A big number of students to be financed by the government in higher learning institutions has been cited among challenges facing the sector in the country.
Speaking in Dar es Salaam over the weekend when opening a National Debate and Education Financing Forum, principal economist in the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training Beatus Gwakahuzu said the number of students to be financed by the government was too big compared to available resources.
Gwakahuzu was standing in for Policy and Planning director in the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training.
He said apart from the big number, identification of students who needed to be financed by the government was also a problem. He said education was important to everyone in the society, regardless of age, gender, colour or religion.
“The government has been increasing the budget of the education sector by recognizing that education is important to all people. In 2007/2008 the budget for the education sector was 1.1tn/- but it was increased to 2.2tn/ this financial year,” he said.
He said the aim was to empower all education institutions, from nursery to university levels, to acquire the required resources which are needed to ensure that the majority of Tanzanians get skills and better knowledge so that they can manage their lives and contribute to development.
He said the sector lacked a strategic plan which could help to sensitize people on the importance of contributing to it.
“It is evident that if the nation will be formed by a big number of illiterates efforts to achieve better life for everyone will not be successful,” he said.
He said currently the government, in collaboration with other education stakeholders, was in the process of reviewing the education and training policy of 1995 .
"It is my hope that the policy being reviewed would help to address some of the challenges facing the sector.
For her part, Tanzania Education Network (TenMeT) co-ordinator Helima Mengele said the forum aimed at discussing how non-governmental organizations have invested in the education sector.
She said the forum was organized as part of the Goal Tanzania Campaign which aims at ensuring that the country meet its commitments to achieve education for all in 2015 by incresing investments in education.
Mengele however said the education sector was faced with a number of challenges, among which was the fact that education had been broadened but the resources were insufficient. “The government concentrated on providing education for all, but currently there is the problem of resources,” she said.