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Tanzania reaches out to Japan for teachers, books

President Jakaya Kikwete with President of Japan international Cooperation Agency (JICA) Dr. Akihiko Tanaka.
Tanzania has turned to Japan asking the latter to avail mathematics and science teachers in a bid to curb the country of its major shortage of teachers of these subjects.

In addition, Tanzania has Japan to step in the publication science and mathematics books on in order to ensure that each student has a copy of textbook as a way to increase the quality of education.

The request was made on Monday in Yokohama Japan when President, Jakaya Kikwete met and held talks with the President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Dr Akihiko Tanaka as released in a statement sent by Directorate of Presidential Communications.

President Kikwete is in Japan for a seven-day tour and he has so far attended the Fifth Tokyo Conference on African Development (TICAD) and is expected to leave Japan tomorrow morning for an official visit to Singapore for a two day visit before returning home.

The president told Dr Tanaka that one of the biggest challenges facing the education sector, which has expanded greatly in the last seven years, is the lack of mathematics and science teachers.

“There are two items I ask of JICA. We lack of teachers sufficient mathematics and science teachers and the deficit is over 26,000, our colleges can provide only 2,200 graduates per year, at that rate, it will take us 12 years to fill the gap, that is too long. So, we ask JICA and Japan in general, to step in and help us, “said President Kikwete
“A part from lack of teachers for these subjects, I would like to also call on Japan through JICA to help our country in publishing science and mathematics books as another contribution towards improving our education," he added.

President Kikwete admitted to receiving strong support from the US government in printing of textbooks for secondary schools but the need remains great if the country is to secure better quality of education.

Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, has already agreed to step up to the challenge and provide teachers to cover the said subjects.

Dr. Tanaka also answered to the affirmative stating that JICA is focusing on the development of the education sector in Tanzania and noted that so far, of 70 volunteers sent to Tanzania from Japan 20 are mathematics and science teachers.

“We will look into this area closely and take appropriate measures, we will look at how we can increase the number of teachers from our volunteers to teach in Tanzania every year” pledged Dr Tanaka.

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