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Mwinyi pledges education overhaul

Mwinyi pledges education overhaul

ZANZIBAR's education sector is set for total overhaul under the government plan to enhance quality and speed up social and economic development, President Hussein Mwinyi announced here on Monday.

"We are introducing massive changes in our education system, from nursery to tertiary levels; we aim at high quality learning to our children," President Mwinyi said in an exclusive interview with Tanzania Standard Newspapers (TSN) medium outlets.

He said the transformations will involve construction of learning infrastructure as well as recruitment of more teachers, especially for mathematics and science subjects.

The government has already adequately budgeted for construction of classrooms, teachers' houses, laboratories and many toilets for pupils as well as purchase of sufficient text books.

"All these investments will transform our education," Dr Mwinyi said, adding: "But, we as well intend to review our teaching curriculum to see if it really fits in our current environment."

The changes will further incorporate vocational training institutions to ensure students graduate with adequate skills and proficiency to contribute to the country's economic development.

"We have an articulate education plan; it's a good sketch, which is adequately funded," President Mwinyi said, assuring that his administration is determined to improve social services—education, health, water and energy—to all islanders, thanks to the COVID-19 financing.

Zanzibar has already received 100 million US dollars (over 230bn/-) from the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) loan to Tanzania. Additionally, the government has taken another 100 million dollar loan, bringing the total to 200 million dollars (over 460bn/-).

Besides health, education, water and power sectors, the IMF fund will be directed to economic empowerment of wananchi.

Unveiling the 460bn/- stimulus package early last month, Dr Mwinyi said the 69bn/- allocation to education sector will be spent on construction of 706 new classrooms and completion of 425 classrooms currently under different stages of construction by wananchi.

The money will also be spent on construction of 35 new schools; 1,693 toilets; rehabilitation of old schools; construction of teachers' houses and purchase of 8,000 desks.

The health sector's 63bn/- allotment is for strengthening of infrastructure, including construction of a new five-storey Lumumba regional hospital with the capacity of admitting 200 patients in Unguja.

The money will also be used to supply Pemba-based Abdalla Mzee Hospital with medical equipment and medics and construct 10 district hospitals, with 100-bed capacity each.

The government will also purchase 12 ambulances for all two regional and 10 district hospitals in the country, the ultimate goal being to ensure that health services are readily available to wananchi. Through the money, the government will further procure five medicine delivery vans.

The 34.2bn/- allotment to the water sector will be directed into increased water production and storage through drilling of 28 new wells; procurement and installation of water pumps as well as construction of water tanks.

The government further aims at investing 11bn/- into the power sector to subsidise power connection charges to wananchi from over 600,000/- to 200,000/-.

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Author: MASATO MASATO in Zanzibar

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