Secondary education builds upon knowledge and skills already acquired in the primary school. It prepares learners to engage in logical reasoning and provides opportunities to strengthen higher order analysis and basic skills of synthesis. It aims at preparing learners to pursue further education and training according to their interests, abilities and capabilities. Successful completion of secondary education is of paramount importance for employment in the modern economy and for laying foundation for the diversified post-secondary level education.
Secondary education at the lower level is characterized by a two - pronged system in existence. One prong is of five years sub-divided into three years of first cycle lower secondary at the end of which students sit for entrance examinations for admission into the second cycle of lower secondary lasting for 2 years. At the end of this second cycle students sit for the Certificate of Secondary Education Examination (CSEE). About 40% of students who sit for the entrance examination at the end of the first cycle are selected to enter the second cycle. The second prong offers 4 years of continuous secondary education at the end of which students sit for the Certificate of Secondary Education Examination (CSEE).
About 3% of pupils who sit for the standard seven examination are selected to pursue secondary education under the second prong system. The 2004 statistics show that about 57,760 students pursued the first cycle lower secondary education in the first prong system and about 2071 students in second prong system.
A total of 59,831 students which is equivalent to GER of 50.3% were enrolled at the secondary lower level. Girls constituted 50.4% implying that more girls than boys were in secondary schools. Private sector contribution to secondary education is low with an enrolment of only 1,393 students' equivalent to 2.3% of the total enrolment. The NER was 14% indicating a presence of a high number of over age students. Secondary education has entered a phase of rapid growth induced by the expansion and improved internal efficiency at the primary level.
Many of the present day secondary schools started as primary schools which grew over time into first cycle lower secondary schools and later into full secondary schools through the upgrading process.
- Zanzibar has succeeded in providing at least 3 years of secondary education to a majority of students.
- Existence of secondary schools in all districts.
- There is near gender equity.
- It is claimed that the growth of private primary schools is encouraging the growth of secondary education sector.
- The examinations at the end of primary education which act as a filtering mechanism provide opportunity for only a small percentage of students to enter biased secondary schools.
- The two pronged system has a negative psychological impact on learners.
- The Net Enrolment Ratio is low.
- Inadequate science laboratories and shortage of teachers
- No exposure to ICT in the case of the majority of students especially those in rural areas.
- No facilities for students with special needs.
- A four-year secondary education shall be provided for all.
- Development of secondary education of quality shall be based on proper and adequate planning.
- Alternative approaches to formal secondary education shall be developed to provide opportunities to learners outside the formal system.
- A supportive school environment for students with special needs shall be provided.
- Secondary school curriculum shall include ICT.
- Constructing model secondary schools in all districts.
- Conducting school mapping to determine areas that are in need of new secondary schools.
- Introducing alternative modes of delivery of secondary education for example the use of ICT and distance learning.
- Developing alternatives to formal secondary education.
- Establishing links with primary, teachers' centres, teacher training, vocational training and the industry.