- Early childhood care and education (Entry/Establishment ○ Financial operation ○ Quality of teaching and learning ○ Equitable access ○ Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability)
- Primary and secondary education (Entry/Establishment ○ Financial operation ○ Quality of teaching and learning ○ Equitable access ○ Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability)
- Tertiary education (Entry/Establishment ○ Financial operation ○ Quality of teaching and learning ○ Equitable access ○ Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability)
The National Education Act 1978 (as amended in 1995 and 2016) of mainland Tanzania distinguishes between “government schools”, “grant-aided schools”, and “non-government schools” at pre-primary to secondary level, and ”state” and “private” higher education institutions at the higher education level. Grant-aided schools are defined as “community schools owned and managed by (a) non-government organization but gets subvention or grant-in-aid from (a) governmental organization”, while a “community school” is further defined as a “school owned by a local community or owned by an institution on behalf of the community”. A non-government school is defined as a “school wholly owned and maintained by a person, body of persons or any Institution other than the Government”. The Universities Act 2005, which distinguishes between “public” and “private” higher education institutions, defines a private higher education institution as a “higher education institution whose infrastructure, maintenance and costs are owned and borne by a private person, or a company, trust or a non-governmental organization or an association”.
In Zanzibar, the education system from pre-primary to higher education is governed by the Education Act (1982, amended in 1993), which distinguishes between a “public”, “private”, and “aided school”. A private school is defined as “any school wholly owned and maintained by a person or body of person other than the Government”, while an aided school is a defined as “private school that receives grant-in-aid”.
The Education and Training Policy 2014 of mainland Tanzania refers to “public” and “private” corporations that “own schools, colleges or education and training institutions at different levels”, specifically mentioning the “private sector, civil society, communities, parents, non-governmental organizations”. The Zanzibar Education Policy 2006 similarly refers to private providers, communities, non-governmental organizations, and civil society organizations. The term non-state actors is only explicitly mentioned in the Education Sector Development Plan 2016/17 – 2020/21 of mainland Tanzania which refers to “non-state actors” as civil society organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), faith-based organizations, and the private sector.
Most education in mainland Tanzania (90% of schools, 96% of enrolments) and Zanzibar (92% of enrolment) is provided by the state at primary level (7 years, ages 6 – 12), with lower secondary (4 years, ages 13 – 16) and upper secondary (2 years, ages 17 – 18) level having increased non-state provision. In mainland Tanzania, non-state schools account for 15% of schools and 12% of enrolments at lower secondary, and 49% of schools and 28% of enrolments at upper secondary level. In Zanzibar, non-state schools account for 8% of enrolment at primary and lower secondary level, and 10% at upper secondary. According to the National Education Act 1978 (as amended in 1995 and 2016) of mainland Tanzania, education is compulsory for 7 years at primary level, and, following the Education and Training Policy 2014 and the Fee-Free Basic Education Program, free for 11 years (up to lower secondary level). In Zanzibar, education is free and compulsory at primary level, with the Zanzibar Education Policy 2006 planning to introduce 12 years of free and compulsory education.
State education in both mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar is funded by the government in collaboration with internal and foreign development partners, as well as the community and the private sector, which assist in the construction and management of schools. According to the Zanzibar Education Policy 2006, the “private sector is becoming an active partner in the financing of education”.
Non-state managed, state schools
No information was found.
Non-state funded, state schools
No information was found.
Mainland Tanzania has a history of restricting non-state provision in education, with the original National Education Act 1978 only allowing non-government schools to provide technical and vocational training. The Education (Amendment) Act in 1995 removed this restriction, allowing non-government providers to establish schools for general education, provided they comply with the minimum government standards and the Education and Training Policy 2014. In 2020, non-state education provision continues to be pronounced at secondary level, with enrolments jumping from 4% at primary to 12% and 28% at lower secondary and upper secondary respectively. According to an analysis of education data in the urban Morogoro region of mainland Tanzania in 2015, non-state actors involved in the provision of education include faith-based/religious organizations (54%), private businesses (38%), communities (3%), charities/NGOs (3%), and trade unions (1%).
In Zanzibar, most non-state schools are owned and operated by NGOs, with private investors also establishing and operating schools.
