18th March 11 Religious institutions to be asked to build high schools Felister Peter Religious institutions will be encouraged to concentrate on building A level secondary schools to accommodate the increased number of students failing to get opportunity in government schools. This was said by President Jakaya Kikwete in Dar es Salaam yesterday during an official tour of the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training to review implementation of the directives he gave in January 2006, after he was elected in 2005. He said following the government move to construct secondary schools in every ward, the number of students qualifying for A level secondary school has also increased. The President said though most of the private and religious secondary schools charged higher school fees, they would help to reduce the problem. We have so many students completing secondary schools; we need to prepare schools for them. We would like to request religious institutions to help us in constructing A level secondary schools to meet the demand, said Kikwete. He said this year there are almost 500,000 students expecting to sit for the National Form Four Examinations, and so there should be enough schools to accommodate them for A level studies. Meanwhile, the president has called upon academicians to embark on text book writing to enhance provision of quality primary and secondary school education in the country. He said students need quality books to pass their examinations while teachers also require quality books to improve their teaching and ensure standard examination preparations. Kikwete said the government is ready to support book writers to publish their work using the government printing press. He urged the ministry responsible to put aside a budget for book publishing every year. For his part, the Minister for Education and Vocational Training, Dr Shukuru Kawambwa said the education sector faces a lot of challenges including increased growing adult illiteracy which is now at around 29 per cent. Dr Kawambwa said they have started a new programme dubbed YES I CAN which will ensure all adults who cannot read or write are enrolled in primary schools. He also pointed to old infrastructure, shortages of teachers, books and school inspectors. He said there is a need of more than 400 school inspectors. Meanwhile, 36,366 students (equivalent to 8.03 per cent) who sat for form four exams last year, have been selected to join high-level, with other 916 (2.12 per cent) enrolled in various colleges in the country. The number of students selected to join high level and colleges has increased this year compared to last year, according to the Minister for Education and Vocational Training, Dr Shukuru Kawambwa. Last year, students who joined A level, were 33, 662, of whom, 21,024 were boys and 12,638 girls while those selected to join various colleges were 897, of whom 881 boys and 16 girls. Out of the total number of students who joined high level this year, the minister said, 25,156 were boys and 11,210 girls, while those enrolled in colleges were 861 boys and 55 girls. According to the minister, the students joined colleges located in Mbeya, Dar es Salaam, and Arusha. The students who passed in this year exams are those who got first to third divisions, he said, noting that those who got below that were not selected. THE GUARDIAN Religious institutions to be asked to build high schools MY TAKE Kwa wale waliokuwa wanapinga MOU kati ya serikali na kanisa wanaweza kuona ni serikali ndiyo hutafuta msaada kwa taasisi za kidini wanapozidiwa kama mhusika anavyojinadi hapa na shule za 'A' level!