Marking a major win for public education, the Tanzanian government has implemented a new policy making secondary education free for all, and in doing so removes all required fees to go to school.
The policy follows a decision made in November last year instructing public bodies in the country to make secondary education free for all children.
“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,” read the government circular released at the time to announce the implementation of the Education and Training Policy 2014. The policy also fulfils Tanzania’s commitment to the new Sustainable Development Goal 4 and the target to ensure that every child “completes free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education.”
The government promptly released funds to schools to cover costs. Other indirect costs, such as those for school and sports uniforms and exercise books and pens, are not included in the new policy.
The abolition of fees is expected to see a dramatic increase in enrolment, as was seen when the enrolment rate for primary education rose from 59 percent in 2000 to 94 percent in 2011 when it was made free in 2011.