Independent, non-state schools
Independent non-state schools in mainland Tanzania are referred to as non-government schools and can mainly be categorized into two types: secular non-government schools and faith-based (or religious) schools (which include Islamic and Christian seminary schools). Both types of non-government schools are independently financed through student fees and include low-fee to high-fee institutions. Although not distinguished in official documents or government statistics, numerous studies have documented the existence of low-fee private schools, which are non-government schools which charge relatively lower fees and cater to families of lower socioeconomic status compared to elite institutions.
Secular non-government schools are owned and operated by private individuals, organizations, or businesses and are funded primarily through student fees. These schools can either be for-profit or non-profit organizations and follow the national curriculum and minimum education standards in teacher qualifications, admissions, and quality assurance. These schools include over 30 international schools which follow the national curriculum in combination with international curricula and examination systems such as International Baccalaureate and Cambridge International. In Zanzibar, secular private schools follow the national curriculum.
Islamic seminary schools are owned and operated by Islamic organizations and provide religious instruction in Islamic studies. These schools (considered religious schools in the National Education Act 1978) are registered under the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and regulated separately from other non-government schools.
Christian seminary schools are owned and managed by Christian organizations, following a curriculum which mainly consists of Christian studies. Similar to Islamic seminary schools, these schools are regulated by the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training through the Education (Application for License of Religious Schools) Regulations and are not covered under the National Education Act 1978 (as amended in 1995 and 2016).
Zanzibar also has several religious schools which are regulated by the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training.
State-funded (government-aided), non-state schools
Community schools in mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar are grant-aided schools which are owned and operated by local communities or NGOs on behalf of the community. These schools receive grants of money or educational material and supplies from the central or local governments to assist in operational costs and are more accountable to the government compared to independent non-government schools. In Zanzibar, private individuals also contribute towards the payment of teacher salaries, tuition, and learning materials in community schools.
According to the National Education Act 1978 (as amended in 1995 and 2016) of mainland Tanzania, all independent schools which are wholly maintained and operated by NGOs may apply to become grant-aided institutions.
Contracted, non-state schools
No information was found.
The law does not provide for homeschooling, but stipulates that school enrolment and attendance is compulsory at primary education level (Education Act 1978, Art.35). However, homeschooling appears to exist to some extent in the country.
Market contracted (Voucher schools)
While no voucher programs were found to be operating in the United Republic of Tanzania, the government of mainland Tanzania has considered the adoption of a non-government school voucher program as a means of expanding access to secondary education in the country.
While not distinguished in official education statistics, the existence of an unofficial education market has often been documented in the United Republic of Tanzania. According to nationally representative household surveys published by the National Bureau of Statistics in 2011 (which tend to capture both official and unofficial non-state provision), non-state enrolment at pre-primary level (2 years, ages 5 – 6) jumped from 2.7% in official enrolment numbers to 25% in household surveys. The different is less pronounced at primary level, where official statistics recorded 2.7% enrolment in non-government schools, compared to a documented 3.5% enrolment in household surveys.
The United Republic of Tanzania includes mainland Tanzania and the semi-autonomous islands of Zanzibar, which comprises of the two main islands of Unguja and Pemba, and several smaller islands (several of which are uninhabited).
In mainland Tanzania, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST) is responsible for supervising and regulating all education (including non-government and religious provision) from pre-primary to higher education level. Early childhood care and education for children under the age of 5 is the responsibility of the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, while higher education is additionally regulated by the Tanzania Commission for Universities.
Zanzibar has its own parliament and autonomy over its development policy (including education), with both state and non-state education being centrally governed by the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (MoEVT). Early childhood education (with the exception of pre-primary level) is the responsibility of the Ministry of Empowerment, Social Welfare, Youth, Women and Children, while higher education is governed centrally by the Union. The Education and Training Policy 2014 of mainland Tanzania aims to “strengthen cooperation and relationship in education between Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar”.
In both mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar, the management and administration of education has been decentralized to local authorities at pre-primary to upper secondary level with Regional Education Officers (overseeing state and non-state education policy implementation within their region), District Education Officers (responsible for the administration of state and non-state schools within their jurisdiction), and (in the mainland) Ward Education Officers (responsible for the inspection of all schools).
Vision: According to the Education and Training Policy 2014 of mainland Tanzania, the government plans to “enable the private sector to participate in the provision of education and training”, which (in addition to the government and development partners) is viewed as an important sector in increasing educational opportunities to all groups. To this end, the government plans to “strengthen partnership between public and private sectors”, a view which is equally reflected in the Education Sector Development Plan 2016/17 – 2020/21 which aims to “promote public-private partnerships”, viewing non-state actors as “key stakeholders in the Education Sector Dialogue”.
