Twenty-first Century Program Launches Attracting Dignitaries

July 12, 2012


“It is my turn now to touch the buttons!” Excited pupils at a pilot mobile lab classroom at Kambarage Primary School in Mtwara.

On February 28, 2012, the Tanzania 21st Century Basic Education Program (TZ21) officially launched at Mwanakwerekwe C Primary School in Zanzibar in the presence of the President of Zanzibar, Dr. Ali Mohamed Shein, First Vice President Maalimu Seif Sharif Hamad, the American Ambassador to Tanzania, Alphonso E. Lenhardt, accompanied by and other high level officials from the US Mission, USAID, and Tanzania’s Ministries of Education and Vocational Training. The dignitaries were joined by TZ21 staff members and implementing partners, teachers and pupils.

U.S. Ambassador Lenhardt told the assembled guests, “I am impressed to see students working with computer keys themselves. As I have told young people throughout Tanzania, an education is the one thing no one can take away from them. It is an achievement earned through perseverance and dedication. It is a source of pride for students and families alike, and absolutely essential for success. The days when young people could succeed without higher education are long gone. Today’s program reaffirms Zanzibar’s commitment to challenge its education sector to set high goals and look forward to a bright future. By integrating new technologies in teaching and learning, the TZ21 program holds the promise of significantly enhancing the quality of education for primary school students both in Zanzibar and on the Mainland.”

IMG_4426-300x200 Improving the quality of instruction with technology.

During the high profile event, TZ21 presented its planned activities including Mobile Labs, and an Education Management Information System. TZ21, implemented by Creative Associates International, is a USAID-funded initiative to improve the quality of lower primary education with a particular focus on improved instruction in reading, mathematics and science for higher learning achievement. By strengthening the use of Information and Computer Technology in primary schools, reinforced with improved pedagogy by teachers, TZ21 is increasing students’ reading, mathematics and science capabilities in order to close the digital and academic divide that young Tanzanians face in comparison to their peers worldwide. TZ21 is working in the Mtwara region on Tanzania’s mainland and on the islands of Unguja and Pemba in Zanzibar.

Investments under TZ21 are strengthening teacher professional development structures and providing resources for schools to improve instruction in reading, mathematics and science by incorporating technology in the classroom. Using Creative’s field-tested, sustainable approaches, TZ21 is reinforcing the introduction of ICT in the classroom to improve pupils’ reading skills through intensive training of teachers on how to effectively use the new technology coupled with an appropriate focus on change management strategies. Moreover, TZ21 is focusing on establishing a school-based Education Management Information System (School-based EMIS) that will enable school personnel to gather and manage information to improve the effectiveness of teaching and learning processes, strengthen the implementation of policy decisions and measure their impact.

The TZ21 team is working with the Ministries of Education and Vocational Training as well as with leading international and local partners, including School to School International, International Youth Foundation (IYF), Agile Learning, Inveneo, Educational Impact, and Children’s Book Project for Tanzania. In addition, TZ21 is working with Education Global Development Alliance partners including Microsoft, Intel, Cisco, UhuruOne, and Zantel.

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