 million desks in primary and secondary schools.
He said the remaining 54bn/- will be directed to the purchase of textbooks for various schools in the country.
Majaliwa said the government has managed to reduce the problem of shortage of textbooks, with the current ratio being one book for every three students. He said in April last year the government distributed a total of 2 million science books to various schools in the country.
He however accused some teachers of colluding with unscrupulous book sellers who ‘bought’ the books after they were delivered to the schools and sold them again after few days.
He said his ministry has already sacked some unfaithful teachers implicated in the scam.
Commenting on laboratories Majaliwa said the government has set aside 3.2bn/- for purchase of laboratory equipment.
“Even if there will be proper room, we will choose one in which the equipment will be installed and we will also hire a teacher from any nearby school to teach the students, Majaliwa said.
In March this year the government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to have the refund channeled to the education sector.
The signing of the MoU involved the government of Tanzania, BAE Systems, the UK’s Serious Fraud Office and DFID, to enable the release of about £29.5 million.
The signing of the agreement and the release of the money follow a settlement between BAE Systems and the UK’s Serious Fraud Office.
It was agreed that the funds be invested in the education sector with a part of it set to be used to purchase textbooks for 16,000 primary schools in the country.
“About 8.3 million children will benefit from the textbooks which will cover all eleven subjects in standards One to Seven. Emphasis will be placed on the key subjects of Kiswahili, English, Maths and Science where one textbook will be shared between every two children,” reads part of the statement.
The funds would also be used to provide all 175,000 primary school teachers with guides, syllabi and syllabi guides to help improve teaching skills. Up to £5 million would be spent on the purchase of desks and would benefit primary school children living in nine districts where the need is greatest.