Tanzania’s ambitious plans for a programme of ICT-based learning across the country’s education system will be a step closer to reality by the time participants arrive in Dar es Salaam for eLearning Africa. Mr Mwanu Kuzi, the Director of Policy and Planning at the Ministry of Education, told eLearning Africa’s News Portal that a document outlining the Government’s plans for the programme, which has been named ‘Tanzania Beyond Tomorrow,’ will be ready by the time of the conference.
Mr Mwanu Kuzi confirmed that the Government has “prepared a draft framework for ‘Tanzania Beyond Tomorrow’ and is now sharing it with other appropriate partners, such as e-content experts and experts in technology. “A proper Tanzania Beyond Tomorrow official document will explain what we intend to do,” he said. “It will be ready as soon as possible.”
The ‘Tanzania Beyond Tomorrow’ initiative aims to provide a massive boost to the country’s basic education and teacher training system with the introduction of an ambitious programme of ICT-based enhancements.
Describing the initiative’s objectives, Mr Mwanu Kuzi said: “We want to enhance the use of ICT in education, to provide and improve ICT infrastructure to support the teaching and learning environment, to support capacity building, and to develop guidelines for e-content and how to use ICT in management functions, enhancing ICT in teaching and learning and research and development.”
Mr Mwanu Kuzi is confident that the initiative will have a significant impact on education in Tanzania. “There are so many outputs we expect,” he said. “We have expanded the opportunity to make education available to anyone, anywhere, any time. It will help to alleviate the shortage of teachers and learning materials. We expect e-content to enhance the learning process.”
A shortage of teachers remains a major problem for Tanzania’s education system. “There is a shortage of teachers everywhere, both in urban and rural environments. We have expanded in government faster – faster than we have recruited teachers. There has been increased enrolment but the output of teachers from training colleges has not kept pace.”
Mr Mwanu Kuzi admits that the initiative faces many challenges on the road to implementation. “The main problem in implementation will be access to resources: human, financial and technological,” he says. However, he is confident that the problems will be overcome and that the government will be able to draw on support from society and from the private sector, in particular.
“Some people may be reluctant to finance the social sector but we expect to have good cooperation once we publish the document and people are aware of the Government’s intentions.”
‘Tanzania Beyond Tomorrow’ is “a priority initiative” and it “fits into the national poverty reduction strategy and the UN’s Millennium Development Goals.” For this reason, Mr Mwanu Kuzi is confident that it will overcome any obstacles and quickly make a major contribution to transforming the prospects of Tanzania’s young people.
For more information on the ‘Tanzania Beyond Tomorrow’ initiative, please refer to eLearning Africa’s previous article ‘Tanzania eLearning project bringing education to 1.5 million secondary students’: http://www.elearning-africa.com/eLA_Newsportal/283/
It’s a shame that we don’t offer training programmes for potential ICT teachers in Tanzania. Surely if the problem is a lack of teachers there must be a solution.
Online learning will be the future in Tanzania, but it will take time for the country’s purpose built e-learning infrastructure to get up to speed. Social entrepreneurs looking to provide widely available free education could also help change the face of online education. In the meantime, there are many online learning and distance education resources that can be utilised right now for elearning from home or school. Many top American and European universities offers some free courses. There are a few good free sites as well. My cousin was a teacher in Ghana for a couple of years and found Alison.com useful for the students and even teachers to use on their own to help with their study and class preparation. The youth seemed to really respond to it as well.
“There are many online learning and distance education resources that can be utilised right now for elearning from home or school.” – http://www.distance-learning-university-guide.com/free-online-courses/