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Education in science and technology

Education in science and technology is provided at three different levels: university, technical college and vocational courses. In Tanzania there are two universities, one at Dar es Salaam with multiple faculties, and one at Sokoine, in the central part of the country, devoted entirely to agriculture. Together they graduate approximately 1,700 engineers and scientists each year (COSTECH, 1990: 18, Table 5.1). Of technical colleges there are four, one each in Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Mbeya and Zanzibar. Their graduates number some 1,900 annually. Vocational courses are provided in a range of institutes, of which the largest number are post-primary technical training centres, simple establishments teaching crafts to children who have terminated their formal schooling (see Table 5.15 for a list of institutions and enrolments, as of 1986). They currently turn out around 12,000 graduates per year, with quite varied levels of technical skills. All told, Tanzania adds to its workforce approximately 16,000 technically trained people annually.

Table 5.15 Tanzania: numbers of vocational training establishments and enrolments (as of 1986)

Type of institution Number of establishments Enrolments (number annually) Graduations (number annually)
Local post-primary technical training centres 313 4,200 3,570
Technical secondary schools 10 790 790
Tanzania Parents Association Technical Schools 35 2,000 1,700
Mission/church trade schools n.a. 700 665
Company/para-statal training programmes n.a. 210 200
Folk development centres 52 2,600 2,210
Government vocational training centres 17 2,250 2,140
Totals 527+ 12,750 11,625

Mlawa and Sheya, 1990, Table 4.1, p. 56

Compared to its needs, the country's provision of technically and scientifically skilled persons is inadequate. Estimates made in 1986 of shortfalls in the graduation of scientists, engineers, technicians and craftsmen (corresponding to graduates of universities, technical colleges and vocational training establishments) for the four categories were 70 per cent, 59 per cent, 65 per cent and 58 per cent respectively, for an average over all the skills of 60 per cent (ibid.: 66, Table 6.3). The situation is no better today; it may be worse, because of the emigration of Tanzanian scientists, engineers and technicians to neighbouring countries offering higher wages.

It was within this context that the data on the budgets of the two universities (Tables 5.16 and 5.17 for the University of Dar es Salaam and Sokoine Agricultural University) and, collectively, the four technical colleges (Table 5.18) were gathered. The figures for government expenditures, both Recurrent and Development, both Approvals and Actual, are reasonably accurate, but the figures for foreign donations are woefully understated.

The reason for the understatements is that most of the funds granted by foreign donors are directed to, and expended by, individual faculty members - scientists, engineers, economists and others - or teams of such faculty members. The administrations of the universities are not informed of the sums involved, and so cannot include them in their annual budgetary submissions. Figures on total foreign donations, assembled from data provided by the donors themselves, indicate that receipts are of the order of ten to 20 times the amounts listed in Tables 5.16 and 5.17. According to the budgets in Tables 5.16 and 5.17, the University of Dar es Salaam and Sokoine Agricultural University together received TSh59 million in the fiscal year 1989/90, TSh480 in 1990/1, and TSh430 million in 1991/2. According to the donors, they gave US$15,224,000 in the calendar year 1989 for tertiary education and US$22,963,000 for technical and managerial education and training, or a total of US$38,187,000 (UNDP, 1992: 42, Table 4.1). Totals for 1990 and 1991 were US$48,861,000 and 36,687,000 respectively. Converting the US$ to TSh at the average exchange rates in Table 5.1 yields donations of TSh4,230 million for 1989, TSh9,550 million for 1990, and TSh8,050 million for 1991. These make the universities' budgetary totals of TSh59 million, TSh480 million and TSh430 million seem very paltry: the conclusion is that most foreign donations to universities and their members are unrecorded in official statistics. To be sure, the donors figures include money destined for technical colleges and vocational programmes (within UNDP's category 'technical and managerial education and training'), but the amounts the secondary level institutions receive is far less than that received by the tertiary level institutions, as the data in Tables 5.16, 5.17 and 5.18 reveal. We must conclude that the Tanzanian universities' financial position is considerably better than indicated by their recorded income figures, at least so far as their individual faculty members are concerned.

Table 5.16 Tanzania: budgets for the University of Dar es Salaam 1983/4-1993/4 (millions of TSh)

Year Public expenditures of the government of Tanzania (current TSh) Foreign donors (current TSh) Total expenditures
Recurrent expenditures Development expenditures Total public expenditures Requests Actual Current TSh Constant TSh
Requests Approved Actual Requests Approved Actual
1983/4 n.a. n.a. 294 n.a. n.a. 13 307 n.a. 14 321 850
1984/5 376 272 302 n.a. 9 8 310 8 16 326 648
1985/6 419 326 340 n.a. n.a. 17 357 n.a. 59 416 705
1986/7 503 446 467 n.a. 32 32 499 103 76 575 755
1987/8 822 501 562 n.a. 39 n.a. v600 96 n.a. v650 v650
1988/9 1,235 801 775 n.a. 23 n.a. 795 211 n.a. v895 v652
1989/90 2,418 1,303 1,510 n.a. 51 49 1,559 26 18 1,577 892
1990/1 4,802 2,004 1,061 n.a. 114 106 1,167 504 470 1,637 789
1991/2 n.a. 2,641 3,259 n.a. 213 116. 3,375 500 430 3,805 1,437
1992/3 n.a. 3,711 n.a. n.a. 177 n.a. 3,888p 880 n.a. 4,768p 1,499p
1993/4 n.a. 3,066 n.a. n.a. 124 n.a. 3,190p 1,016 n.a. 4,206p 1,100p

