Permanent Secretary in the ministry of Education, Science and Technology Dr Leonard Akwilapo made the call yesterday in Dar es Salaam when officiating the15th Exhibitions on Higher Education held at Mnazi Mmoja Grounds, Dar es Salaam.
He said that it is high time now for the universities to establish programmes that complement the country’s development priorities, market demand and development of science and technology.
Dr Akwilapo said for the country to attain its development goals of becoming an industrial economy, there is a need for concerted efforts to prepare human resources that possess competencies required by the market.
“As you are aware that Tanzania was recently announced to enter middle income economy, it is our responsibility to ensure that hat we continue to embark on various strategies to strengthen economies Universities have to ensure that they come up with new programmes which will see more experts being produced to serve in the essential sectors of gas, minerals and health,” he said.
He added: “Our aim is to have an educated human resource power which will be able to deliver well in various development projects. We also need to witness in the coming years, Tanzania having more quality hospitals to serve others across the globe instead of depending on other foreign hospitals, this will be realised if so if we produce as more competent local experts.”
He also said that in the past five years, the government has spent 1.03trillion to fund free basic education.
“The move has seen an increase of enrolment of pupils from 8.3 million in 2015 to 10.9 pupils in 2019. But also increase of enrolment in form one students from 1.6 million to 2.2 million students in 2019,” he said.
He added that enrolment in form five and six has increased from 126,000 in 2015 to 153,000 in 2019.
“We have also increased the number of primary schools from 16,899 to 17,804 this year. Secondary schools have increased from 4,078 to 5,402 this year; we have also increased classrooms and other infrastructures. At least 82 old schools have been refurbished and improved,” Dr AKwilapo explained.
He further said that university enrolment has also increased from 65,063 in 2015 to 87,813 this year. This has been fuelled by the government’s move to increase loans from 341bn/- in 2015 to 450bn/- for 2019/20.
For his part, TCU executive director Prof Charles Kihampa said that the six-day exhibition has brought together various higher learning institutions to showcase their services.
He also said that TCU has also succeeded to eliminate academic malpractices in various university institutions.
“The commission has also strengthened its electronic systems which have resulted to the increase of work efficiency,” he said.
Kihampa further reminded the institutions to ensure that they imbibe knowledge and skills to the candidates so as to prepare them to face current global challenges.