The minister made the clarification during a tour of Bahi district in Dodoma region where he witnessed registration of primary school pupils and Form One students at various public schools.
He said there have been complaints from people across the country claiming that their children were being prevented from joining primary schools over lack of birth certificates.
“It should be noted that a birth certificate is the right of every child, but it shouldn’t be a factor of barring them from being registered to join primary education. Headteachers must ensure all eligible children are registered as their parents complete procedures to acquire the document,” he stated.
He insisted on headmasters to receive Form One students unconditionally, urging parents and guardians to ensure their children report to particular schools on time.
He warned teachers not to substitute the scrapped money contributions with foodstuffs such as maize, flour and beans.
He said the government is implementing a free education policy for basic education, thus no students should be compelled to make any type of contribution.
Bahi District Commissioner Mwanahamisi Munkunda said the district authorities had conducted a special campaign for under-five birth registration, which has increased the number of children with birth certificates.
“At least 2,712 children have been selected to join form one this month but the major problem in our district is shortage of classrooms and desks. We are still working to address the challenge,” she said.
John Lauren, headteacher at Mkakatika Primary School said they aim to enroll 180 children to join standard one.
“With children who do not have birth certificates we use clinic cards to get important information. So far we have registered a total of 134 children,” he said.
The government issued Circular number 5 of 2015 concerning the Education and Training Policy 2014, directing public bodies to ensure that secondary education is free for all children, including the removal of all forms of fees and contributions.
Tanzania is among countries that have signed and agreed to implement the Millennium Development Goals (SDGs) number four goal regarding the provision of universal and free primary and secondary quality education.