Teacher Professional Development - Tanzania
Bright Education Trust Fund (BETF)
on the ground project
Secondary school teachers
The teacher professional development programme started in 2002 and trains secondary school teachers in the use of ICT. A group of 250 teachers learns new ways of teaching that can improve the existing methods. Key element in this new way of teaching is the use of the internet to retrieve digital educational materials easily.
One of the main problems in Tanzania’s education today is the low quality of teaching; this is partly due to lack of materials, low level of education of the teachers themselves and a lack of incentives and enthusiasm. ICT opens possibilities to renew established ideas and approaches on teaching and learning environments. Through both personal and professional exposure to new ways of learning, teachers get familiar with acquiring other quality teaching material (from the internet) to improve existing or compile new teaching material.
Read more about IICD’s Tanzania Country Programme.
250 teachers have been trained. Bright Education Trust Fund, the project partner, is looking for ways to independently continue the teacher professional development programme. It has been difficult to sustain the activities after IICD support ended (mid 2005), as most teachers are not ready to pay or are not able to pay for ICT training. BETF discussed with the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training the possibility of training college tutors to introduce ICT basic skills and integration of ICT in the education programmes. BETF negotiated with Tanzania Education Authority to train government secondary school teachers on ICT. So far there have been no concrete results.
Both project leaders were involved in the development of the national ICT for education policy
The Teacher Professional Development project aims to:
- Make teachers of Teachers Colleges and Secondary Schools competent to use ICT for improving the efficiency of the school’s administration
- Empower teachers to improve their teaching materials and methods
Read more about IICD's approach towards Education.
About 250 teachers had the opportunity to attend professional development courses to utilize ICT in schools, and integrate ICT in their teaching method. The courses were fully sponsored and teachers expressed interest in ICT training. Some of them started looking for additional material on the internet, to accompany their courses in the class room.
In an evaluation done in 2005, teachers stressed that the training could have had a greater impact if it was continuous. The training was sufficient to give them ICT basics to ICT tools, but they still need to understand how and when to use the tools to achieve particular purposes, and be able to specialize in use of tools. Teachers also felt they need to be rewarded either financially or in promotion. Teachers’ mindset was such that the government has to pay for their education. To change that, professional development has to be built-in process for all teachers. Also in this case, the incentive structure is a problem. Teachers saw no point in learning something they were not paid for.
The project owner is BETF, a non-governmental organisation that was created to carry out this project. Sustainability has been difficult: the owner expected the project to be embedded in a larger (government) programme, but so far this has not yet happened.
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