Similar principles are shared in Zanzibar, where the Zanzibar Education Policy 2006 promotes the expansion of public-private partnerships, stating that “partnership with the private sector in the provision of education shall be encouraged and promoted”. The Zanzibar Education Development Plan II 2017/18–2021/22 similarly views education as a “collaborative effort between government, local communities, civil society organizations, the private sector, and our development partners”, seeking to “increase public-private partnership arrangements”. In 2021, the Minister of Education and Vocational Training stated that the “partnership between his Ministry and the Union of Private School Owners (ZAPS) will go a long way in strengthening the education sector in the country”.
In mainland Tanzania, early childhood care and education (ECCE) services are mainly categorized into crèches (for children under the age of 2), day-care centers (for ages 2 – 4), and pre-primary schools (for ages 5 – 6). While crèches and day-care centers are mainly provided by non-state actors, pre-primary services are mostly provided by the state (90% of centers, 93% of total enrolments). Day-care centers and crèches are regulated by the Law of the Child Act 2019 (under the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children), while pre-primary schools are regulated by the National Education Act 1978 (as amended in 1995 and 2016) under the MoEST.
In Zanzibar, ECCE is provided in day-care centers (for children under the age of 4) and pre-primary schools (ages 4 – 6). Preschools are categorized into private and Madrassa community preschools (which account for 55% of all preschool provision), with the rest being state schools or Tutu centers (learning through play). Day-care centers are regulated by the Children’s Act 2011 (under the Ministry of Empowerment, Social Welfare, Youth, Women and Children), while pre-primary schools are regulated by the Education Act (1982, amended in 1993) under the MoEVT.
According to the Education and Training Policy 2014 of mainland Tanzania and the Zanzibar Education Policy 2006, the government plans to make pre-primary education compulsory for all children in the Republic.
See Multi-level regulations for information on pre-primary education.
Registration and approval: According to the Law of the Child Act 2019 and the Children’s Act 2011, to establish a crèche or day-care center in the mainland Tanzania or Zanzibar, an application must be made to the Commissioner of Social Welfare (for the mainland) or the Minister responsible for children affairs (for Zanzibar) based on a prescribed form and accompanied by the required fee. The Commissioner or Minister then causes an inspection to be made by a Social Welfare Officer and only registers a provider if he/she is satisfied that the premises are suitable, there are sufficient financial and human resources, the facilities are adequate, and the program offered complies with minimum standards. The owner or manager of the service is also required to be registered by the Commissioner or Minister to be able to operate a crèche or day-care center. See Multi-level regulations for information on pre-primary schools.
License: If the Commissioner (for the mainland) or Director of Social Welfare (for Zanzibar) is satisfied that the minimum requirements of registration have been met, the provider is issued a certificate of registration. The District Social Welfare Officer is responsible for keeping a register of all crèches and day-care centers within their jurisdiction that have been registered and approved by the Commissioner or Minister. See Multi-level regulations for information on pre-primary schools.
Profit-making: No information was found for crèches and day-care centers. See Multi-level regulations for information on pre-primary schools.
Taxes and subsidies : No information was found for crèches and day-care centers. See Multi-level regulations for information on pre-primary schools.
Curriculum and education standards: The program adopted in each crèche and day-care center must be approved upon registration and promote the health and development of the child, preparing them for entry into basic education. See Multi-level regulations for information on pre-primary schools.
Teaching profession: Day-care centers and crèches may not employ any person who has been convicted of an offence against children or any sexual offence (Children’s Act 2011; Law of the Child Act 2019). See Multi-level regulations for information on pre-primary schools.
Fee-setting: No information was found for crèches and day-care centers. See Multi-level regulations for information on pre-primary schools.
Admission selection and processes: No information was found for crèches and day-care centers. See Multi-level regulations for information on pre-primary schools.
Policies for vulnerable groups: No information was found for crèches and day-care centers. See Multi-level regulations for information on pre-primary schools.
Reporting requirements: No information was found for crèches and day-care centers. See Multi-level regulations for information on pre-primary schools.
