Q&A – 27 September 2021
Age for enrollment for pre-primary and primary school education
My daughter turned 5 years on 12 December last year. In January this year I approached the headteacher of the school where she is pursuing pre-primary school to enroll her for primary education. The headteacher refused my request on the ground that a 5 years old child is not eligible for enrollment for primary education. I feel this refusal is against the child’s right to education. May I know if there is any law prescribing the minimum age for enrollment of a child to a school for primary education?
KJ, Dar es Salaam
There are three laws that govern the age for enrollment for pre-primary and primary education in Tanzania namely the Education Act [Cap.353 R.E 2002], the Primary School (Compulsory Enrollment and Attendance) Rules, 2002 and the Education (Admission to Government Schools) Regulations, 2002.
Section 35(1) of the Education Act prescribes 7 years as the compulsory age for enrollment of a child to a school for primary education. In ensuring the child’s right to education, the Parliament in 2009 amended section 35 of the Education Act through the Law of the Child Act, by authorising enrollment of a child above the age of 7 years for primary education. Section 35(1) of the Education Act provides compulsory and not eligibility age for enrollment to a school for primary education. In other words, section 35(1) of the Education Act does not render a child under the age of 7 years ineligible for enrollment for primary education. It only makes it mandatory for a parent or a guardian to enroll her/his child who has attained the age of 7 years and open the door for enrollment.
However, for Government primary schools, regulation 4 of the Education (Admission to Government Schools) Regulations, 2002 expressly denies admission of a child under the age of 7 years to Government primary school for primary education unless the child is expected to turn 7 years on 31 March of the year the admission is sought.
Based on the above, please note that in respect of private schools, there is no express statutory prohibition that a child under 7 years cannot be enrolled for primary education in a private school. There may be administrative circulars issued by the Ministry of Education to guide private primary schools on the minimum age for enrollment for primary education, but we are not aware of any such circulars and we recommend you also check with the Minister.
Procuring a prisoner to attend Court as witness
Our company is a defendant in civil suit which is still pending hearing for the defence side. Our key witness is our former managing director who is currently in prison serving a jail term. How can we procure a prisoner to come to Court as our witness?
Section 60 of the Prisons Act [Cap 58 R.E 2002] guides how to serve a witness summons to a prisoner. A party to a civil suit who wishes to call an inmate as a witness in a civil suit is required to make an application to the Court hearing the suit to issue a witness summons to the prisoner. The application for a witness summons is made orally and normally does not require the opposite party to make a reply. After hearing the party applying for a witness summons, the Court usually grants the application and issues a witness summons to the inmate through the prison officer in-charge of the prison where the inmate witness is incarcerated. The summons will show the time and place where the inmate witness is required to attend. The inmate witness will be escorted by a prison officer on his way to Court and back to prison and he is deemed to be under lawful custody during the period he is absent from prison. The prison officer in-charge may direct how to keep the inmate when he is away from prison.
Prohibited contribution or hospitality to a civil servant
I am a businessman and get a lot of requests for contributions from different civil servants. For example, I am called very regularly to contribute for funerals of closed ones of those who are working in the civil service. Is it an offence to contribute? My second question is whether it is an offence to treat a civil servant to a meal in a nice hotel? Kindly guide.
Contribution for a funeral or wedding of a family member of a civil servant might be or might not be an offence depending on the motive for giving the contribution and the existing relationship between the civil servant and the person giving the contribution. If there is existing or supposed official relationship between the civil servant and the person giving the contribution and the contribution is given as undue influence to the civil servant in order to obtain from him undue advantage either for the person giving the contribution himself or for another person, such contribution shall be a corruption offence termed trading in influence contrary to section 33(1) of the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Act [Cap.329 R.E 2019]. Where the contribution is given without intent to gain any undue advantage, there is no crime.
Likewise if a person hosts a civil servant in a nice hotel as influence to obtain from him undue advantage, such hospitality shall amount to trading in influence contrary to section 33(1) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.