Dear readers, my apologies for not having written in a minute. As usual, life has been hectic and it’s been hard to find the time to sit and write original content. These autumn months I’ve spent in the USA and am now freshly back to Tanzania where I have a few weeks’ respite to prep the rollout of our 2019 expansion.
To refresh your memories, The Toa Nafasi Project, in collaboration with the District Education Office (Moshi Municipality, Kilimanjaro Region) is on the brink of expanding our pullout program for children with learning differences in the government school system here in Tanzania. We started in one public primary school in 2013, expanded to three more in 2016, and will expand to another five for a total of nine in 2019. It’s a tall order, but we are coming correct with a staff of 30+, primarily Tanzanians who are ready to face the challenge of strengthening the existing education system for the next generation.
Looks like we are just in time. Check out the article below from the Tanzania Daily News titled “More Investment in the Education Sector Needed.” A rousing call to action for my twelfth year in this country….
The country’s education system, whether we like it or not, needs to be addressed critically.
Although there has been a lot of improvement within the education sector in Tanzania, there are still loopholes which indicate that children are not receiving the best from our schools.
One of the main reasons for this can be attributed to little investment. Tanzania is the largest East African country geographically and by population, and the second largest by its economy, yet it only uses 1.4% of its Gross Domestic Product on education, less than half of the percentage of every other East African country.
Education is one of the basic rights for our children, although several official and unofficial researches indicate that the situation of a Tanzanian teacher, training and teaching methods is one of the most critical issues. It will be surprising to note that teachers have limited education, and many have only finished Form 4.
After that, there are only around 2 years of teacher training. Apart from that, although most of our teachers work 52 hours a week instead of the usual 40, their salaries are low.
This situation forces many of the teachers to languish in poverty, oftentimes failing to educate their own children in the process, something which can be attributed to the low morale found in some of them. Teaching methods, on the other hand, are in need of serious improvement as well, considering that teachers usually teach lessons based on the forthcoming examinations rather than on other important skills.
This means that students are taught to memorize answers to questions instead of understanding why the questions should be answered that way, which is unfortunate because sometimes children do not fully understand the concepts of the subjects they are learning.
Many organizations and the government are working to improve the Tanzanian education system, including the Tanzania Teachers Union (TTU), HakiElimu, and the Teacher Education Department of the Ministry of Education.
However, Tanzanian education could still use some improvement, and any action that will help will contribute to Tanzania becoming a well-educated country should be encouraged.
The government should invest more in education, because by doing this, the improvement of the education sector in Tanzania will accelerate, and with a more educated community, the poverty level will decrease.
Parents, too, need to be involved in their children’s education, because it is one of the most important parts of the child’s life, which will help to shape their future.