Inspection: The Commissioner of Social Welfare (in the mainland) or a social welfare officer (in Zanzibar) is responsible for inspecting the premises, accounts, books, and any other relevant records in registered crèches and day-care centers at least once every 6 months to ensure that the minimum registration requirements are being maintained. An inspection report is then submitted to the Minister responsible for social welfare (in the mainland, with an additional copy submitted to the Minister responsible for child affairs) or Minister responsible for children affairs (in Zanzibar). See Multi-level regulations for information on pre-primary schools.
Child assessment: No information was found for crèches and day-care centers. See Multi-level regulations for information on pre-primary schools.
Sanctions: The Commissioner of Social Welfare (in the mainland) or social welfare officer (in Zanzibar) may suspend or cancel a permit if a registered crèche or day-care centers is found to not be managed efficiently and in the best interests of children (with issues identified not addressed within a given timeframe). Any services which operate without a license shall be closed by the Commissioner (in the mainland) or Minister responsible for children affairs (in Zanzibar) within 14 days’ notice. See Multi-level regulations for information on pre-primary schools.
Registration and approval: See Multi-level regulations.
Licence: See Multi-level regulations.
Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH): According to the National Education Act 1978 (as amended in 1995 and 2016), all schools in mainland Tanzania must undergo health inspections (which monitor the hygienic character and sanitation of the premises) and comply with the Education (Provision for the Structure, Hygiene, Sanitation and Health Inspection of Schools) Regulations. The Care and Support Strategy 2010 calls for all schools to provide water and sanitation facilities with a ratio of pit latrines for girls to be 1:20 and for boys 1:25. WASH standards are additionally guided for all schools (state and non-state) in the National Guidelines for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Tanzania Schools 2016, which sets out specific standards to ensure that hygiene education in schools meets the minimum requirements. This includes provisions on water supply and latrines and urinals (which must meet the pupil/latrine ratio and be single-sex). In Zanzibar, the Zanzibar Institute of Education is responsible for ensuring that there are adequate water and sanitation services in all schools.
Profit-making: See Multi-level regulations.
Taxes and subsidies: See Multi-level regulations.
Curriculum and education standards: See Multi-level regulations.
Textbooks and learning materials: The educational equipment and material used in all schools may be regulated by the Minister of Education, which may prohibit the use of any textbook or material for a reason he/she thinks fit. Special schools are required to have specific teaching and learning materials to cater to the students in the school.
Teaching profession: See Multi-level regulations.
Corporal punishment: In mainland Tanzania, corporal punishment is lawful in both government and non-government schools (for girls and boys) under the Education (Corporal Punishment) Regulations 1979, which is defined as “punishment by striking a pupil on his hand or on his normally clothed buttocks with a light, flexible stick but excludes striking a child with any other instrument or on any other part of the body”. In Zanzibar, the MoEVT has adopted a policy against corporal punishment in all schools. However, corporal punishment is lawful in the Education Act (1982, amended in 1993) and the Children’s Act 2011, which justifies the use of caning in schools.
Other safety measures and COVID-19: No information was found.
Fee-setting: See Multi-level regulations.
Admission selection and processes: See Multi-level regulations.
Policies for vulnerable groups: See Multi-level regulations.
School board: The establishment and composition of school boards in non-government schools in mainland Tanzania is regulated by the Non-Government School Board Establishment Order 2002 (for independent non-government schools) and the Grant-Aided Community School Board (Establishment) Order 2002 (for grant-aided schools). Independent non-government schools are required to establish a School Board that consists of the head of the school, members appointed by the owner of the school (4) and Regional Commissioner (3), as well as representatives of the academic staff (1) and Regional Education Officer (1). In the case of grant-aided schools, the School Board must additionally have one member which represents the voluntary organization that established the school. Moreover, all School Boards must facilitate the establishment of a Parent-Teacher Association. In Zanzibar, all private, religious, and aided schools are similarly required to establish a school board, whose composition and functions are determined by the school owners (with the Coordinator General of Education allowed to appoint at least one member in the board of aided schools). All schools must promote the principles of school-based management, and include parents, teachers, and communities in the administration and management of the school.
Reporting requirements: See Multi-level regulations.
School inspection: See Multi-level regulations.
Student assessment: See Multi-level regulations.
Diplomas and degrees: While the standardization, recognition and equivalency of degrees, diplomas and certificates granted by foreign and local institutions is regulated for higher education level, there was no regulation found on the recognition or equivalency of degrees at pre-primary/primary/secondary level.
