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The Education System in Tanzania

The structure of formal education in Tanzania consists of the pre-primary education for two years, the 7-year primary education, the 2-level secondary education for six years, and the tertiary or higher education. While the primary education is free and compulsory for children until they reach 15 years of age, the secondary education, which is divided into the 4-year junior secondary and 2-year senior secondary, requires payment of tuition fees of US$15 per student per year, excluding the payment of other fees and contributions such as testing fee, watchman contribution, academic contribution, furniture contribution, identity fee, emblem fee and lunch fees. Payment of these fees and contributions oftentimes becomes a burden to many Tanzanian families who also have to contend with the other problems of most students of secondary education, such as lack of proper study environment at home, poor health and nutrition, and other economic-related problems.

The tertiary or higher education is offered in the country’s universities and colleges consisting of eight public universities, 13 private universities, 22 private colleges, 18 of which are government-accredited institutions that also offer bachelor-degree courses of study. The quality of higher education is under the responsibility of the Higher Education Accreditation Council, while the Ministries of Education and Culture and Higher Education manage and coordinate the entire education system in the country. The Ministry of Regional Administration and Local Government also participates in the management of basic education throughout the country.