Allow Equal Access to Higher Education


Target: Shukuru Kawambwa, Minister of Education

Goal: Allow universal access to education by eliminating primary school exam

The government of Tanzania should allow more access for children to go to secondary school. At the moment, entrance to secondary school is contingent on the child’s performance on primary school exam results. Passing the Primary School Leaving Exam (PSLE) is required for access to higher education but around 49% of children failed the exam in 2013. That creates a huge disparity in education levels that will lead to a massive difference in economic opportunities. The government must change the law to allow for more universal access to higher education.

The Tanzanian government is currently considering a new education policy that would make secondary education compulsory for everyone up to about the age of 17. However, this policy would still keep the PSLE in place, allowing for students to be blocked from entry to secondary schooling. There should be no devices in place to block students from entering secondary school. And while this will mean that buildings will have to be renovated to accommodate a higher number of students in secondary school, it will provide a more professional work force that will stimulate the economy of the country.

While the use of exams to assess performance is a legitimate educational tool, exams should not be a selection mechanism. Children that fail the PSLE are more likely to end up working in hazardous jobs, according to human rights organizations. This includes child labor in gold mines across the country. Tanzania is party to international regulations that state that everyone under the age of 18 has a right to education. The PSLE denies that right. Sign this petition and demand equal rights for all students in Tanzania.


Dear Minister Shukuru Kawambwa,

According to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, secondary education should be available to everyone who wants to pursue a higher degree. This ability to better oneself should not be contingent on a student’s ability, especially when that student is in primary school. Your government must do all that it can to end the use of the PSLE and allow students to pursue whatever level of education they desire.

It has been shown by human rights organizations that students, who fail the PSLE, often end up working in hazardous jobs such as mining for gold. This is against international child labor regulations and should be remedied immediately. I ask that you do all in your power to allow higher education be available for all that desire it.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Ron Rieckenberg via Wikipedia Commons

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64 Signatures

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