AfricaPress-Tanzania: AFTER Tanzania got its independence in 1961, it declared a war on ignorance as one of the three enemies of social development.
The other enemies, which the government under the Founding Father of the Nation, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, declared as people’s enemies were poverty and disease (some people add corruption as the fourth enemy).
Mwalimu Nyerere said ignorance, poverty and disease were real enemies of the people and that anybody who refused to take part in this war or hindered the efforts of his or her neighbours was guilty of helping a far more deadly foe than was he or she who helped an armed invader.
For him, educated individuals had also the responsibility of serving people as they were part of society. Education for him must set people free to encourage them to realise their full potential.
The fifth phase government under President John Magufuli brought new impetus for the Founding Father of the Nation’s philosophy on education by introducing free basic education in 2015 (Form 1-4), where students and pupils would attend classes regardless of one’s economic status in society.
The programme has seen different education stakeholders contributing to the development of schools and providing education grants to supplement government’s efforts to address challenges facing the education the sector.
The implementation of this policy led to an increase in school enrolment in primary and secondary schools that also pushed the monthly budget for the programme to 23bn/-.
As one of the remarkable achievements of the government under President Magufuli, the timely release of higher learning students’ loans and increased number of beneficiaries brought about serenity and minimised waves of class boycotts.
Another important initiative taken by the government during the period was to restore the glory and prestige of old and famous schools by renovating them to meet the desired status they used to command and recognition.
These are few initiatives implemented by the government not only to honour Mwalimu Nyerere’s philosophy on education, but also continue waging war on ignorance that has been a stumbling-block to attaining social development.
Since more children from poor families get an opportunity to access education from primary level to higher learning institutions, this puts Tanzania on track in developing an enlightened nation.
When more people acquire knowledge and skills, the war on other enemies of social development-poverty and disease-can be easily won.
This is very true as Tanzania envisions becoming a middle-income and industrial economy by 2025–hardly five years to go. So, let’s keep it up!