Friday, May 31, 2013

The Form IV Fiasco- The Government Missed It's Opportunity. Again.

After the Form IV results fiasco earlier this year, the government put together a Commission to investigate what had gone wrong and provide recommendations. At the time I was very skeptical because commissions have been the government's rote response to all disasters, and there is little evidence that the recommendations of these commissions have the desired impact. In other words, the government has a habit of using Commissions in a most cynical manner for political expedience- that's the impression it has given the citizenry.

Nonetheless, since the problems that have been causing the gradual collapse of our education system are well documented, I was optimistic that the government would take genuine action to improve the situation. Besides, at the very least they surely have the best interests of Tanzanian youths at heart because who could be so monstrous as to damage their chances of succeeding in this increasing complex and competitive world?

What happened was not unexpected, but it is unspeakably dissappointing nonetheless. In the short term, the government chose to nullify the offending results, and this week it announced the new results which show a marked improvement in the pass rate. As for the Commission, I was sent a link this morning to Rakesh Rajani's letter to the Prime Minister explaining his reasons for withdrawing for the remainder of the Commission's term. Seems the Commission wasn't, in the end, quite allowed to do their job of advising the government. 

Bad move.

Having shoved its immediate problem under the mattress, the government might still attempt some reforms in the education sector. Nevertheless this incident raises concerns about the fitness of the people in office to govern, and calls into question the general competence of our public institutions. What does it say about the government when it literally refuses to be instructed in its business by the people- even in those instances when it is clearly politically beneficial to be responsive? 


  1. *Speechless*

    Does this still count as a comment? ;-)

  2. @Dr.Bob: well, you're a prof. what would you award yourself if you were doing an assessment? hehe :)

  3. Well some things are so ridiculous that they literally "beggar belief" as our old colonial masters would say!

    Anyway to give a substantive comment the data I saw seems to suggest that a rapid increase in Form IV students without a corresponding increase in the budget is the main culprit in the lower pass rate.

    It seems this disaster could be milked to beg from "wahisani" for more educational support funding (they love to fund stuff like that) rather than lowering the standards.

    And at a cursory glance, that seems to be what they did: lowering the standards. Although they claim it is just "standardizing" the perception will be that there are massive problems which are being swept under the rug and in this case the perception seems to be largely accurate.

    *sigh* - now you see why I was speechless, some things are just too frustrating! :-(


No biting, spitting, trolling or ugly insults- only pretty ones allowed.

A little birdie told me...

Follow MikocheniReport on Twitter