Historical Background Of Education In Tanzania

Historical Background Of Education In Tanzania

Interesting details on the Historical Background Of Education In Tanzania. Before the arrival of the Europeans to Africa, we have always lived by our own culture and ways of life though we didn’t know what a formal education looks like, that doesn’t mean we didn’t have our own way of getting things done. For example, if the white man used pot and stove to make meals, Africans created fire from stone and resort to roasting and other means of getting their meals cooked. Now before the arrival of the colonial masters, Africa had her own way of life from local skills, to the culture which is a way of life to moral values, social protection and much more and these traits were passed from generations to generations until the arrival of the masters. Now after the arrival of colonial masters, all that changed Historical Background Of Education In Tanzania. Focusing on Tanzania { history and development of education in Tanzania }


Shedding some light on how it all began. Many foreigners came with there own ways of life ranging from the Arabs being the first to the Portuguese, Germans and then the British rulers. Well, let’s begin by telling you from the arrivals of the Europeans to the introduction of the first educational system in a country today called Tanzania which was formally Tanganyika.

Historical Background Of Education In Tanzania
Historical Background Of Education In Tanzania

Many years ago in Tanganyika {Tanzania}, the Germans came and took control of the country and in the year 1893, the first government schools were commissioned by the Germans to educate the people and bridge communication gap and other vices, but then the education system was informal and taught by elders in the community which entails good citizenship and life skills. But then in the year 1914, tragedy broke out – War started between the Germans and British troops. Unfortunately, the German troops were defeated and Great Britain took over control and this had an effect on the educational system because a new government comes with a new plan in every aspect including the educational policy.

The war missionary and the government education system resumed and the first director of the education was appointed in 1920 and throughout the next 40 years, local powers were mandated to oversee the provision of the education.

Then in the year 1964 Tanganyika and Zanzibar became the united republic of Tanzania after gaining its independence from the British rulers and the new official language became Kiswahili. But at this time, private primary schools were not permitted only the government schools not until the 70s and a universal educational programme was introduced. At the time, there were no school fees thus increasing the numbers of enrolment, then in the 80s again, fees for primary and secondary schools were reintroduced and in effect, it affected the number of people getting education as many dropped because then, they didn’t see the need for an education coupled with poverty and non enlightenment.

Still on Historical Background Of Education In Tanzania …

Over the years from the mid-90s, numerous development plans and programs came into existence to help provide formal education for Tanzania children all thanks to a caring government.

Here are some highlight of these programs and they are listed below

  • Education sector development program
  • Primary education development plan
  • Secondary education development plan
  • Government expansion of secondary schools under SEDP

But currently, as we speak, the educational system dating from the onset has improved so tremendously over the years even though it still has a long way to go but a move is better than no step taken. Compared to many other African nations they are still on the low range in the aspect of Education. It sad to see that Africa is really lagging behind in so many key areas, not only in education.

Looking at education today in Tanzania and judging from the effort of it government so far, I would say that most education ends for many children after there primary education and only three out of five Tanzanian adolescent .even 52 percent of the eligible populations are enrolled in lower secondary education and fewer complete secondary education which isn’t encouraging for a growing nation having such ratio. Then to top it all, in most cases, formal vocational training is unavailable to many of the children who want it or have the passion for it.

The Tanzanian educational system is based on the system of 7-4-2-3 which mean 7 years of primary education followed by 4 years of secondary education, then 2 years more of advanced level (A level) exams in 9 subject which also includes general studies too.

But we wouldn’t deny the fact that the Tanzanian government’s commitment to education for all as an integral part of its socio-economic development started shortly after they had gotten their independence. But before independence, education access was restricted unlike now. They have had support from the world bank, international monetary fund, and a few other nation donors but in the early 1980s crisis like oil crisis, low coffee prices,drought,war with Uganda had created a major stumbling block and there relationship with this organizations .this then saw a huge reduction in resources that lead to a reversal of progress made in the quality of education at all levels ..even during the subsequent progress of the economic reform, efforts of the late 80s and 90s were stagnating including progress towards UPE..

The government’s national strategy for growth and reduction of poverty (2005) included a focus on education as a part of it social well being and quality of life. So in conclusion and from the above, it is clear that the government of Tanzania means well for it people and takes education as a priority but they are faced with many challenges.

A nation that embraces education to it fullest becomes a fully independent nation and can stay strong and become less dependent on some foreign countries so the government should see the need to make education a priority to all.


Tags: Historical Background Of Education In Tanzania / history and development of education in Tanzania

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