Tanzania to punish parents who fail to put children in school

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Tanzania’s government has warned that it will punish any parents who will fail to ensure their children attend school.

In a major policy shift, incumbent president John Magufuli’s government announced that his government will introduce free primary and secondary education for all Tanzanian children from January.

George Masaju, Tanzania’s attorney general, warned that parents deemed to be holding back efforts to create a literate society by keeping children out of school would face punishment.

“Causing a child to drop from school for any reason is a criminal offense because you offend his fundamental right of being educated,” Masaju said late last month at a graduation ceremony at Feza School in Dar es Salaam.

The new policy will free parents from the burden of paying any fees and contributions for the 11 years of a child’s schooling.

However, unlike Uganda where the constitution provides for the enforcement of the right to education, Tanzania has no law that criminalizes parents who fail to put children in class.

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