Day 7
Three days of computer classes for a child in Tanzania

Schools on their way into 21st century

Computer classes for children in Tanzania

The class is silent. Mr. Mwanga is looking into 80 eyes full of expectation. Today, computer lessons are on the schedule. For the first time with real computers! Four pupils share one computer and they are awestruck. Mr. Mwanga is smiling. It is over a year ago that he first taught the children how to use a computer. He remembers that feeling of helplessness. The national curriculum dictates computer lessons, however, on his desk there were only a piece of chalk and a note pad. So he started, to draw a box onto the board. But how should the children understand what he is drawing? It is like learning to read – without books. Today the situation has changed for the first time. “This”, Mr. Mwanga is saying happily, “this is a computer”.

Necessity

 

IT infrastructure in schools

Activity

 

Schools are provided with hard- and software. Teachers are trained. Schools and teachers get long-term technical support.

Countable effort

After around 12 months

Amount of pupils participating in computer lessons.

Result

After around 3 years

Measurable increase of achievements in the final IT exams of the pupils and increase of the amount of pupils who find a job due to computer classes.

Systemic effect

After around 7 years

Sustainably improved chances for education and work for future generations as well.

Background

Information and communication technologies (ICT) have impacted the global socio-economic and political developments immensely during the last decades. Institutions such as the World Bank and the UN believe in the potential of ICT to promote development and to revolutionize education systems (World Bank 2009, 2011; UNESCO 2005, 2007). ICT facilitates the access to information, where school libraries are missing. Information and communication technologies offer completely new options to visualize lessons with the help of photo and film material. Pupils are able to learn important competencies of the 21st century via lessons with ICT. Last but not least computer skills are important for the labor market. Graduates with respective knowledge have much higher chances to find jobs. In 2003 Tanzania has drafted a national ICT strategy plan followed by another strategy plan for the educational system in 2007 (URT 2003, 2007). The integration of ICT into the educational process is one of the goals of these guidelines in order to improve the academic development. However, most schools in Tanzania are not able to offer to their pupils what on a political level has long been declared to be goal and content of a proper education (URT 2011). The reasons are mainly a lack of resources of the pupils as well as non-existing providers for the specific needs. If this gap can be closed the pupils in Tanzania have real chances to profit from the positive effects of a globalized knowledge-based society and find ways out of their poverty via ICT.

The good deed

We actively and sustainably support schools to use information and communication technology in classes. With help from Germany schools are able to afford the necessary hard- and software, train teachers, and receive technological support. Through this complementary package for the usage of ICT in class the pupils get access to ICT and to ICT-education. The computer room is not only used for computer courses. With their digital education materials the computers provide a basis for a quality intensification in many other subjects as well.

Challenge

A particular challenge often lies in the lacking know-how of the school’s employees. This is why Viafrica not only equips the schools with hardware, but focuses especially on training the teachers and maintaining the machines. In so doing they ensure a functioning infrastructure and the existence of the necessary knowledge in order to use the computers in school.

About Tanzania

Dodoma

Capital

44.928.923

Number of inhabitants

703 USD

Gross domestic product per capita per year

152

Human Development Index

Mount Kilimanjaro (5895m) is the highest mountain in Africa. Lake Tanganyika is the longest (700km) and second deepest (1450m) lake of the earth.

About the organization and further information

Association

Viafrica

Certified by

Initiative Transparente Zivilgesellschaft

Further information and source