Secondary Education

Secondary education has two levels. Ordinary Level (O' Level) is Form 1 through Form 4. After Form 4, a certificate is issued to all passing the Certificate of Secondary Education Examinations. Selected students may progress to Advanced Level (A' Level) education - Forms 5 and 6 - or study for an ordinary diploma in a technical college. Not all schools offer A' Level classes. All students at this level are boarding students. Because of the potential problems associated with boarding both male and female students, A' Level schools restrict enrollment to one sex.

Private schools
Passing the Standard VII exam is not a requirement to continue education, but anyone who fails is not selected to join a government secondary school. This creates a substantial market for private schools. Some private schools cater to the economically privileged who wish for better school resources, additional courses such as computer training, and smaller class sizes. Other private schools cater toward those who have not been selected for government schools. That's why there are a lot of majipu.

Tuition and fees
Government secondary schools charge tuition of about 20,000 Tanzanian shillings (TSH) per year (around US$10). Several fees are charged in addition to tuition, including testing fees, caution fees, watchman contribution, academic contribution, furniture contribution, identity fee, emblem fee, and fee for lunches. The government tries to keep education affordable while maintaining quality as high as possible. The number of government secondary schools, which includes community or ward based schools, has increased dramatically over the past few years, stretching scarce resources and teachers but offering an affordable education to many more students. Still, tuition and fees are burdensome to many families, especially large families, single parent families, and orphans. Families where the parents do not yet appreciate the value of education, especially for girls, is often enough to keep them from agreeing to pay for schooling.

Private secondary school annual tuitions vary from approximately TSH 200,000 (around US$100) to TSH 32 million (around US$16,000). A typical private school tuition is around TSH 1,000,000 ($525 USD).

Enrollment and teaching statistics
In 2008, the total enrollment in Forms 1-4 was 1,164,250 students, and in Forms 5-6 it was 58,153 students. The total number of teachers was 32,835 and the total number of schools was 3,485. In the same year, the gross enrollment rate for Forms 1-4 was estimated at 36.2 percent, and the net enrollment rate was estimated at 24.4 percent. The figures for Form 5 and 6 were 4.0 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively.

In 2012, the total enrollment in Forms 5-6 was 78,438 students.:page: 59 The total number of teachers was 65,086.:page: 61

The secondary schools that perform highest in the national examinations employ better-trained teachers, including experienced graduates. Higher pay and efficient school management attract the higher qualified teachers to non-government schools and seminaries. Of all teachers who have a university degree, 58 percent work in non-government schools, and of all Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science graduates with education degrees, 75 percent are absorbed in this sector. Most of the rest teach in government schools, with the result that very few are in the community-built schools.

National examinations
A national standardized exam is given at the end of Form 2, although there is no consequence for failing it.
Another national standardized exam, the Certificate of Secondary Education Examination, is given at the end of Form 4. A student who passes is given a school-leaving certificate by his or her school. The student is also given an academic certificate by the National Examination Council of Tanzania. This certificate indicates the student's level of performance in several subjects, with division I being the best performance and division IV being the worst.
Secondary education ends when a student passes the Advanced Certificate of Secondary Education Examination and receives a diploma after completing Form 6. Depending on the test results, the student may then be selected to enroll in a university.

Language of instruction
By law, all secondary education must be taught in English (except Kiswahili class). English used to be the medium of primary school, but they outlawed that. For many students, however, English is their third language. Even though Kiswahili is the national language, there are approximately 120 languages spoken in Tanzania. Especially in rural areas, a tribal language is often the first language learned by children.

In 2009, only 35.4% of students sitting for the National Standard VII Exam received passing marks in English. Students who do not pass this exam in English could still attend school where English is the primary language of instruction, making the use of English in secondary school teaching controversial. Those in favour of English-instruction secondary schools argue that the ability to speak English prepares students to work in the global economy. Those opposed argue that English-language instruction leaves students out and detracts from students concentrating on the subject matter.

The curriculum of secondary education consists of optional subjects plus core and compulsory subjects.
The core and compulsory subjects in Form 1 and 2 that are offered by all schools include mathematics, English, physics with chemistry, Kiswahili, biology, history, geography, civics and religion. The optional subjects in Form 1 and 2 include home economics, information and computer studies, additional mathematics, music, fine arts, French, Arabic, other foreign languages, Islamic studies, Bible knowledge, and physical education. Students may choose none or any one or two of the listed subjects if offered at their school.

The core subjects in Form 3 and 4 offered by all schools include mathematics, English, Kiswahili, biology, civics, religion, history, geography, physics, and chemistry. The optional subjects in Form 3 and 4 include home economics, information and computer studies, additional mathematics, music, fine arts, French, Arabic, Islamic studies, Bible knowledge, and physical education.

The minimum number of subjects required for the Certificate of Secondary Education Examinations is seven. All candidates are tested in mathematics, English, Kiswahili, biology, and civics.