Tanzania: Tea Seeks to Boost Female Students’ Enrolment

THE Tanzania Education Authority (TEA) will soon inject 55 million/- as funds to enable female students enrol for preentry courses, to make them eligible trainees at the Arusha Technical College.

College principal, Engineer Richard Masika revealed here that ATC had applied for the sponsorship from TEA to help boost the number of female students who have interest in taking technical engineering, a field that was under male dominance for ages.

“We are facing great challenges in recruiting and enrolling female students at ATC,” stated Dr Masika during the occasion to officially wind-up two courses at the college premises here, where 280 students were graduating in “Bridging Course” as well as “Pre-Entry Course.”

Dr Masika blamed malechauvinism behaviour in society and lack of drive in lower education levels to encourage female students and pupils to take science and engineering studies at secondary and primary schools.

According to the principal, the new intake of pre-entry course for 2013-2014 has a total of 558 students, among them 161 girls accounting for just 28.8 per cent of the whole batch.

This year’s female students’ number is slightly better than last year’s intake when out of 573 enrolled trainees; there were only 123 girls, which was equivalent to 26 per cent of the entire batch.

“Our target is to step up female students’ enrolment to reach at least 30 per cent in the next intake of 2014-2015,” stated Engineer Masika, who pointed out that the number of girls being registered for pre-entry courses has been improving with each year.

The Chairman of the ATC Board of Management, Mr Abraham Nyanda, pointed out that, despite recording some success in the enrolment of female students at the technical college, the institution was still in dire need of a special hostel to host them.

“For instance, out of the 161 female students who have been enrolled in 2013, only about 54 will be able to find rooms at the ATC dormitories, the rest will have to seek boarding outside the campus,” said Mr Nyanda, warning that, off-college staying can be dangerous to young girls.

“Renting rooms in town puts them at the mercy of the entire society where temptations, trials and tribulations will make most girls fail to concentrate well in studies or even drop out of college,” he stated.

According to Mr Nyanda, even those who hail in Arusha and can always live at their homes will be facing problems in being focused to their training; “Because in most African cultures, a female child who stays at home becomes the family cook, maid and servant something that grants them little space, if any to study,” he said

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