How Ict Integration Can Help Tanzanians Schools Education Essay

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The United Republic of Tanzania was formed out of the union of two sovereign states, namely Tanganyika and Zanzibar. Tanganyika became a sovereign state on 9 December 1961 and a republic the following year. Zanzibar became independent on 10 December 1963, and the People's Republic of Zanzibar was established after the revolution of 12 January 1964. The two sovereign republics formed the United Republic of Tanzania on 26 April 1964.The Government of the United Republic of Tanzania is a unitary republic consisting of the Union Government and the Zanzibar Revolutionary Government.

Tanzania follows a 7-4-2-3 system of education. Primary schooling takes seven years, followed by four years of secondary, two years of high school (advanced level), and three years of first degree university studies. Reports from the ministry indicate that there are a total of 14,700 primary schools, 2,289 secondary schools, 20 tertiary colleges (vocational training centres), and 53 teacher-training colleges. In 2006, there were 6.7 million new enrolments in pre-primary schools, 1.3 million standard one enrolments, and 243,359 enrolments in Form one. Teacher-training colleges enrolled a total of 13,425, an increase of more than 500% from 2005.

ICT INTEGRATION IN AFRICA

The Africa University [a pan-African institution located in Zimbabwe] Strategic Development Plan 2001-2008, (2002) in its executive summary, asserts that, ''The development and application of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to African education is crucial and urgent if the continent is going to be able to reduce the knowledge, technological and economic gap between itself and the rest of the world'' (p.4).

Explaining this threatening gap, Naidoo and Schutte (1999) admit that there are fundamental differences in the way in which technology integration is approached and implemented between the more developed countries and the developing countries.

The concept of ICT integration is not clear among the teachers in some of African countries. Chitiyo (2009) in his study on how university lecturers in pre-service secondary school teacher education programs in Zimbabwe conceptualize instructional technology (IT) integration found that majority of lecturers conceptualize IT and its integration as hardware in nature, with focus put on viewing technological tools as audio visual tools or aids. Furthermore, in another study done in the same year exploring the integration of instructional technology (IT) by university lecturers in pre-service secondary school teacher education programs in Zimbabwe, Chitiyo & Harmon (2009) discovered that the issue of lecturer integration of IT in their instruction that the lecturers' integration of IT was at the entry and adaptation stages only.

ICT POLICY IN TANZANIA

The National ICT policy of Tanzania started 2003. Among the objectives related to development and application of ICT in education and training are:-

Expand and develop the teaching of ICT in all levels of national system of formal and informal education and training.

Use ICT to improve the quality of education training in all areas including distance learning as well as to enhance the learning experience itself. (Ministry of Communication and Transport- Tanzania, 2003,pp.13)

Ministry of education and vocational training has recently developed an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Policy for Basic Education (July 2007). The policy of ICT incorporates the integration of ICTs in pre-primary, primary, secondary, teachers' education as well as non formal and adult education. The development of policy was done in consultation with stakeholders and considers issues such as infrastructure; curriculum and content; training and capacity development; planning procurement and administration; management; support and sustainability and monitoring and evaluation.

The mission of ICT policy for basic education is to integrate ICT to enhance access, equity, quality and relevance of basic education, while stimulating and improving and life- long learning. One among the objectives of is to integrate the use of ICT to achieve educational policy objectives.

INTERGRATION OF ICT IN SHOOLS

In Tanzania the ICT initiatives started in 2002 when stakeholders' workshop was called by ministry with support from the International Institute for Communications Development (IICD) a Dutch NGO. Eleven (11) projects proposal were generated from that work shop.

Concerning ICT in teacher training, the Ministry of Education initiated a programme for introducing ICT in teachers' college since 2005 with support from Swedish International Cooperation Agency (SIDA) the aim of this programme is to improve the quality of teacher education by using ICTs so as to get better both pre-service as well as in-service teacher education. 32 colleges are equipped with computers.

Also in 2005 The Ministry of Education and Vocational Training introduced the Education Management Information System (EMIS) to provide educational data.

According to Hare (2007) most of private schools in urban centres are using ICTs to compare with public ones. This is due to the pressure from the students' parents as well as desire for students in these schools to accomplish high national grades.

The eSchool forum has formulated a five years ICT in secondary schools programme. The programme is intended to equip schools with ICT equipments. The programme was supposed to start in 2008.

The new syllabus of 2009 for diploma teachers explains the rational for the course of educational media and technology as the present review of school curricula has placed great emphasis on learner-centred teaching /learning approaches, where students learn by doing activities.

CONSTRAINTS TOWARDS ICT INTEGRATION

ICT is facing many constraints in Tanzania; these constraints are such as policy framework and implementation, infrastructure and cost bandwidth, language of internet, electricity and tutor technicians.

The Tanzania National ICT policy 2003 reported the shortage of qualified IT professionals in the country; the same problem has been reported in the recent reports and policy making such as an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Policy for Basic Education (July 2007).

In summary, the constraints for ICT in Tanzania are as follow:-

Lack of recent studies to assess the impact of ICT investment to quality of teaching in schools, limited diffusion of ICT to urban schools, lack of electricity and frequent power outages, poor technology infrastructure, overcrowded computer labs and low bandwidth, high cost of (mainly satellite) internet connectivity, software licenses and equipment maintenance, insufficient and inappropriate software.

CONCLUSION

To sum up this presentation, the following measures should be done so as to facilitate ICT integration in Tanzanian's schools.

Its crucial for technologies including print media, audio, video, computers and portable devices, the internet and range of appropriate software to be integrated across the curriculum.

Research into the optimal ways to achieve this integration in Tanzania is mostly needed.

Schools may have to develop capacity its leaders to guide effective and holistic integration of ICT.

Government should be serious on providing social services and infrastructure to entire country especially rural areas.

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