What happened to the plans on daycare centres in Dar?

Masembe Tambwe

Hope you are all having a restful day and looking forward to a productive week ahead of you.

I know there are many of us who are anxiously awaiting the passing of the month of January and all the bad memories that go with it like school fees, loan payments, effects of obtaining an early salary in December, house rent and so forth go away with it. If I had a way, I would have loved to collect everyone’s experiences of how January has treated them thus far and compile them, I am sure I will come out with something interesting to read.

Owing to some reasons that I can divulge, my heartthrob of a daughter, Rahma this year has had to move to a new school and the area has also changed, Sinza to Mbezi Beach. For two weeks we roamed the streets of Mbezi looking for a new school, a day care center to be precise.

To be honest I was rather caught off guard that the whole exercise took a fortnight, I had expected it to be ‘an in and out’ kind of thing. What surprised more though was the gaping difference of the school fees from that in Sinza and those in Mbezi.

In the former school that basically had classrooms, eating area, bathroom and a tiny play area cost me 250,000/- for half day and in Mbezi we saw one not very different from the Sinza charge 850,000/- that is with 100,000/- registration fee and 50,000/- for maintenance of the buildings and center in general.

Back in school one of my favourite subjects was economics and the subject taught us that for a business to grow, one needs to plough back ones’ profits into the business. It is from these profits that the maintenance of the project is derived from and not the backs of clients.

If I am not mistaken, President Magufuli is very much against schools adding such charges on clients. If memory serves me well, there was a time there was a call for greater regulation of these mushrooming daycare centres in Dar Es Salaam that are littered around. People literally have the liberty to wake up one morning, decide they want to start center and go along with little equipment.

From what I hear, it is pretty easy to start a daycare center, just need a few colourful posters with the alphabet and names of fruits, a small playground consisting of a slid and swing, a sizeable room with baby chairs, lavatory services and a cook who can whip up some porridge with the right ingredients to put the kids to sleep.

Personally I am very much for better regulation because it will greatly help the people, at the moment it is chaos. With stricter supervision, substandard centres will be flushed out, there will be a set of standards and also from a parents’ side, it will easier to understand why one charges 100,000/- as registration fee while another charges 50,000/-. After two weeks of galavanting, I picked my daughter’s school based on intuition.

When I entered the premises of the school, it had an aura of learning, the classrooms were spotlessly clean, the playground was spacious enough. In comparison to Sinza, I had to dig my pockets so deeply that the thought of seeing the CVs of all teaching staff actually crossed my mind, but I shelved it for another day. Cheerio

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