This paper provides an analysis of the policy transformations/changes in the financing of education in Tanzania. The paper surveys the transformations being put in place in primary education, secondary education and higher education/university in various periods to date. The paper summarizes these policy transformations in a way to provide a clear understanding of the situation to the reader. The paper gives the achievements and challenges of the current policy changes in the financing of education so as to help the provision of the third eye to the reader to help him/her to make proper judgments and help to push the wheel forward. The paper provides a summary of financing of primary and secondary education before Primary Education Development Plan (PEDP) and Secondary Education Development Plan (SEDP) and after PEDP and SEDP respectively. Moreover, the achievements and challenges encounter the PEDP and SEDP policies are also surveyed. In the higher/university education, the paper reviews the issue of policy transformations in financing of education since colonial era to date. It gives the achievements and challenges facing the cost-sharing and privatization policies in the higher education policies in Tanzania before arriving to the conclusion.
For most countries, developed and less developed, the sources of education revenue invariably involve a combination of public and private financing sources. There are various sources of education revenue including fiscal sources; user charges including various forms of cost recovery and cost sharing sources; student loans which constituted as a revolving fund which generates income out of which loans are offered to students; and various forms of community contributions (Galabawa, 2007).
Before independence, the colonial government, in collaboration with NGOs provided some social services including education. After independence the government committed to provide free education at all levels as a social service. However, it increasingly became apparent that the government did not have enough resources to continue financing free education, there fore the reintroduction of school fees and direct costs in primary schools, secondary schools and higher education, and subsequently liberalization of the establishment and management of schools (URT, 1995).
In spite of the above measures, the education sector is still underfinanced and it relies heavily on government financing and donor support. The share of national budget allocated to education was the average of 12% between mid 1980’s to 1995 (ibid). However, the situation is improving currently, for example in the year 2007/2008 the allocated budget for education was 18% (Budget speech, 2007/08).
Among the donor countries which help the financing of education in Tanzania are the British, France, Ireland, Japan, Norway, Finland, Canada, Holland, Germany, China, Turkey, Algeria, India, Poland, Egypt, Pakistan, Belgium and European Union (EU). Among the organizations which play great role in Tanzanian education includes the World Bank (WB), WFP, UNICEF, UNESCO, UNDP, African Development Bank (ADB), NORAD, Sida (Sweden), CIDA (Canada), JICA, USAID, JOVC, DANIDA, Barclays Bank, NMB, CRDB, NBC, Book Aid International, Aga Khan Education Foundation, Plan International, UNAIDS, World Vision, Irish Aid, Care International, Oxfam (Budget speech, 2009/010).
Nevertheless, the Tanzania Education and Training policy (TEP) 1995 states clearly the following issues regarding the financing of education:
- Financing education and training shall be shared between government, communities, parents and end-users
- Government shall provide incentives to individuals, communities and NGOs to establish and develop pre-primary, primary, secondary, vocational, teacher education, and tertiary and higher education institutions.
- The provision of education and training shall be included as an area of investment in the investment Promotion Act.
- Government shall give incentives to local design, production, procurement and distribution of education equipment and materials.
- School and tuition fees, in both government and non-government education and training institutions, shall be based on the actual unit cost of providing education and training at each level.
- School and tuition fees for non-government education and training institutions shall be proposed by the respective owners and managers of these institutions and approved by the government.
- School and tuition fees shall be collected and retained for use by the relevant education and training institutions themselves (URT, 1995).
On the other hand, the new edition of 2009 (first draft), states the following new statements:
- The government shall continue to consider education as one of the fore front government’s priorities.
- The government shall review the Higher Education Students’ Loans Board’s (HESLB) authority to make it with full authority to disburse and collect loans from students of different levels of education.
- The government shall introduce special education tax in industries, natural resources, minerals and oil which are produced in the country and inject them in national educational fund.
- The district councils, town councils, municipal councils and city councils shall introduce special tax to finance education in their areas (URT, 2009).
Financing the primary education:
Before 2001 the funding of education depended on both sides, parents and government through cost sharing although the contribution of parents was very minimal. For example, in the 1980’s parents contributed only 20/= (Tshs) as school fees (which by then was known as UPE contribution). Until the year 2000, parents were contributing only 2000/= plus other costs like school uniforms and stationery facilities. The rest of the costs were carried by the government.
In the year 2002 after the introduction of Primary Education Development Plan (PEDP) first phase (2002-2006), the government abolished the school fees in the primary education. Therefore, from that day, the parents with children in the public primary schools are not supposed to pay any school fees. The government introduced the capitation grant in which 10$ (ten US. Dollar) per enrolled child was to be instituted national wide (Rajani, 2007). The government also disbursed the development grants for classroom constructions, latrines constructions, repairing and desks buying. The government was able to initiate the programme with the aid from donor countries (URT, 2001). However, since 1990s (after liberalization of education) Tanzania has many private owned primary schools, in which the parents are supposed to bear all the costs of the education for their children. The government does not put in its hands to support the provision of education in these schools. This results into high school fees in these schools, and as a result these schools seem to be special for certain class in the community.
Achievements of the policy interventions
Abolition of school fees in primary schools as the policy intervention resulted in various achievements in the primary education. The following are among the achievements of that policy intervention:
The rate of enrolment in primary schools has been increasing since the introduction of PEDP. For example, the enrolment rate increased from 5,981,338 pupils in 2002 to 8,441,553 pupils in 2009, which makes an increase of 41% (URT, 2006 & URT, 2009).
Apart from that, the number of teaching staff in primary education has also increased since the introduction of PEDP. It has increased from 112,860 teachers in 2002 to 157,185 teachers in 2009 (ibid). That makes an increase of 39.2% which sound good.
On top of that, the number of primary schools has also been increasing countrywide since the introduction of PEDP. The number, for example, has grown from 12,286 schools in 2002 to 15, 727 schools in 2009 which makes an increase of 28% (ibid).