Dar es Salaam — A total of 1.3 million pupils have been enrolled for primary school education all over the country since the introduction of the free education policy, President John Magufuli Speaking to Dar es Salaam elders, the Head of State said his government was determined to fulfil its promises to wananchi and that education was a major priority.
However, President Magufuli said the introduction of free education policy faced various challenges, including shortage of classrooms and desks.
“I would like to tell you this fact that anything good comes with challenges, we are facing many challenges in offering free education, ” he said.
“But I can assure you that we are prepared to face them and we will make sure they are resolved for the betterment of our children’s future,” added the President Magufuli. He said the government had set aside Sh137 billion for the provision of free education for the period January 2016, to June next year.
“We allocated Sh137 billion for the provision of free education, but with these challenges, we are looking forward to doubling the amount,” said the Head of State.
He said the government would ask parliament to approve the amount so that the free education policy could be implemented effectively.
Wananchi who wish to support the government are welcome, but they will have to do so voluntarily.
“I must insist that nobody is forced to contribute towards the success of free education, but those who are willing to contribute are warmly welcomed. It must be done voluntarily,” he said. President Magufuli warned government officials to avoid misquoting him and start forcing wananchi to contribute towards education.
” I know some officials may decide to use this speech to force wananchi to contribute, I want to make myself clear that nobody should be forced to contribute anything, those who dare to manipulate my speech will be going against government directives,” he said.
President Magufuli said it would be better if ministers, the Vice President, Prime Minister and himself decided to contribute at least Sh1 million each to support free education in Dar es Salaam.
The President also used his first meeting with Dar es Salaam elders to assure them the government would continue taking disciplinary measures against embezzlers, corrupt and lazy officials.
He said the government was determined to destroy the rotten system that has lead the majority of Tanzanians into abject poverty.
“Some people in this country are very rich, money is not a problem at all to them, but ask them how they become rich.” “You will find out they are rich because they stole from the poor, we are going to bring them down,” said the Head of State.
By Florence Mugarula