World Financial institution venture set to spice up Tanzanian increased training
The World Bank has provided $ 425 million to support the expansion of higher education in Tanzania. The country has seen a decline in enrollments in recent years, but the annual need for higher education is projected to surge to more than half a million students by 2030.
The award is part of the World Bank’s Higher Education for Economic Transformation Project.
According to Dr. Roberta Malee Bassett, Senior Education Specialist at the World Bank, around 80% of the funds will be used to increase enrollments and improve the quality of teaching at Tanzanian universities.
However, the ongoing expansion of the upper secondary level in Tanzania with a gross enrollment rate of currently 7% is likely to put pressure on the tertiary education system to accept more students.
Government projections predict the demand for higher education to rise to at least 482,000 places by 2030, and in that case, according to the World Bank, there is an urgent need for higher education in Tanzania to keep up with the growth.
The number of annual enrollments in Tanzania’s universities rose from around 112,000 in 2016-17 to over 210,000 in 2017-18 thanks to improvements in infrastructure and college credit initiatives, but then declined again when the government did some programs in private universities for quality reasons.
Tanzania’s gross tertiary school enrollment rate of 3.1% is one of the lowest in East Africa and, according to UNESCO, is behind Kenya 11.5%, Ethiopia 8.1%, Rwanda 6.2% and Uganda 4.8%.
Bassett says the overall quality of post-secondary education in Tanzania is also low and does not adequately prepare college graduates for current and future formal jobs or self-employment.
The reasons for this include a lack of qualified lecturers. Currently, only 52% of academic staff have a master’s degree and around 33% have a doctorate. The rest of them have lower qualifications.
Outdated teaching methods
The World Bank states that “many lecturers are not trained in dealing with the latest technical developments and global knowledge in their fields and use outdated, mostly lecture-based teaching methods, [thereby] to limit the development of adequate competencies among the students ”.
Although the Tanzanian economy needs more skilled workers, many university graduates struggle to find jobs.
The reasons for this include a mismatch between the skills imparted and those in demand on the labor market. The World Bank says that curricula and teaching and learning facilities in Tanzania are often out of date.
As part of the project, several public universities have been selected as high quality learning centers that will focus on priority areas.
These universities include Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, University of Dodoma, Moshi Cooperative University, Dar es Salaam University College of Education, Mkwawa University College of Education, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Mbeya University of Science and Technology, the University of Dar es Salaam and the Open University of Tanzania.
Bassett says 14 priority areas were selected based on the key disciplines needed to build the country’s industrial economy and advance its development agenda.
These areas include engineering and technology, information communication and technology, materials science, health sciences, urban and environmental engineering and technology, and renewable energies. Others are water resources, climate change, agriculture, conservation, tourism and hospitality, links to the academic industry, humanities and education.
The challenge is to build a higher education system capable of providing skills and job creation to the growing number of young people who enter the labor market each year. Although Tanzania has increased access to education over the past 10 years, only 9% of the workforce have a secondary school degree and only 1.3% have a college degree.
Looking for jobs
Around one million young people have been entering the Tanzanian labor market every year since 2015. “By 2030 it should be 1.6 million a year,” says the World Bank’s project report.
The project will also support universities in promoting an inclusive and equal environment for students with disabilities. Specifically, this includes the special educational refurbishment and refurbishment of classrooms and lecture halls as well as the construction of dormitories, subject examination rooms and resource centers for students with disabilities.
The project also explicitly focuses on reducing the gender gap while improving access to higher education for women and men. Bassett says special attention will be paid to disabled women, women living with albinism, and women from vulnerable groups who may face greater barriers to higher education due to negative socio-cultural factors.