Education in Tanzania is free and in turn there has been rapid student population growth over the past few years. The abolition of school fees has left a significant gap in schools that would otherwise be funded by parents' contributions. The costs of personal textbooks can be prohibitive for low-income families.
As Tanzania continues to work towards achieving better learning outcomes for school children, the affordability and availability of text books remains a persistent challenge. The unavailability of textbooks deprives students of an additional learning resource and the opportunity to develop good reading habits. The lack of textbooks also deprives teachers of much-needed teaching support. The supply of school text books is unable to keep up with the demand.
The goal of this grant is to provide equipment and training for self-sustaining computer labs and digital libraries in secondary schools.
The computer labs will enable students to get hands on training on basic computer programs such as Microsoft word, excel and power-point. The Tanzania national curriculum currently has ICT as a school subject, but there are not enough computers in schools to enable hands on learning. The computer labs will each be equipped with a digital library. The library will include the Khan Academy materials, Tanzania's Shule Direct national exam study material, USF's Lit2GO, and many other educational offerings. The digital library will offer students a wide variety of subjects for self-study, and put them on a local hard drive which can accessed off-line. This will encourage self-learning amongst the students and enable them to study topics that may not have been well understood during class time.
The project will train teachers on the use of basic computer programs so that they can in turn teach their students IT following the government recommended secondary school curriculum.
This project will provide internet libraries which will enable teachers to download lesson plans, learning materials and information to assist in their classroom work. We expect that students from neighbouring schools will come to the digital library, on field trips, to do actual Internet-based learning programs.
• Students at the secondary schools will have access to digital learning content to supplement the often scarce school text books.
• Having proper training, teachers will welcome the technology at their schools.
• Teachers will be equipped to teach using off line educational content via computers, projectors and screens
• Computers and ancillary equipment on campus will be assured of longer service life with a regular maintenance program and a budget set aside for that purpose.
• Improved academic performance in students completing their secondary school education.