Pre-Primary, Primary, Secondary, Colleges and Vocational Training Schools
The condition set by the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training that enrolment in primary education should be for those who would have graduated from pre-primary education has influenced the expansion of nursery schools in all the districts of Mbeya Region. In 2005 Mbeya Region had only 654 pre-primary schools, of which 676 were public owned. The number increased significantly to 859, equivalent to 21.3 percent increase in 2008.
Nevertheless, at the district level, the number of nursery schools in Kyela district had increased significantly (66.3 percent) within three years, followed by Mbozi (66.3 percent) and Chunya (37.9 percent). There was a very small improvement in Ileje district. The improvement of pre-primary schools has influenced the increase of enrolment of pupils in the Region.
The enrolment increased from 45,841 in 2005 to 195,760 in 2008 which is equivalent to 76.6 percent increase. Looking at sexes, boys dominate enrolment in 2005 while girls dominated in 2008, accounted for 50.2 percent against 49.8 and 49.7 percent against 50.3 in 2005 and 2008 respectively.
At the district level, Kyela district enrolment in pre-primary schools increased by 47.6 percent from 2,846 pupils in 2005 to 5,429 in 2008, followed by Mbeya city (20.8 percent) and Rungwe (20.6 percent). Chunya was the least district which increased enrolment by 1.5 percent only while Mbeya Rural decreased by 0.8 percent.
In 2002 the Region had 803 schools which increased slightly to 998 in 2005 and reached 1035 by the end of 2008, an increase of 3.6 percent compared to 2005.
Among other factors, lack of private sector participation in some of the districts has slowed the development of primary education in the Region.
The development of secondary education in Mbeya Region is also attributed to the involvement of the private sector. By the end of 2008 public schools increased tremendously to 201 due to the government campaign of establishing at least one secondary school in each ward. The Region succeded in increasing the number of schools from 71 in 2002 to 126 in 2005 and 264 in 2008. Looking at public secondary schools, the number increased significantly from 34 in 2002 to 201 in 2008.
At district level, Ileje district had the highest increase of 90.5 percent between 2002 and 2008. In 2002 the district had only 2 secondary schools which increased to 7 in 2005 and reached 21 by the end of 2008. The least increase was registered in Mbarali, only 47.1 percent followed by Rungwe district (63 percent).
Colleges and Vocational Training Schools
Mbeya is well endowed with higher learning institutions and vocational training schools. By 2008 the Region had 4 universities, and 10 colleges.
A vocational training centre plays a big role in the country. They increase number of skilled people and to some extent foster self reliance. By knowing contribution of the centres in social economic aspects and development of the country, registrations have been given to those centres which met the standards set by the government. Like Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Morogoro and Mwanza, Mbeya is another Region in Tanzania which has a numerous number of registered vocational training centres. Table 5.65 gives a list of registered vocational training centres which were operating in the Region in 2005 and 2008.