Government schools should keep up the spirit

17Jul 2016
Guardian On Sunday
Government schools should keep up the spirit

THE National Examinations Council of Tanzania (NECTA) on Friday released this year’s Form VI examination results, ushering resuscitative evolution of public secondary schools previously overshadowed by private schools for quite some time.

Official results indicated slight decline of 0.93 per cent of the pass mark level compared to last academic year that recorded 98.87 per cent pass margin.

Out of 74,896 registered candidates, 47,179 were boys, an equivalent of 62.9 per cent while girls were 27,717, equal to 37.01 per cent.

The inspiring aspect in this year’s national Form VI examination results is the strong comeback of public secondary schools that almost disappeared from the list of the best performers.

Obviously, good lessons can be drawn from the recently announced ‘A’ level examination results. First, the relevance of ward secondary schools once ridiculed by some critics on their establishment, cannot be overstated.

The top overall student in the 2016 national ‘A’ level exams, Hassan Bakari Gwaay (20) came from Tabora Boys Secondary School but studied at Kisimiri Ward Secondary School in Arusha for his ‘O’ level secondary education.

Through inference we can conclude that without ward secondary schools, this young talented boy would have never pursued secondary education judging from the fact that he came from a poor family. For many years, thousands of talents, the likes of Hassan have been buried due to inadequate number of schools as well as deprivation afflicting many families.

The desire for the country to restore the lost education glory is overwhelming. We believe that the commendable efforts by the government on serious assessment of different obstacles that undermined the quality of our national education will be sustained.

Various education stakeholders including legislators have repeatedly pointed out on shortfalls that eroded the credibility of our education system.

For example, the MPs registered resentment on the accuracy of text books published by individuals who, perhaps won tender through undefined procedures. Unfortunately, the confusion remained pervasive to the extent that schools in the same country used different text books for the same subject to finally sit for a similar examination paper.

Under such circumstances massive failure is inevitable. Worse still, the marking system that resorted to GPA complicated the situation further. The Ministry of Education Science Technology and Vocational Training deserves a pet on the back for taking action in making the necessary adjustments for the interests of the nation.

It is good omen that the public schools are ‘coming back to academic life’ with seemingly a dedicated vow to compete with the mighty-losing private schools. There is no doubt the government, parents and guardians will work together to address a number of shortfalls pinned in teaching staff’s ill-performance in public schools.

Again, cases of examination cheats seem to have declined significantly and we believe the tempo would be maintained to make sure that students excelled and qualified to high learning opportunities on merit.

The education system is heading for the best in Tanzania as chances are wide open to every determined child irrespective of the economic background. Indeed, government schools should keep up this spirit.

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