Human Capital In Tanzania Education Essay

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Human Capital in Tanzania

1.0 Introduction

Tanzania is an African Country located in the East African region surrounded by Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda, Congo, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique. It was formed by the union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar in 1964. Like most developing countries, Tanzania relies heavily on Agriculture with 80% of its exports coming from this sector.

Human Capital is according to the concise encyclopedia of economics is the skills employees acquire through education and training which increases their market value. The increase in the market value is because of the increased efficiency and productivity of employees who have become experts in their field thus investors are willing to spend more to acquire the skills. Usually there is a motivation for the employees to improve their marketability either because of the remunerations in cash or in kind and or gratification.

There are chief factors that impact any human capital quality are education, gender gap, child labour, and health system of the country. This in turn affects the efficiency of production thus affecting the GDP. The downside of a perfect system where the human capital is highly valued is when other countries scout for the employees from the country.

2.0 Methodology

In this paper we are exploring how human capital is affected by: Child Labour, the Gender Gap: Women and Education, education System, and, Health System. Each factor is tackled at a time by exploring the problems facing it, its effects, its impact and also a review of what the Tanzanian government is doing to improve it.

Also recommendations and a view of how each factor is interlinked with each other will be undertaken. Data and information from the Tanzanian official website and government policy papers and journals will be used. Also Books addressing the problems of human capital in developing countries will be used as points of references.

3.0 Child Labour

Child labour is the use of underage children in production over long periods of time. Usually child labour remuneration is either very low or nonexistent and more often the parent or guardians benefit from such payments thus the practice is exploitative. Education. Health

According to the ILO estimates, 3.4 m out of 12.1 m children in Tanzania work on a regular basis, and that 1 in 3 children in rural areas is economically active whereas in urban areas is 1 in 10. This is a clear indication that Child Labour in the country is there but more so in the rural areas. This is because most children are exploited in the rural areas through agricultural production which is the major source of livelihood for most people.

The fact that there is a clear disparity between rural and urban children is the existence of dualistic economy whereby in the urban areas the economy is more developed and ultra modern whereas the rural economy is backwards and agriculturally oriented. In these agriculture based homesteads, it's characterized by lack of mechanization as this is usually too expensive for homesteads. The alternative is Human Labour and this is supplemented by child labour as parents utilize their children

Another reason that contributes to child labour is the low life expectancy rate leads to the lower age population being more than adults thus the shortage of the workforce in the villages translates to children having to take part in work. Even though Child Labour might in some context increase a country's Gross National Income, the fact that it infringes the right to education and good health makes it unacceptable, Furthermore in the long run, the impact on Human Capital will be negative thus affecting the GNI negatively.

The Tanzanian Government in conjunction with ILO have tried to stem child labour by running various programs initially targeting children working in hazardous conditions. Also, the Eliminating Child Labour in Tobacco -growing (ECLT) has undertaken various projects in Tanzania to curb child labour especially in tobacco farms around Urambo District. The law also states that all children should be given an opportunity to attend school especially the primary level for four years.

Child labour is a serious issue that might be overlooked. There are several instances of child labour that are often misinterpreted as normal routine and thus ignored. An example is domestication and farming where parents employ their own children in production. The government should undertake more awareness campaigns to enlighten people on what constitutes child labour.

Also, the Tanzanian government should undertake a survey to get more accurate data on the number of children in labour. According to a study by ILO, the number of children involved in worst kind of labour like prostitution and hazardous conditions work may be higher than reported

3.1 Links

There are direct and indirect links between other factors affecting human capital and child labour. When the girl child is exposed to child labour, her chances of getting a good education and empowerment are compromised. Also cases of malnutrition, abuse and poor health are associated with child labour. Mortality rates and morbidity rates are higher in the kids thus it puts a strain to the Health System. Child Labour can also be said to put a strain in the education system in that the system is rendered useless if it's not acting to prevent child labour.

All these factors contribute to a weak human capital. Child Labour results in an incompetent and semi illiterate and illiterate Human Capital. The lack of education makes the labour force in the long run to be very weak. The only skills such labour force will posses are those learned in semi formal work and restrict them from being flexible to join other types of work. Furthermore, lack of qualification papers exposes them to exploitation with them working long hours with very minimum pay.

The county's GNI as earlier pointed out will be negatively affected making the living standards to be low. The low living standards will act to create a vicious cycle as children

4.0 The Gender Gap: Women and Education

In most developing countries, preference is given to the male child over the girl child. This is because of the perception through customs and traditions that women are of lesser value than the Men. Also in some cases, the girl child is married off at a young age preventing her from achieving higher education. As a result, a gender gap is created and is evident in positions of leadership.

In Tanzania, the literacy rates are at 72% with the male literacy level being at 79.9% and the females being at 67%. This is a clear disparity yet it has been proven that the rate of return on women's education is usually higher than that of men in developing country. This is because educated women usually cater for their families more than men. In most broken family units, it's usually the mother who ends up with the children thus if educating providing for them ensures better living standards for the children.