Sanctions: See Multi-level regulations.
Tertiary education institutions (TEIs) in the United Republic of Tanzania are categorized into three main types, full-fledges universities, university colleges, and university campuses, centers, and institutes. The majority (70%) of TEIs are privately owned, with private TEIs accounting for 65% of full-fledged universities, 80% of university colleges, and 73% of university campuses/centers/institutes in 2018.
While the Director of Higher Education in the MoEST is responsible for all higher education institutions (HEIs), the Tanzania Commission for Universities (TCU), which succeeded the Higher Education Accreditation Council, is a body corporate charged with the responsibility of regulating, registering, and accrediting both state and private HEIs in the country through the Universities Act 2005 and the Universities (General) Regulations 2013 (which apply to both mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar).
Registration and approval: To establish a state or private HEI, an application must be made to the TCU for a provisional license based on a prescribed form. An applicant can be a private person, company, trust, non-governmental organization or an association, while all applications must be submitted with a draft curriculum, draft charter, infrastructure details, proposed fee structure, master-plan for long-term development of the institution, and any other details listed in the Universities (General) Regulations 2013 and Universities Act 2005. Applicants must either be Tanzanian or complied with the requirement to be registered as Tanzanian. The TCU may then seek to verify the information provided through a series of meetings.
License: If the TCU is satisfied that the application meets the minimum standards, the provider is issued a provisional license which restricts them to the establishment of the institution, while being prohibited from admitting students until officially granted accreditation. In three years, the provider can then apply to the TCU for the grant of accreditation and charter, which must meet the minimum standards in academic staff, student numbers, facilities, and financial resources. If satisfied, the TCU makes a recommendation to the Minister of the MoEST for granting a charter to the university. Universities which have been granted a charter are a body corporate and registered with the TCU as fully accredited institutions.
Profit-making: Private HEIs can be established by companies, partnerships, trusts, NGOs, or societies, with profit-making not explicitly mentioned or prohibited.
Taxes and subsidies: According to the Universities Act 2005, the TCU or the MoEST may offer grants to state or private universities for the “promotion of higher education”. The Grants Committee (under the TCU) advises the TCU on the provision of grants, including the criteria, conditions and objectives to be achieved to ensure cost-effectiveness, transparency, efficiency, fairness, and gender equity.
Curriculum and education standards: All state and private HEIs must submit an outline of their academic programs which must be “gender mainstreamed” and approved by the TCU upon registration. All programs are required to then be accredited by the Accreditation Committee of the TCU, while all institutions (state and private) must comply with the general program standards to ensure harmonization and coordination of courses and programs across the country.
Teaching profession: All HEIs (state and private) must submit a list of their academic staff and their qualifications to be approved by the TCU in order to be granted a charter (with the Accreditation Committee responsible for evaluating staff qualifications). In the case of foreign universities operating in the United Republic of Tanzania, the number of foreign staff employed may not exceed half the total number of local staff.
Fee-setting: Any fees charged by HEIs (including changes made to the existing fee structure) must be pre-approved by the Grants Committee of the TCU. The Universities (General) Regulations 2013 additionally states that all fees must be collected in Tanzanian shillings, with the university allowed to charge foreign students in a foreign currency, provided that the institution complies with any applicable foreign currency laws.
Admission selection and processes: According to the Universities (General) Regulations 2013, all universities (state and private) are required to adopt specific measures to “broaden access and ensure equity”, especially in promoting gender balance where one gender appears under-represented in a particular discipline. Specifically, all institutions must put measures in place to admit increasing female candidates to science, technology and innovation related programs. Moreover, HEIs are required to address the educational challenges that may be faced by people with special needs or socioeconomic factors. The TCU may conduct regular and impromptu Admission Audits to track the level of admission and enrolment in different programs, while each university is required to submit information relating to admissions to the TCU when requested. The Universities Act 2005 additionally states that no applicant may be admitted to a university is they do not meet the minimum admission requirements set by the institution (which is guided and approved by the Admission Committee of the TCU). Finally, schemes must be developed to broaden access to disadvantaged groups (including persons with physical, mental, social, or economic disabilities and women) with the Grants Committee providing increased sources of funding to widen this access.