1983/4-1991/2: University of Dar es Salaam
1992/3, 1993/4: Government of Tanzania, Annual Budgets
v signifies 'approximately'
p signifies preliminary

Table 5.17 Tanzania: budgets for the Agricultural University of Sokoine 1983/4-1993/4 (millions of TSh)

Year Public expenditures of the government of Tanzania (current TSh) Foreign donors (current TSh) Total expenditures
Recurrent expenditures Development expenditures Total public expenditures Requests Actual Current TSh Constant TSh
Requests Approved Actual Requests Approved Actual
1983/4 n.a n.a. - n.a. n.a. 13 13,307 - 22 35 93
1984/5 n.a. 96 5 n.a. 11 10 15 33 18 33 66
1985/6 n.a. 136 127 n.a. n.a. 10 137 n.a. 44 181 307
1986/7 n.a. 168 n.a. n.a. 11 9 v160 59 39 v199 v262
1987/8 n.a. 256 267 n.a. 41 n.a. v300 40 n.a. v320 v320
1988/9 n.a. 374 327 n.a. 90 n.a. v370 222 n.a. v510 v371
1989/90 n.a. 491 601 n.a. 60 111 712 1 41 753 430
1990/1 n.a. 666 353 n.a. 114 n.a. v440 n.a. 10 v450 v218
1991/2 n.a. 889 1,017 n.a. 141 104 1,121 - - 1,121 420
1992/3 n.a. 1,210 n.a. n.a. 230 n.a. 1,440p - - 1,440p 456p
1993/4 n.a. 1,520 n.a. n.a. 116 n.a. 1,636p 648 n.a. 2,284p 597p

Government of Tanzania, Annual Budget
v signifies 'approximately'
p signifies preliminary

Table 5.18 Tanzania: budgets for the technical colleges 1983/4-1993/4 (millions of TSh)

Year Public expenditures of the government of Tanzania (current TSh) Foreign donors (current TSh) Total expenditures
Recurrent expenditures Development expenditures Total public expenditures Requests Actual Current TSh Constant TSh
Requests Approved Actual Requests Approved Actual
1983/4 n.a. n.a. 18 n.a. n.a. 42 60 n.a. - 60 159
1984/5 n.a. n.a. 18 n.a. n.a. 63 81 n.a. 1 82 163
1985/6 n.a. n.a. 31 n.a. n.a. 52 83 n.a. 1 84 142
1986/7 n.a. n.a. 42 n.a. 92 92 134 29 29 163 214
1987/8 n.a. n.a. 57 n.a. 100 100 157 1 1 158 158
1988/9 n.a. n.a. 73 n.a. 130 130 203 13 13 216 157
1989/90 n.a. n.a. 140 n.a. 240 240 380 4 4 384 219
1990/1 n.a. n.a. 97 n.a. 295 220 317 28 24 341 165
1991/2 n.a. 789 407 n.a. 100 100 507 50 - 507 192
1992/3 n.a. 998 n.a. n.a. 132 n.a. 1,130p - n.a. 1,130p 349p
1993/4 n.a. 1,159 n.a. n.a. 167 n.a. 1,326p 12 n.a. 1,338p 350p

Technical College, Arusha, and Government of Tanzania, Annual Budgets
p signifies 'preliminary'

Unfortunately for us, foreign donations are not broken down by faculty or department, neither in the universities' budgets nor by the donors. Our disappointment arises because we would like to have comparable figures for the engineering and 'hard' science departments, in the one hand, and for the 'soft' science departments, on the other. Denied these, we cannot document with statistics our impression that financing the universities partly with foreign donations leads to a very uneven allocation of funds among departments. Receiving the favourable attentions of foreign donors, the Engineering Faculty of the University of Dar es Salaam has prospered in several ways: the salaries of its staff have been augmented, raising them above the abysmal levels of those dependent entirely on Tanzanian government's emoluments; new laboratories have been built and equipment procured; foreign publications have been subscribed to; and foreign study leave granted. Within the Faculty of Science, the Chemistry Department has also been well-favoured.

The Mathematics Department has received none of these supplements. Dependent solely upon funds received through Tanzania's government budget, the Mathematics Department has not been able to maintain its numbers, let alone prosper. (In 1991/2, Mathematics' approved estimates for other than wage costs was one-fifth, in 1992/3 one-seventh, that of Chemistry's.) Over the nine years 1983-1991, eight professional mathematicians resigned from the department (out of a total of 93 departures from the university as a whole during the same period); of the 14 established posts within the Mathematics Department, only seven are currently occupied.

From the University of Dar es Salaam, academic mathematicians leave in two directions: some find academic posts in universities abroad, chiefly in other Sub-Saharan African countries such as Zambia and Botswana; others move into the private sector, where they find employment as applied mathematicians, usually in accountancy. Those remaining at the university are overloaded, for mathematics continues to be one of the basic subjects in all scientific fields, and they teach ever-larger classes. An increasing number of the lectures are delivered by graduate students. Looking at the university as a whole, one concludes that teaching of science and technology is advancing in the applied areas, but suffering in the theoretical areas. Among those foreigners who make donations to the university, it appears as if the contributions which science and engineering can make to Tanzania's economy are appreciated, but the contributions made by those who teach scientists and engineers are not. Whether or not science and technology will advance faster, if larger numbers of less well-taught scientists and engineers are graduated, is a moot point.

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