Tanzania: Govt warns varsities over defiance

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TANZANIA_THE government has yet again raised a red flag against some higher learning institutions that are contemplating to use shortcuts to have students admitted in courses that were banned by the Tanzania Commission for Universities (TCU) on Tuesday.

Instead, the government insists that respective universities that lack criteria for admitting students in various courses should start working on the spotted irregularities and seek fresh assessment from responsible authorities.

On Tuesday this week, TCU banned 19 colleges and universities from admitting students to any degree courses during the 2017/18 academic year after reports uncovered some shortcomings on their part.

The Commission also stopped the admission of students to 75 bachelor’s degree programmes in 2017/18 from 22 varsities and colleges, including the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) and University of Dodoma (UDOM).

Speaking during an official launching of the 12th Exhibitions on Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation that kicked off at Mnazi Mmoja grounds in Dar es Salaam yesterday, Deputy Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Education, Science Technology and Vocational Training, Professor Simon Msanjila, said after TCU released the names of higher learning institutions that lack requisite criteria for admission of students, some of them have already launched lobbying strategies for the ban to be lifted.

“The government will no longer tolerate provision of inept education to students and that is why we advise those universities to seek concrete answers over the identified weaknesses and forward to responsible government authorities which will notify TCU that has the mandate to grant admission permits to universities.

He revealed that he had started receiving telephone calls from different people since TCU slapped universities with the ban this week.

Prof Msanjila further warned the universities that were banned from admitting students to immediately stop advertising the admission posts, failure to which they will face the music.

The Deputy PS further directed all higher learning institutions to lower application fees for admission in public universities to a flat rate of 10,000/- so as to enable all students to apply for admission irrespective of their income differences.

According to the PS, his ministry had already issued directives to all public universities to charge 10,000/- for students seeking admissions as many of them will now be forced to apply to different universities, since the government banned TCU from admitting students directly to higher learning institutions.

Open University of Tanzania (OUT) Deputy Vice Chancellor-Academic, Professor Deus Ngaruko said although the application fee for admission was being determined by the university senate, if the government issues a directive, the institution ought to implement immediately without delay.

OUT is among the local and international universities participating in the 12th Exhibitions on Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation.

Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa who officiated the opening ceremony of the exhibitions which end this Saturday, supported the move by TCU, insisting that the government was not ready to produce students who are thoroughly uncompetitive in the job market.

He challenged universities to review their curriculum so as to produce students who can employ themselves instead of becoming job seekers. The Prime Minister said that although the government was putting every measure in place for provision of jobs, unemployment was still a challenge in the country.

“In Tanzania, every year, people who are entering the job market stand at between 650,000 and 750,000, and that is why I am insisting that our universities need to provide education that goes with the current job market,’’ he said.

The Aga Khan University (AKU) Director, Professor Joe Lugalla whose university is among those participating at the exhibitions echoed the sentiment by Mr Majaliwa saying that the education provided should help in boosting the country’s development.

“That is why (AKU)has been capitalising on medical education as well as providing masters courses in education because without health and education, the country cannot attain its development,’’ he said.

©Daily News