Board: All state and private universities must establish two principal organs of governance (which are approved upon registration), a Council and a Senate (11 – 21 members), while university colleges must establish a Governing Board and an Academic Committee (9 – 15 members) (Universities Act, 2005). The composition of all boards must reflect the various sectors of society which have a stake in the institution, with over 75% - 80% of members drawn from outside the members of staff or other officers of the institution concerned. The Act additionally states that the composition must consist of an equal number of male and female members and that students must also be represented. Finally, all institutions are required to additionally establish an Alumni Association and Staff Association.
Reporting requirements: All HEIs are required to undergo self and external assessment at program and institutional level, admission and institutional audits, and submit annual reports of their operation and audited accounts to the TCU, which include a detailed evaluation of their academic activities (Universities (General) Regulations, 2013).
Inspection: The TCU is responsible for the quality assurance of state and private HEIs, with the Accreditation Committee being responsible for institutional visitation and inspection to ensure that minimum standards are maintained.
Assessment: The Senate or Academic Committee of each institution is responsible for regulating the conduct of institutional assessments and examinations, which includes pre-entry and matriculation examinations. The TCU publishes guidelines for the assessment and marking of different subjects.
Diplomas and degrees: All universities which have been accredited by the TCU may award certificates, diplomas, and degrees that are recognized as comparable and equivalent in merit with any other accredited institution in Tanzania (irrespective of ownership).
Sanctions: The TCU has the authority to cancel an institution’s certificate of accreditation if it is satisfied that the HEI has not made any measurable progress towards its master plan and fails to remedy any shortcoming identified by the TCU within a specified period. Once a certificate of accreditation has been cancelled, the institution’s charter is suspended and the HEI may not continue to offer any academic programs.
This section covers regulations from pre-primary to upper secondary level covered under the National Education Act 1978 (as amended in 1995 and 2016) for mainland Tanzania, and the Education Act (1982, amended in 1993) for Zanzibar.
Registration and approval: While the National Education Act 1978 originally prohibited the establishment of non-government schools in the mainland unless they provided technical and vocational training, the 1995 amendment removed this provision, replacing it with “no person shall establish a non-government school unless it intends to provide education in accordance with the national education policy”. Applications for the establishment of non-government schools (with the exception of religious schools) must be made by “persons, body of persons, or an institution other than the government” to the District or Regional Education Officer (representing the Commissioner for Education), with all applicants required to pay an inspection fee of 5,000 Tanzanian shillings (3 USD) per student per year, as well as an examination fee of 15,000 Tanzanian shillings (9 USD) for each student in a grade where standardized examinations are administered. The Commissioner shall not grant approval unless the owner and manager of the proposed institution has been approved by the Minister of Education (through a separate application to the District Education Officer for a pre-primary and primary school and Regional Education Officer for a secondary school as stated in the Education (Approval of Owners and Managers and Registration of Non-Government Schools) Regulations), the school meets the minimum standards in infrastructure (including safety and suitability of buildings), facilities, equipment, instructional material, and the school has been inspected. The Guidelines for the Establishment and Registration of Schools 2020 also provide separate registration requirements for religious schools, international schools and special schools, in addition to regulating land size and classroom size (according to each school). The applicant additionally needs to indicate proof of land and building ownership and, if the school intends to operate within premises that have not been constructed for a school, they must provide a certificate from a duly qualified architect on the suitability of the premises. There are 14 criteria upon which an applicant can be denied registration, including if the school is not considered to be in the public interest, the premises are unsanitary or unsuitable, and the qualifications of teaching staff are not adequate. Schools in which instruction is wholly or mainly of a religious character are registered by the Minister of Education as religious schools in accordance with the Education (Application for License of Religious Schools) Regulations.
In Zanzibar, applications are made to the MoEVT (with separate applications for the approval of the manager and registration of the school). The application for the registration of managers must be made to the Coordinator General of Education.
License: According to the Education (Non-Government) Regulations 1971 and National Education Act 1978 (as amended in 1995 and 2016), if the District or Regional Education Officer is satisfied that the school, manager, and owner meet the minimum standards of registration (and have been approved and registered separately), the owner or manager is issued a certificate of registration.
In Zanzibar, a certificate of registration is issued by the Minister of the MoEVT.
Profit-making: Individuals, non-government organizations, and private organizations are all legally permitted to own and operate schools from pre-primary to secondary level in mainland Tanzania. These include community, faith-based, not-for-profit, and for-profit providers (with no restriction on profit-making in the regulations).
