On November 27, 2015 the Tanzanian government issued Circular 5 which implements the Education and Training Policy 2014 and directs public bodies to ensure that secondary education is free for all children. This includes the removal of all forms of fees and contributions. The Circular reads:
“Provision of free education means pupils or students will not pay any fee or other contributions that were being provided by parents or guardians before the release of new circular.”
However, whilst most fees are covered, including exam fees, some indirect costs will still remain for example: for school and sports uniforms and learning materials such as exercise books and pens.
Funds of 18bn TZS (approximately 5.7m GBP) were immediately released to schools to cover the cost of implementing the new directive, with 137bn TZS (approximately 43.8m GBP) set-aside to cover the full cost of guaranteeing free secondary education for all.
With this Circular, the government has gone beyond its Constitutional obligation to provide free, quality primary education and brings Tanzania in line with the target of Sustainable Development Goal 4 which requires States to ensure that everyone “completes free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education”.
The directive now means that children in Tanzania will enjoy eleven years of free schooling.
The abolition of school fees at the secondary level is expected to increase enrolment and attendance, as occurred in 2002, when primary education was made free and the primary net enrolment rate jumped from 59% in 2000 to 94% in 2011.
For further information, see the following Right to Education Project pages and resources:
Right to Education Country Factsheet - Tanzania and Zanzibar
For further information and press coverage, see:
Tanzania: Free Education – A Noble Initiative (Anne Robi, AllAfrica)
Free Basic Education (Ben Taylor, Tanzanian Affairs)
All Children in Tanzania to Get 11 Years of Free Education (Kizito Makoye, A World at School)
Tanzania abolishes secondary school fees. But does anything come for free? (World Education Blog)