The Government says it will fire all teachers who decide to upgrade their education status through various higher learning institutions and colleges without first seeking permission from their employers.
The statement was made yesterday by the deputy minister for education and vocational training, Philipo Mulugo in Dar es Salaam when giving a report regarding the Form Four National Eaminations and Qualifying Test to be held between October 08 to 15 this year.
The deputy minister said some teachers have decided join various colleges to further their education without permission from their employer who is the government.
“We are going to sack them from work. They have contributed greatly to the shortage of teachers in the country,” said Mulugo.
“I am now telling all teachers studying at the University of Dodoma and the University of Dar es Salaam or any other college that if they joined the institutions without our permission, they should now go back and seek permission. If they fail to do so they should prepare themselves to work in private, not government’s schools,’’ he stressed.
The minister’s concern was seconded by the president of Tanzania Teachers Union (TTU) Gratian Mukoba who said some teachers were violating rules.
“The rules are clear. Before going for further studies you must seek permission from your employer. We know it is a violation of their contracts and the government should see it as a challenge,” he said.
He said many teachers do change their profession because they have lost interest in teaching as most are being paid low salaries and not given their rights unless they fight for them.
Concerning the National Form Four Examinations which are expected to start on October 8, this year, Mulugo said a total number of 481,414 students are expected to sit for the exams, adding that 263,202 (54.67per cent) are boys and 218,212 (45.33 per cent) girls.
“Compared to last year, that is equivalent to an increase of 18.09 per cent. We have already completed all the preparations including transportation of all exams. We are satisfied that exams are safe against any leakage,” said Mulugo, warning that students who will be caught cheating will be disqualified and face more penalties.
The deputy minister said a total of 3,303 candidates who sat for the exam last year were disqualified due to cheating. Some teachers who were involved in the scam were punished with some given stern warning while headmasters and headmistress found guilty were stripped of their powers.
“However we have reduced punishment for the students who apologized and allowed them to sit for next year’s (2013 ) exams as private candidate after serving the punishment,” said Mulugo.
Regarding the re-scheduling of examinations, he said students who are in Form Six this year will sit for the national exams next February 2013 as usual. Those who are in Form Three this year will sit for the Form Four national exam in November next year as directed by the commissioner of education in his circular number 5 of 2012.
This week, The Guardian had published several stories regarding re-scheduling of exams timind. The Tanzania Non-Government Schools and Colleges Organization (Tamongsco), Secretary General, Benjamin Nkonya was quoted saying it was Tamongsco which sent a proposal to the Ministry requesting for re-scheduling of examinations timing so that marking is done during the holidays of June and December.
“The aims were, form six and Teachers’ Training colleges exams be done in May and marked in June while form four and two exams be done in November so that marking is done in December,” Nkonya said.