Taxes and subsidies: While independent non-government schools do not receive any tax subsidies or grants from the government in mainland Tanzania, community schools (which are categorized as grant-aided institutions) are provided with government grants in the form of money or education materials and supplies to assist in their educational activities. However, the National Education Act 1978 (as amended in 1995 and 2016) allows for independent non-government schools to apply and become grant-aided institutions, provided they comply (similar to community schools) with the utilization of government funds and conditions set in the Education (Grants-in-Aid) Regulations.
Non-government schools in Zanzibar may also apply to become aided schools (through an application to the MoEVT). Similar to mainland Tanzania, these schools receive money or educational materials from the government subject to additional accountability requirements and regulations by the Minister.
Curriculum and education standards: According to the National Education Act 1978 (as amended in 1995 and 2016), all schools (irrespective of ownership, with the exception of religious schools) in mainland Tanzania must follow the national curriculum and syllabi approved by the Commissioner for Education and provide non-compulsory religious instruction. The Education and Training Policy 2014 additionally states that the language of instruction must be Kiswahili (the national language) at pre-primary and primary level (with English also used in some schools), and English medium at the secondary level. The curriculum in both mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar must include content on the prevention of HIV and AIDS at all education levels. Religious schools are regulated separately and may adopt a curriculum which is wholly or mainly of religious character.
In Zanzibar, all schools (state and non-state) are similarly required to follow the national curriculum which is developed by the Zanzibar Institute of Education from pre-primary and secondary level. The language of instruction is similarly Kiswahili until primary level, with secondary level teaching in English.
Teaching profession: While non-government schools have the autonomy to set their teaching salaries and employ and dismiss teachers (not subject to public service requirements), all teachers must comply with the Employment and Labour Relations Act 2019 and adhere to centralized requirements in teacher qualifications, pedagogy and class size. Teachers in religious schools must also have professional qualifications corresponding to the goals of the school’s establishment. According to the National Education Act 1978 (as amended in 1995 and 2016), all teachers (irrespective of the type of school in which they teach) must be registered and licensed as a teacher by the Minister of Education, which may specify the category of schools which they can teach in. All teachers must be specifically be registered under the Tanzania Teachers’ Professional Board Act 2018 and are subject to the Tanzania Teachers Professional Board (General) Regulations 2020 (applicable to both the state and private sector), which includes teaching professional standards, code of professional conduct, and ethics of the teaching profession established and formulated by the Tanzania Teachers’ Professional Board. All teachers are additionally required to be of good character (to the satisfaction of the Commissioner), observe professional ethics, and have not been convicted of any criminal offence. According to the Grant-Aided Community School Board (Establishment) Order 2002, teachers employed in grant-aided institutions must additionally be members of the Teaching Service Commission and are subject to the Teachers’ Service Commission Act 2015 (similar to state schools, which includes provisions on salaries and allowances).
Fee-setting: According to the Draft Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania 2013, every person in the United Republic has the right to “less expensive education in private institutions”. Non-government schools in mainland Tanzania are specifically prohibited from charging any fees without the prior approval of the Commissioner for Education (which may make regulations for the remission of fees or scholarships). The Education (Non-Government) Regulations 1971 additionally state that, where a non-government school makes an appeal to parents or the community for contributions or donations, no student may be barred from attendance if failing to respond to the appeal, while no student may be given preferential treatment by virtue or recognition of any donation, endowment, gift, or legacy made by the parent or guardian of the pupil.
Fees in private schools are also regulated by the MoEVT in Zanzibar, with all fees and charges required to be pre-approved by the Minister.
Admission selection and processes: All schools (irrespective of ownership) are prohibited from discriminating in their admissions on the basis of sex, religion, creed, race, socioeconomic status, or ideological/political beliefs, while all schools may give preference to citizens of the United Republic. Religious schools are also legally prohibited from discriminating on the basis of religion in their admissions.
Policies for vulnerable groups: The Education and Training Policy 2014 of mainland Tanzania states that the government should collaborate with all stakeholders in education (including non-government providers) to “ensure that gender equality in education and training is observed”. Gender equality and equity in education is also an aim of the Zanzibar Education Policy 2006.
