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Finn’s Facts:Let those top hierarchy public officials repay for their education

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by BAK, Sep 22, 2008.

  1. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

    Sep 22, 2008
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    Finn’s Facts:Let those top hierarchy public officials repay for their education


    UGANDAN President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni who is a darling of the West, defied all odds over two years ago when he chose to ignore the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank advice that government funding for education should cover everyone at the primary school level.

    President Museveni, while seeking re-election, ignored such donor policy directive and went on to promise to offer universal secondary education. All eligible primary school leavers were to get state sponsorship to pursue secondary education. It has worked not quite perfect since then and some African countries have followed suit.

    In Tanzania, we have not been spared from some sort of Western and especially American thinking within the Bretton Woods gods, IMF and World Bank, that higher education should not be financed by the state; but private sponsors including parents.

    Bit by bit, our policy-makers who went to school free of charge using peasants and workers’ tax money under the government of the late Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere, started introducing what they called cost sharing.

    Direct government sponsorship of students pursuing diploma and degree courses at different colleges and universities was ditched and instead our selfish and corrupt policy-makers came up with loans.

    They established a useless and very controversial Higher Education Students Loans Board and started pushing for total government withdrawal from funding college and university education.

    Last year, the then Minister for Higher Education, Science and Technology, Professor Peter Msola, announced in Parliament that effective this year, students pursuing higher education have to pay 40 per cent of their tuition fee.

    Prof. Msola who was sent to school free of charge by Tanzanian peasants and workers, warned that students who don’t comply, won’t be allowed to continue with their studies. This year, Msola�s successor, another learned professor, Jumanne Maghembe made good of his predecessor’s policy announcement.

    This poor decision by our policy-makers who have been frustrating efforts to integrate East African economies which will involve free movement of goods, services and labour, is strongly supported by singling out Kenya’s superior manufacturing sector but also education system.

    While thus we are busy frustrating EA’s integration arguing that time is not ripe for the move, the very same policy makers are accepting such poor Western policy directives that higher education should be financed by individuals and scholarships offered by private companies. Someone in what ever capacity gives us such kind of a silly suggestion and we humbly accept it while ignoring ongoing global economies integration and competition.

    Certainly Jakaya Kikwete’s government has a responsibility to ignore such kind of policy advice just as Museveni did over two years ago and do what is right for this country. This country needs university graduates to move forward and develop a modern economy.

    A country cannot develop a modern and strong economy by pursuing universal primary and secondary education which does not end at colleges and universities and to demand that Tanzanian peasants and farmers should pay for higher education is the thinking of an unserious leadership.

    If we can afford to buy Toyota Land Cruiser luxury Japanese cars for heads of departments at ministries, district executive directors, a Gulf Stream state- of-the-art presidential plane and yet some individuals like Andrew Chenge can afford to stash away over 1bn/- at an offshore account abroad, then why not pay poor peasants and workers’ children fees!

    Trying to breakdown Tanzanian students pursuing college or university education alongside gender, need or specific disciplines singled out as priority areas by the state is a dangerous path to take that will in future backfire and cause classification of our society along education and financial muscle lines.

    Sometimes, we need to tell Bretton Woods masters, ’No way,’ and this is the place to start from, otherwise Tanzanian youths are being prepared to be tea-boys and messengers in offices to be dominated by Kenyans, Ugandans, South Africans and Europeans.