Studies conducted in the late 1990’s revealed a tremendously growing demand for increased enrollment in primary schools in Tanzania. They indicated that 45% of all school age children (5-14 years) in the country, were expected to have no access to minimum level of education in the subsequent decade, if the existing primary education facilities in the country would remain the same.
The government responded to this challenge by launching ‘Primary Education Development Programme’ (PEDP) in 2001. This programme which ended in July 2006 succeeded in increasing primary education facilities, by expanding the existing ones and constructing new schools. As expected, the proliferation of primary schools would result in increased number of primary school leavers in 7 years’ time. It was therefore expected that by the year 2008, there would have been a proportionally high demand for secondary education facilities in the country. In early 2005, the government launched the ‘Secondary Education Development Programme’ (SEDP). This programme aimed at enabling the public secondary schools to absorb at least 50% of all primary school leavers who qualify to join secondary schools. The remaining 50% was, and still is expected to be absorbed in private secondary schools which are owned and managed by the private sector.
Last week, (January 2011) the news carried a report of an investigation the government is undertaking after a survey found out that approximately 50% of the fund released for the construction of public secondary schools was lost to the corruption of unscrupulous education officials who pocketed the money. As can be imagined this has resulted in very poorly constructed and ill-equipped secondary schools. This year’s result of the National Examinations was also so bad that the Parliament has asked the President to create a Commission to make a study of the factors of the poor performance of Form 4 leavers at the exams.
The Religious of the Assumption is establishing the St. Marie Eugenie Secondary School to provide quality secondary education particularly to girls as a way of empowering women in their fight against poverty and improved standard of living and promotion of gender balanced development in general.