Addressing a regional meeting for women with wide ranging national representation in Dodoma, the president said the boarding schools will have good science laboratories and appropriate equipment, noting that the aim is to bridge the wide gap between male and female science learners in the country.
Currently, the proportion between girls and boys from primary level up to higher learning institutions level is almost the same, with primary schools having over 11.2m pupils, among them five million girls.
That proportion is less than 50 percent while in the case of secondary schools, 73,370 are female students out of 160,461 students, also below 50 per cent but not far from it, while in vocational training, there were 75,194 female students out of 157,420 making it 47 percent.
In higher learning institutions, 88,579 students were female out of 200,167 which adds up to 43 percent, with the president affirming that the gender gap exists in higher education. But there are no real problems of access to primary education or secondary school level while the gap accelerates markedly in higher learning institutions, the president underlined.
She explained how she made a point of going through files of the presidency and recovered the Education Fund, noting that it has contributed a lot to increase the number of female students.
The president told the massive gathering both inside and outside the Jakaya Kikwete Convention Centre in the capital, that in the outgoing financial year the government set aside 464bn/- while in the next fiscal plan this allocation will be raised to 500bn/-
The fund is meant to enable students to be enrolled in higher learning institutions, she said, pointing out that it has enabled all eligible qualified students to join universities.
President Samia told the gathering that tomorrow she expects to lay the foundation stone for the construction of the fifth lot of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) from Mwanza to Isaka in Shinyanga region, reiterating that the government will implement strategic developmental projects including the construction of Msalato International Airport in the capital.
She extolled the wider participation of women in higher education as a policy priority in the government, an essential aspect of gender equality and equity which is a focus area in government policy, aimed at encouraging increased registration of female students in higher education.
On the whole gender parity has been achieved in primary and secondary school, while girls’ performance in primary school leaving examination results remains lower, the president intoned.