The importance of education for young people is well recognized by parents, governments and communities. Statistics prove again and again that even basic education significantly improves livelihoods, economies and health.
In light of this, education is one of the key strategies being deployed to achieve the Millennium Development Goals in developing countries where particular challenges are faced.
These include limited equipment and books, low salaries for teachers and unreliable transport for children to name just a few. More recently, the government budget shortfall for this year has seen public schools under greater pressure.
Even with resources, engaging young people to learn is in itself a challenge. Limited resources however mean we have to be creative so we can bridge the gap to ensure our children are inspired to become educated citizens. The only way to bridge this critical gap is for communities, organisations and governments to work together – pooling resources and implementing innovative, stimulating programmes to educate our young people.
There are currently examples of successful partnerships in Tanzania and across the continent which are already having a positive impact.
One example is the Multichoice Resource Centres initiative launched last year in partnership with the Tanzanian Ministry of Education and Vocational Training. The initiative provides schools across Tanzania with the latest digital satellite television technology and completely free access to the DSTV Education Bouquet including educational channels such as Mindset Learn, BBC Knowledge and the History Channel. The programmes provided through the bouquet are designed to be entertaining as well as educational and also act as a gateway to a world of information that many children could not afford.
The initiative also provides training and support to teaching staff so they are able to use the resource in the most effective way to further students’ education.
In the last few months alone, 21 schools have been successfully added to the programme bringing the total number to 41. Schools are located across the country including Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Dodoma and Kagera.
Management staff at Jangwani Secondary School, the first school in Tanzania to enroll in the programme, expressed delight and gratitude – highlighting particularly the way the service brings to life academic subjects for young students.
Multichoice Tanzania General Manager Peter Fauel comments:
“By working in partnership with the government and teachers, we’re able to use cutting edge technology as a vehicle to improve education and provide informative world class content to students in under-resourced areas. Working together means we can do more to enrich our communities and we are passionately committed to doing that wherever we can.”
The Multichoice Resource Centres project is a pan-African initiative driven by Multichoice Africa. So far it has been successfully implemented in over 800 schools across 24 countries and continues to reach more and more African students.
Another example of a successful and innovative partnership was launched last year by Microsoft at its Worldwide Innovative Education Forum which was held in Africa for the first time.
During its continental debut, a new online resource for teachers called ‘Shout’ was launched. Created in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution and TakingITGlobal, Shout is designed to encourage teachers to use technology to help students understand and work collaboratively to address environmental challenges.
One of the winners of the Innovative Teacher Awards recognized at the same forum was Ghana’s Samuel Avornyo, who partnered with the food processing industry exposing students to real life applications of the best practice theories they were learning in the classroom.
All these examples illustrate very simply how partnerships between government, schools and leading organisations can, with a little innovation, effectively overcome development challenges in the educational sector. And in doing so, help develop Tanzania’s most important resource.
Source – ippMedia