Deputy minister in the President's Office (Regional Administration and Local Governments) Mwita Waitara insisted that the issue of dormitories in public secondary schools was crucial.
He said considering that now the government is preparing the budget for 2019/20, the issue of constructing more hostels need to be looked at.
"Councils across the country must allocate funds from their budgets to build the dormitories”, said Waitara when responding to a query raised by Rombo Member of parliament, Joseph Selasini (Chadema).
The law maker argued that students trekking to and from schools, particularly in rural areas, was one of major factors leading to girl pregnancies in schools. He demanded why the government was not insisting on the councils to set aside budgets for the construction of dormitories.
Earlier, in her basic question, Special Seats legislator, Leah Komanya (CCM) wanted to know how the Education Quality Improvement Programme (EQUIP) in Tanzania had helped addressing early pregnancies and marriages so that girls could continues their studies and realise their dreams.
Waitara explained that through the EQUIP programme clubs were introduced in 4,476 primary schools aimed at building confidence among the pupils, particularly girls.
The programme also aimed at educating girls on effects early marriages, he said.
In this financial year, the government plans to spend 2.3bn/- for creating awareness education among parents and students.
According to the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) , adolescent pregnancy led to almost 3,700 girls dropping out of primary and secondary education in 2016. More than one third of all girls are married by the age of 18, but girls from poor families are twice as likely to be married early than girls from wealthier homes.
An estimated 2 million children between the ages of 7 and 13 years are out-of-school. Almost 70 per cent of children aged 14–17 years are not enrolled in secondary education while a mere 3.2 per cent are enrolled for the final two years of schooling.