Education, Science and Technology Deputy Minister William Ole Nasha disclosed this yesterday when closing a training seminar for science and mathematics teachers in Korogwe district, Tanga region.
He said the government was aware of acute teacher shortages and had plans to recruit more teachers while at the same time building the capacities of available teachers.
“The government wants to solve various challenges affecting the education sector so as to increase the pass rate of students,” he said.
Tanzania has been experiencing poor performance of students in mathematics and sciences subjects due to lack of teachers as well as laboratories.
However, various steps have been taken by the government to ensure laboratories are constructed at all public schools while training more science teachers.
Among other initiatives, the government initiated a plan under which all candidates pursuing science subjects were to benefit from full sponsorship by the government through the Higher Education Students Loans Board (HESLB).
The deputy minister said the government in collaboration with development partners will ensure that it trains science teachers employed in public schools to ensure there is improvement in the students’ pass rate.
He said under the programme teachers will undergo simple teaching techniques so as to properly impart knowledge to do away with the notion that science subjects are difficult to study.
For his part, training project coordinator Ignas Chonya said the project was being implemented in twelve councils which had poor pass marks in mathematics in standard seven and form four national examinations.
He said teachers involved in the programme will be followed up to identify the challenges they face in their localities in order to come up with new techniques that can improve the pass level.
Magunga Secondary School headmaster Ramadhani Kinanga, for his part, said shortage of mathematics teachers was one of the challenges many public schools in the country face.
“There are a number of schools where there is only one science teacher,” he said, adding that mathematics teachers needed to give students a number of exercises to test their level of understanding of the subject.
“If all goes well, through these seminars a number of challenges facing science teachers as well as students will be solved,” he said.
In April, last year, the government said it was going to employ at least 6,000 mathematics and science teachers in secondary schools by June 30, 2018.
Then Deputy Minister for Regional Administration and Local Government Joseph Kakunda gave the assurance in parliament while answering a question by Mchinga lawmaker Hamid Bobali.
The deputy minister said by December 2017, the government had already employed 200 teachers to teach mathematics and science subjects.
There has been a slow pace in recruiting new public employees in various sectors since the government sacked close to 10,000 civil servants for fake academic certificates.
Some of the workers were accused of falsifying examination certificates while others were said to have passed by using relatives' or close friends’ qualifications as their own.
A government investigation discovered at least 9,932 public servants to have been using fake secondary school certificates.