Also it's the mothers who have more impact on the children more than the male parents. Another issue is that the culture of drunkenness is more prevalent in men than women and so is child abuse. Educated mothers also usually have multiplier impact on many generations as they are more influential on the young growing children.

It has been proven that empowering women increases productivity and lowers fertility. This translates to an increase in GNI as the population growth is not higher than the GDP growth. The standards of living will thus improve plus all the other positive benefits.

The Tanzanian Government has focused on girl child enrollment to school and achieved considerable success and as of 1997, the rate of enrollment for girls was 49.6%. The major problem encountered is after enrollment, maintaining the girls in school prove to be a challenge as most of them drop out. The government has also restructured education and training so as to increase womens' enrolment ino vocational, tetiary and higher education.

Furthermore, it has established girls' vocational training centres and technical schools while at the same time introducing courses and training in skills neccessary to provide gainful employment to women.

The major Challenges Tanzania faces when it comes to empowering women and closing the gender gap comes from years of not fully addressing the issue which has led to almost all the systems contributing to the gap. From the education system which lays emphasize on technical structures more favourable to boys to the employment opportunity system whereby girls are looked down upon as incompetent and unreliable. This sterotype hinders the emporwerment of the women thus closing the gender gap hard.

The syllabuses in schools should be reviewed in order to remove any gender biased courses and topics. Furthermore, increasing access to education will assist in providing easier access to the girls. Providing funds,scholarships and fees bursaries to women should be initiated to give the girls an edge. Despite all these, care should also be taken not to bias the boy child too much but rather all programs should be structured to provide a level playing field.

4.1 Links

The gender gap greatly affects the Human Capital and all the other factors. This is because women empowerment can be linked to Education system, health system and even child labour. By educating women, productivity rises and fertility is lowered, those the ability to provide for a child is raised. This inturn prevents any risk of the child having to be forced to work for sustenance. Further more, the health of the children will be high as proper nutrition and care is provided for by the educated mothers leading to prevention of avoidable common diseases. This prevents strain being placed on the health systems thus allowing them to fuction optimumly.

When a woman is empowered, he is able not only to ensure thather children attend school but also she is able to supplement the education gained in school by guiding and tutoring her kids. This enables the children to be competent and efficient in school. An educated mother can earn a living thus ensuring that her children can go to good schools. The education system will be exploited optimumly as intended through this means. The resulting human capital gained from reduction of the gender gap is quite big thus focus should be on achieving this.

5.0 Education System

In most developing countries, there is usually a serious gap between the relationship of employment qualification demand and the quality and relevance of the education. Most syllabuses are out of date and in an ever fast changing work expertise environment, the little relevance to be achieved is not applicable. Such is the seriousness of the issue that at times most corporations undertake their own trading before hiring. In cases where technical expertise requirement is of a higher degree, undertaking trainings proves to be an expensive undertaking.

The Formal education system in Tanzania is made up of two years of pre-primary education, seven years of primary, four years of junior secondary, two years of senior secondary (advanced) and three or more years of tertiary education. Most individuals usually drop out after primary education, this is because the cost of secondary and tertiary education is relatively higher thus most parents cannot afford.

One major challenge that faces the education sector is lack of passion and commitment by the teachers. This can be attributed to the low wage rates that they are paid plus the large number of students enrolled per class. This greatly affects the quality of education. Lack of proper study environment at home also affects the education sector as most families are poor and engage student in work after school. Poorly equipped schools and irrelevant syllabuses also proves challenging.

From 2002, the government scrapped off tuition fee in primary education. Coupled with it being mandatory for children to attend primary schools, enrollment has gone up. Even so, the parents still have to deal with uniform costs, test fees and school supplies. In 2001, the Government launched the Primary Education Development Program (PEDP) to improve the access, retention and quality of education. It was financed with help from World Bank and other Development Partners. Some of its objectives have been achieved.

The government needs to increase the number of schools to ensure that there is no congestion. Furthermore there is need to improve the terms of services of teachers so as to ensure commitment of teachers. Schools should be fully equipped to meet the relevant standards required. Also existing syllabuses should always be reviewed to assess and ensure their relevance.

5.1 Links

The education system of any economy is directly linked to its education system. Through education, the relevance and quality of the human capital is defined. An efficient education system ensures that all children are catered for thus avoiding child labour. Also an efficient system ensures there is no education gender gap. As a result of a good education system, the overall health of the society is improved through mainly two ways: people are away of how to take care of themselves the environment and others thus avoiding preventable diseases thus reducing strain on health centers. Another way is that there will be more qualified personnel to be found in the health centers thus making the health system very effective

6.0 Health System

Health is directly associated with human capital in than the productivity of an individual is tied to his well being. Also the life expectancy is determined by health among other factors. A good health system ensures that the population's lives are healthy.

