Do I have a right to education?
Yes. All children and young people in Tanzania have the right to education. The right to education in Tanzania is provided and protected by the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania under Article 11(1) this directs the State and all its agencies to ensure that all citizens young and old get education.
Do I have to go to school?
Yes. You must go to school from the age of 6 until you are 16 years old, or you have finished three years of secondary school. The only exception is if you are being educated at home.
Do I have to go school every day?
Yes. Your parent or guardian must make sure that you go to school every day and must tell the school and give a reason if you are going to be absent.
What happens if I am sick or have other reasons for not going to school?
If you are unable to attend school, your parent or guardian should contact the school, preferably in writing, to explain why.
Who decides which school I attend?
Your parent or guardian will usually decide which school you will attend. You do not have an absolute right to attend the school of your choice, but the Government must provide you with a school near your home that meets your parents’ or guardian’s religious or philosophical beliefs. Schools do not have to admit a child if there are no places available. You do not have the right to choose which school you attend.
Who decides what I learn at school?
The Minister for Education and Culture sets the curriculum (the subjects to be taught).Your school and teachers decide what you will learn from that curriculum every day at school.
Do I have a right to choose my own subjects at school?
For your first seven years in primary school, you will study the set curriculum, Form One and you will be allowed to choose what you want to study and form five and six will depend with your form four national examination results.
It is against the Law to discriminate a child on any grounds being gender, religion, language, disability, health status, ethnic origin or socio-economic status. Sec(2) LCA 2009.
The Law of the Child Act 2009 standardise the definition of a child in the country. Sec 4(1) A person below the age of eighteen years shall be known as a child.
Law of the Child Act in Tanzania provide for reform of laws relating to children giving effect to international and regional conventions on the rights of the child.
Right to name and nationality LCA 2009 Sec. 6(1) states ‘A child shall have a right to a name, nationality and to know his biological parents and extended family’.
LCA 2009 Sec (11) states ‘A child shall have a right of opinion and no person shall deprive a child capable of forming views the right to express an opinion, to be listened to and to participate in decisions which affect his well-being’.
Do I have the right not to study religion in school?
Yes, but only if your parent or guardian agrees as well as the studies are provided at your school. If you do not share the religion of your school, or do not have a religion, you do not have to attend religious instruction though most of the time the school joining instructions states this clearly. Your parent or guardian can ask for you not to participate in this class and the school should agree to this. If you belong to a different religion from that of your school, the school does not have to provide you with instruction in that religion.
Do I have to do tests and exams?
You must follow school rules or policy which may include sitting tests and exams.
What happens if I am suspended?
Suspension means you are not allowed to attend school for a set number of days. A school may suspend you if you have seriously misbehaved. The school’s decision must be reasonable and reflect the seriousness of what you have done. Schools must have procedures in place which outline what steps must be taken before you can be suspended.
What happens if I am expelled?
Expulsion means you cannot attend this school again. By law, schools must have procedures in place which outline the steps to be taken before you can be expelled.
Can I complain if I think my teacher is treating me unfairly?
Your parent or guardian can make a complaint on your behalf directly to the teacher. If you are not happy with the teacher’s response, your parents or guardian can complain to the school principal. If the issue is not resolved, your parent or guardian can make a complaint to the school’s Board of Management.
Do I have a right to privacy in school?
Privacy in school means attending school without any interference by the school in your private life, your personal space, your body or your belongings. There are some situations where a school can interfere with your privacy. For example, a teacher can search your bag if he or she believes that you are carrying illegal substances or alcohol. However, both you and your parent or guardian must agree to this.
Do my parents have a right to know how I am doing in school?
Your parents or guardian have a right to be kept informed about your education and behaviour in school. This is usually done through school reports, which parents receive once a year,and through parent-teacher meetings.
What happens if I get into trouble at school?
Schools must have a system to deal with students who cause trouble or break the rules.By law, the Board of Management of every school must have a code of behaviour for students. The code of behaviour explains what will happen if you do not obey the school’s rules.
Your school will give a copy of the code of behaviour to your parents or guardian when you enrol. The school may ask your parents or guardian to confirm in writing that they agree with the procedures in the code and that they will do all they can to make sure you obey the rules.
If you cause trouble in school, the school may consider a number of options such as:
- detention (being required to stay in school during lunchtime or afterschool for an hour or so),
- confiscation (taking away something,such as your mobile phone), or
- temporarily excluding you from class(putting you outside the classroom).If your behaviour is more serious, the school can suspend you or even expel you (explained on the next page). However, the school must act fairly and give you a chance to have your say.