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Plan to solve shortage of secondary-school teachers

The Tanzanian government will recruit almost 6,000 teachers within the next two months in a bid to address an acute shortage in its secondary schools, a minister said on Monday.

The minister for education and vocational training, Margareth Sitta, told parliament the country needs 9,500 teachers to staff its 1,699 public secondary schools but currently suffers a deficit of 5,793 teachers. Sitta said the increased demand for teachers was the result of the successful implementation of a five-year Secondary Education Development Programme (SEDP) that began in 2004, under which 1,050 new secondary schools were built countrywide.

"In 2003, there were only 649 government secondary schools," she said.

Recruiting so many teachers presents new challenges. In July, some 3,500 Form Six leavers who meet specific criteria will be hired as teachers and undergo a one-month crash course before being deployed, Sitta said. Moreover, 250 retired teachers would be recalled to the workforce. Plans are also underway to recruit 260 university graduates who did not study education but would like to pursue teaching careers.

The government has already allocated 8 billion shillings (about US$6.4 million) to meet the new staffing requirements.

Following the implementation of the education initiative in 2004, there was a 49.3 percent increase in secondary-school enrolment, which was above the year’s target of 40 percent.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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