Tanzania Education System (Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Education)

In the table below the education system of Tanzania is summarized.

  Education School/Level Grades Age Years Notes
Primary Pre-Primary 2 Education system: 2-7-4-2-3+ 2 years of pre-primary followed by 7 years of primary.
Primary Primary Education 1–7 7–13 7
Secondary Lower Secondary 8–12 15–17 4 Secondary education is split into ordinary and advanced level secondary education. There are four and two years of education respectively for each level. Certificate/diploma awarded: Certificate of Secondary Education (CSE)
Secondary Upper Secondary 18–20 2 Certificate/diploma awarded: Advanced Certificate of Secondary Education (ACSE)
Vocational Certificate 2 Requires Certificate of Secondary Education (CSE)
Vocational Full Technician Certificate 1–3 Requires Certificate of Secondary Education (CSE) or 2-year post-secondary vocational Certificate for admission
Tertiary Bachelor’s 3–5
Tertiary Master’s 1–3
Tertiary Doctorate 3 PhD


Below is the Tanzania Education System

Primary Education

Education is free in theory up to age 15 in Tanzania, although unfortunately poorer parents are unable to afford uniforms, school materials and examination fees, and so their children continue to be deprived. The primary period lasts for 7 years, where after all children must pass the same examination for a primary school certificate.

Middle Education

Four years of junior secondary schooling follow. Nominal annual tuition fees are levied, as are a wide variety of other charges too, ranging from watchman fees through to a furniture levy. The medium of education is English, although Swahili language classes are also followed. There are examinations at the end of forms 2 and 4.

Secondary Education

Secondary education in Tanzania follows the Cambridge model of ordinary and advanced levels, both of which require 2 years of study followed by an examination. The advanced level is available only at certain boarding schools, which effectively often means the end of the road for many a poor child because of cost.


Vocational Education

A vocational education and training act is in place that finds expression through the vocational education and training authority. The latter sets standards, and issues educational and training guides, for implementation through a network of state and private colleges. Other roles include entrepreneurship development, gender issues in the workplace, and the war against child labor.

Tertiary Education

Tertiary education takes a minimum of 3 years, at a wide variety of institutions under control of the ministry of higher education.  Of these the oldest is the University of Dar es Salaam, which was established in 1970 following the dissolution of the University of East Africa into 3 national institutions.

There are 5 campuses in the city and 10 faculties. These include mechanical & chemical engineering, electrical & computer systems engineering, civil engineering & the built environment, humanities & social sciences, and education.