In Tanzania, there are 6 specialized hospital 4 of which are government owned. There are 479 health centers with each centre being able to cater for 50,000 people. One of the most important structures is the dispensaries; these units are able to cater for 6,000 to 10,000 people. They are important because though they are very basic, accessibility to tem is quite easy. There are 3,315 of these in Tanzania. In additional there are 55 district hospitals, one in each district





Specialized Hospitals 




Regional Hospitals





District Hospitals










Specialized clinics





Private labs





Serious problems challenge the health system. To start with, lack of good hospitals and hospital equipment renders the hospital services to be incompetent. More often than not, serious conditions need to be transferred to a treatment abroad which is unaffordable to most people. Secondly, these hospitals are usually understaffed and with unqualified doctors. Their level of expertise isn't at par with the requirements of the patients. Often the costs of treatment and drugs are above the affordability of most patients. Also the influence of traditional medicine which is often cheap but ineffective undermines the purpose of the hospitals. Lastly another issue that affects the health system is the brain drain of qualified personnel to better paying jobs abroad.

Like most developing countries, Tanzania has had to face with HIV/AIDS epidemic, with 1.4million people infected. Out of these, 70% fall in the age bracket of 25-49 years i.e. most productive. One major problem faced by the government is lack of adequate qualified personnel specially trained to deal with managing the disease. Another issue is lack of enough anti retroviral drugs and in most cases the people who are infected do not afford the drugs. The stigma associated with the disease often makes people to shy away from ARV programs

The Government of Tanzania has made several changes in the health sector to improve its system. Based on the report named 'Proposals for Health Reforms Ministry of Health 1994', reforms have been made in: Decentralization of health services, financial reforms, introduction of health insurance and public private mix reforms. This has been done hand in hand with expansions of public hospitals to cater for the growing population.

The many challenges facing the health sector needs to be addressed. With an ever increasing population, focus should be on catering affordable health care for all individuals. The government should invest in medical equipment that makes travel to abroad for further treatment unnecessary. The requirements for qualifications should be raised higher but this should go hand in hand with improved and cheaper medical training. The negative impact that non approved traditional methods of cure should be banned and qualified research be looked into.

6.1 Links

Health system ensures a healthy and thus productive population. Most diseases affected developing countries are preventable ad only the weak health systems are the cause. Human Capital is affected when the quality and potential quantity of work that can be done is not achieved due to poor health. The result of a weak health system is increased mortality and morbidity which in turn leads to lack of breadwinner in a family unit thus forcing kids into child labour. Such a system also leads to malnutritioned unhealthy kids who will not be able to utilize the education system.

Interlinking Chart

Education System Child Labour

Human Capital

The Gender Gap: Women and Education Health System

7.0 Policy Focus

Human Capital should be enhanced in order to achieve a higher GDP and GNI. Individuals' well being can be improved by improving their Human Capital and also Human capital can be improved by ensuring the welfare of the individuals. Thus a comprehensive policy should be designed which tries to address in one instance the four factors mentioned above. A policy should be able to address the healthcare system in such a way that there is affordable care for all. This can be done via sufficient health reforms, increased health insurance plans and increased government spending on health sector. Focus should be on ensuring reduction of child mortality rates and also ensuring reduced morbidity rates. Also post natal care should be provided to ensure that the young children do not suffer from malnutrition and do not miss all the necessary available vaccines.

In the same policy, taking the assumption that the first targets are achievable, then the policy should also cover protection of the child from all kinds of child labour. The health of the child which has already been catered for runs the risk of being abused through labour. There should be enough safeguards to ensure that a child is able to have enough rest, exercise and play without straining him or herself. It should also ensure that parents do not knowingly or unknowingly exploit their children. Orphans without guardians should be protected and catered for by the government.

Then the policy has to ensure quality of the education system to ensure that the child who is now not only healthy but is not being exploited has access to a good education. A good education system will guarantee the child access to quality education necessary for the formation of good Human Capital. The system should be able to identify, capture and perfect any skills and talents unique to the child. The Policy should make provisions for allocation to upgrading syllabuses and courses tailor made to fit the ever dynamic job market requirements. Also post education courses to ensure that the graduated students maintain their edge should be availed.

The policy should ensure that the girl child is not neglected in all these benefits thus a gender gap should not be allowed. The risks associated with a gender gap will impact the intended goal of the policy. The policy should make provisions for a review of all the educational sectors that disfavor the women and also put more focus on improving the marketability of educated women. The requirements for women qualifications to jobs should be lowered and a certain fixed percentage of job opportunities be made requiring women to occupy the positions.

8.0 Conclusion

In taking into consideration all these factors, the Policy will be able to ensure that the system will provide an educated, healthy, competitive individual. Such a Human Capital is guaranteed to propel a country to achieve great productivity. The highly competent human capital will guarantee investor confidence thus capital investments will increase. With their qualifications the wage rate will be higher thus the standards of living will improve.

The Gross National Income will eventually increase with an increase in the gross incomes of individuals. For the policy to work government expenditure must initially increase but in the long run the development of the human capital will become self sustaining as increased wage rate, leads to improved living standard thus resulting in better health and affordable health care. Better education opportunities and eradication of child labour will come semi automatically.

Order of Issues to be addressed by a Human Capital Policy

Health System

Child Labour

Education System

The Gender Gap: Women and Education