Education stakeholders have expressed mixed feelings over the decision by the National Examinations Council of Tanzania (Necta) to change Standard Seven national examinations format.
On Wednesday, Necta announced that starting this year, Standard Seven pupils will write seven examinations with each containing of 45 questions as opposed to the current format, where an examination contains 40 questions.
The changes were announced on Tuesday by Necta’s executive secretary Charles Msonde in Dodoma during a meeting with regional and district education officers.
Under the new format, an examination will contain 40 multiple questions, while the remaining will be short answer questions.
Commenting on the new move, University of Dar es Salaam lecturer George Kahangwa hailed the decision, saying it was a way forward to improving the quality of education in the country.
He, however, challenged the Examinations authority to make public the research findings that led to the changes.
“It has been a longstanding concern among stakeholders, and it’s good that the authority has started addressing it,” said Dr Kahangwa.
For his part, the chief executive officer of the Consortium for Independent Education Providers in sub-Saharan Africa (Ciepssa), Mr Benjamin Nkonya, said they were not involved in reaching the decision to change the examinations format.
“We’ve just heard about the changes through the media. As key stakeholders, we were not involved in any way in reaching the decision. In my opinion, it isn’t right to have many multiple choice questions,” he said.
The new changes come when Standard Seven pupils only have five months to go before they sit for Primary education leaving examinations.
The Examination authority went further to instruct the head teachers to start using the new format in school tests and internal examinations to prepare pupils for the exams to be held later in this year.
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