THE SECONDARY EDUCATION SYSTEM AND STRUCTURE IN TANZANIA
Secondary Education in Tanzania is undertaken by the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (MoEVT). Basically, this is responsible for Policy Development, Quality Assurance, setting National Standards, and Monitoring and Evaluation of Education Sector Development Programme (ESDP) and related sub-sector programmes including Secondary Education Development Programme (SEDP II) while the Prime Minister’s Office Regional Administration and Local Government (PMO-RALG) is responsible for the Management and Administration of Secondary Schools in which case the day to day routine functions are assigned to the Local Government Authorities (LGAs) in accordance with the D by D policy. The administration of secondary schools in LGAs is an additional new function since 2009 following the announcement of Decentralization of administration of secondary schools from the Central Government to Local Government Authorities by the President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Honorable Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, on the 12th February, 2008.
There are two channels constituting the secondary education system, that is, Formal and Non-Formal Secondary Education.
- Formal Secondary Education
Secondary school education refers to that full programme of education provided in accordance with Government approved curricula and availed to students who will have completed primary education. In Tanzania, formal secondary school education consists of two sequential cycles. The first cycle is a four-year Ordinary Level (O-Level) secondary education, while the second cycle is a two-year programme of Advanced Level (A-Level) secondary education. The O-Level cycle begins with Form 1 and ends with Form 4, while A-Level has Form 5 and 6.
Selection and enrollment of primary school leavers into O-Level government and non-government secondary schools is made on the basis of a pre-set national standard cut-off point of performance in the National Primary School Leaving Examination. On the other hand, selection and enrollment of Form four leavers into Advanced Level secondary education is based on prescribed performance levels in the relevant A-Level subject combinations after attainment of appropriate credits in the Certificate of Secondary Education Examination.
- Non-Formal secondary education
Non-formal education refers to an organized educational activity outside the established formal education system that is intended to serve identifiable clienteles and learning objectives. Non-formal secondary education in this regard is provided in the context of Adult Education which is primarily concerned with the provision of adult literacy. Out-of-school secondary education in this case is delivered through Continuing Education supported by a variety of programmes including Correspondence Education, Self-Study and Extra-mural programmes
Continuing education is pursued by people who for various reasons, have had no opportunity to continue with formal school education. In Tanzania, the Institute of Adult Education (IAE) has been one of the main planners and providers of continuing education through Evening Classes, Self-Study, Correspondence courses and other various Distance Education programmes, commonly known as Open and Distant Learning (ODL).