Alex Bitekeye 1 June 2011 The government intends to reduce the number of years a student is required to undergo primary education in a bid to raise the quality of education. In the changes, the government also plans to introduce compulsory one-year preparatory studies for every child before joining Standard One. The new system, according to the deputy minister for Education and Vocational training, Mr Phillipo Mulugo, will comprise a one-year preparatory stage, six years for primary education, four years for ordinary level secondary education and two years for advanced level secondary education, making a combination of 1:6:4:2 for preliminary studies.The current system comprises seven years of primary school education. Mr Mulugo revealed this yesterday when officiating at a symposium on education held at the University of Dar es Salaam.He said the move to introduce a preparatory year is underway, and some parts of the country had already started to implement it. "We want to increase our education quality; children should start classes in their early years," said the deputy minister adding:"The government is seriously putting efforts in improving the quality of education in the country after successfully increasing enrolment at all levels." For his part, a lecturer at the school of education at the university, Prof Justinian Galabawa, urged the government to start selecting students with higher marks to join the education profession, instead of the current situation where the least passed were the ones joining the profession. "We should copy from Korea and Cuba where a person should have attained higher marks in order for him or her to join the education profession," said Prof Galabawa. He also urged the students specialising in education to study management courses (which are currently mainly optional) in order to be competent in managing school resources. "They are not teachers only, rather they are also managers, as they are expected to manage school resources," he explained. The education symposium was prepared by the School of Education in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of UDSM.