After the Form IV results fiasco earlier this year, the government put together a Commission to investigate what had gone wrong and provide recommendations. At the time I was very skeptical because commissions have been the government's rote response to all disasters, and there is little evidence that the recommendations of these commissions have the desired impact. In other words, the government has a habit of using Commissions in a most cynical manner for political expedience- that's the impression it has given the citizenry.
Nonetheless, since the problems that have been causing the gradual collapse of our education system are well documented, I was optimistic that the government would take genuine action to improve the situation. Besides, at the very least they surely have the best interests of Tanzanian youths at heart because who could be so monstrous as to damage their chances of succeeding in this increasing complex and competitive world?
What happened was not unexpected, but it is unspeakably dissappointing nonetheless. In the short term, the government chose to nullify the offending results, and this week it announced the new results which show a marked improvement in the pass rate. As for the Commission, I was sent a link this morning to Rakesh Rajani's letter to the Prime Minister explaining his reasons for withdrawing for the remainder of the Commission's term. Seems the Commission wasn't, in the end, quite allowed to do their job of advising the government.
Having shoved its immediate problem under the mattress, the government might still attempt some reforms in the education sector. Nevertheless this incident raises concerns about the fitness of the people in office to govern, and calls into question the general competence of our public institutions. What does it say about the government when it literally refuses to be instructed in its business by the people- even in those instances when it is clearly politically beneficial to be responsive?