Reporting requirements: Independent non-government schools in mainland Tanzania are required to keep proper books and records of all their financial accounts (including information on income, expenditure, and assets) which must be audited by an approved auditor and submitted by the School Board to the Commissioner for Education each year, as stated in the Education (Non-Government) Regulations 1971 and the Non-Government School Board Establishment Order 2002. Grant-aided schools are accountable to the Minister in relation to the use of government grants received and must submit annual statements of their financial transactions and liabilities to the Commissioner for Education.
School inspection: All schools in mainland Tanzania (irrespective of ownership) are inspected at least once a year by the Ward Education Officer or District Education Officer to ensure compliance with the relevant laws. Besides the National Education Act 1978 (as amended in 1995 and 2016), school inspections are additionally regulated and guided by the Education (Inspection of Schools) Regulations, the Guidelines for School Supervision 2009, and the Handbook for School Inspections 2009. All inspections are conducted based on a school inspection checklist which includes infrastructure, management and administration, human resources, staff development, curriculum implementation, and school-community relations. Inspectors may enter and inspect a school at any reasonable time, requiring the manager to produce any relevant book or document relating the administration and management of the school. A report is then submitted to the Commissioner for Education and recommendations are made to the head of the school.
In Zanzibar, the Office of the Chief Inspector of Schools is responsible for school inspections, with authorized officers from the District Education Office conducting visiting inspections, basic inspections, follow-up inspections, and special case inspections (with reports then submitted to the District Office).
Student assessment: Non-government schools in mainland Tanzania must comply with the Education (Examinations in Schools) Regulations that apply to state-owned schools in regard to student assessment and examination, with students taking part in national examinations administered by the National Examinations Council of Tanzania (NECTA). International schools can submit a request to the NECTA to gain approval for conducting international examinations.
In Zanzibar, state and private school students sit for the same examinations, which are administered by the Zanzibar Examinations Council.
Sanctions: According to the National Education Act 1978 (as amended in 1995 and 2016) and the Education Act (1982, amended in 1993), sanctions can be imposed on schools in the mainland and Zanzibar if the registration conditions are not complied with and the school is not conducted in accordance with the national education policy. These can range from higher levels of supervision, the cancellation of the school’s registration, or (as a final measure) the closure of the school by the Minister of Education. Where a school’s registration certificate has been cancelled or the school has been closed, the Minister may take over the school. If any person is found to be operating an unregistered school, collecting fees which have been unapproved by the government, or denying pupils admission on discriminatory grounds, they will be guilt of an offence and liable upon conviction to a fine up to 10,000 Tanzanian shillings (4 USD) and/or imprisonment for up to 6 months. Schools can also apply to voluntarily cancel their registration certificate by writing a letter to the Commissioner of Education.
In mainland Tanzania, supplementary private tuition is evident in urban, semi-urban and rural areas. In 1998, the MoEST banned all private tutoring in state primary and secondary school premises through Circular No.12 on the grounds that state schools are public property and should not be used for personal gain. However, despite this clear prohibition, the practice remains widespread to this day both in school settings and through private tutorial centres (which are not registered or regulated by the MoEST). Based on a survey conducted in 2001, it was reported that 70% of students and 72% of teachers in secondary schools participated in private tutoring.
In Zanzibar, private tutoring is legal and regulated by the MoEVT under the Education Act (1982, amended in 1993). A “tuition class arrangement” is specifically defined as a “an arrangement whereby a practising or non-practising professional teacher offers extra-school tuition to children or adults on a private basis whether for free or at a nominal fee”.
While private tutorial centers are not licensed or legally recognized by the MoEST in mainland Tanzania, they are under commercial legislation.
In Zanzibar, private tutoring arrangements fall under adult or continuing education programs and are registered by the MoEVT.
While no regulations were found regarding the financial operation and quality of private tutoring centers in mainland Tanzania, these centers maintain flexible operational hours, with lessons provided in both the mornings and afternoons to accommodate for different categories of clients. Similar to regular schools, private tutoring centers operate Monday to Friday with full-time teachers in attendance. There has even been evidence of private tutoring centers that eventually transitioned to non-government secondary schools.
In Zanzibar, private tutoring centers are regulated by the Education Act (1982, amended in 1993) under the MoEVT.
In mainland Tanzania, teachers in state schools are prohibited from providing private tutoring classes within school premises based on the private tutoring ban issued in 1998. The Teachers’ Service Commission Act 2015 and the Tanzania Teachers’ Professional Board Act 2018 do not make any reference to private tutoring, nor was there any regulation found on non-government school teachers providing these services.