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UPDATES : Form One first selection dwindles as classrooms shortage continues
OVER 130,000 candidates from 17 regions who passed this year’s Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) will have to wait a little longer before beginning secondary education studies in public schools next year due to a shortage of classrooms.
This is 10 times more than the 11,173 candidates who were reportedly hit by the same problem when the 2018 calendar year began.
This time around, Arusha leads among regions with 18,719 candidates who missed out on the first selection for next year, followed by Mara (16, 365) and Kagera (14,046).
Other regions are Simiyu (12, 684), Kigoma (12,178), Tabora (11,209), Mbeya (6,395), Shinyanga (6,271), Dodoma (5,991), Tanga (5, 400), Manyara (5,392), Rukwa (4,930), Coast (4,731), Njombe (3,172), Iringa (2,774), Lindi (1,294), and Katavi (1, 249).
Addressing reporters in Dar es Salaam yesterday, the Minister of State in the President’s Office (Regional Administration and Local Government), Selemani Jafo, said all these candidates will have to wait for the second Form One selection next year.
According to Jafo, a total of 733,103 candidates passed this year’s primary school leaving exams, of whom 599,103 (81.76 per cent) have won first selection enrolment to secondary education in public schools in January 2019.
“The 18.24 per cent who missed out (133,747 candidates) will be considered for the second selection. Most of the public schools in upcountry regions are experiencing a shortage of classrooms, although some schools have managed to enroll all the qualified candidates allocated to them,” the minister said.
He named regions that have managed to enroll their full allocations at a go as Dar es Salaam, Geita, Kilimanjaro, Mtwara, Morogoro, Mwanza, Ruvuma, Singida, and Songwe.
According to Jafo, classroom construction projects are currently in progress in most of the needy public schools, with regional and district authorities directed to fast-track their completion so that all remaining qualified candidates are enrolled before the end of February next year.
He called on parents whose children have missed out on the first selection despite passing their exams to be patient, adding:
“My emphasis to parents, guardians, teachers and authorities is to ensure that all these children remain motivated to stay in school and study hard.”
Meanwhile, Jafo has questioned the slow pace of construction of an ultra-modern upcountry bus terminal in Dar es Salaam’s Mbezi Luis suburb at a cost of more than 50 billion/-.
The terminal is aimed at easing the current congestion at the Ubungo Bus Terminal, with some upcountry buses set to be relocated to the new facility once it is complete.
Jafo called on authorities supervising the project to furnish him with satisfactory explanation on why the project is being delayed.