Transforming Tanzanian schools with Technology

by Tanzania Development Trust
Transforming Tanzanian schools with Technology

We are delighted to partner with iamthecode and launch Wellbeing clubs in 14 schools, the first in Tanzania.

These clubs are peer to peer community support groups aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable populations, especially young girls. Our clubs are run in rural government schools by their teachers using materials provided by iamthecode.  Groups also come together by zoom to share good practice and engage with mentors from all around the world. They also have access to inspiring podcasts from a wide variety of speakers, and can participate in global events such as for International Day of the Girl.

We are starting with Wellbeing clubs first, and then hope to move on to Digital Clubs. 

As the schools we work with have very limited technology, your donation makes a huge difference.  We have recently funded projectors in three more schools. They are now using them, linked to teacher's laptops, so that for the first time students and their teachers can watch films, science practicals, and engage in zoom collaborations.  As very few students have ever visited a cinema, or have a tv at home, and in service training for teachers is almost non existent, this is a game changer.

So thank you again for your generosity in supporting this project.

 

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Drone workshop
Drone workshop

Thank you to your donations students are making great use of the projectors and digital content in their schools.  They are particularly enjoying the interactive quizzes!

Crowd2Map organised various mapping training events, particularly focussing on the distance students have to walk to and from school. As the villages where they live were not previously on any map this was difficult to measure, but now students have produced maps showing the surrounding villages for their schools.

This month two girls from the FGM Safe House in Mara run by our local representative Rhobi had the chance to participate in a weeks training in Tanga. Here they learnt how to make and fly drones and use 3D printers as part of a Open Skies Fellows project. You can read more about this project here,

And next week two students from Ikondo School in Kagera will be working with Asante Africa to learn entrepeneurship skills that they will use to start small businesses in the school and teach their fellow students. 

Thank you again for your support.. 

flying the drone
flying the drone
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Outside classroom at Ikondo
Outside classroom at Ikondo

Many of the schools we work with have been using Shule Direct for a long time.  They particularly like the fact that their materials are designed specifically for the Tanzanian curriculum. Students greatly enjoy the quizzes, and teachers like that they can download past papers easily and access summary notes for revision.  This is particularly useful for the many teachers who have to teach outside their specialist area.

In many schools there are no maths or science teachers. Instead, where they can afford it the community bands together and pays local school leavers to take on this role. As they are only one year older than their pupils, and have no training and often few resources this is a very challenging job.  Access to resources like Shule Direct and Khan Academy is then very useful, even if teachers are only able to access it on their phones. 

But many schools do not have good enough connectivity to access resources online. Therefore, from your generous donations we have been able to purchase licences for Shule Direct offline use, as well as three projectors to enable whole classes to be able to access these resources at once, in the schools where they have a good enough electricity supply to run them, and a teacher's laptop to connect them to.

We hope to expand this provision more widely in the future.

Thank you again for your support. 

Discussing photosynthesis under the trees!
Discussing photosynthesis under the trees!
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Planting seedlings for school tree nursery
Planting seedlings for school tree nursery

In countries like Tanzania that have a very high rate of youth unemployment, teaching entrepreneurship is particularly important.  Unfortunately it doesn't feature highly on the school curriculum, so we have been helping the schools we work with to introduce it.

Many schools have now started enterprise clubs where students learn useful skills such as group work, and project planning, as well as marketing, and creating a business plan. Students have also been using Excel to calculate their profits and Publisher to create advertising posters.

Many successful projects have been started, ranging from selling snacks and stationery, growing vegetables and cooking mandazi (Tanzanian doughnuts)  These projects bring in helpful income to the students and schools.  Often this funding has been used to employ temporary science teachers in schools that previously had none. 

But special congratulations are due to Ikondo Secondary School in Kagera that won the Global School Enterprise Competition for best business plan for their poultry project, winning $400 in the process, This project supports many vulnerable students with eggs, and their winnings mean they can expand.  You can see a 2 min video about it here.. 

Thank you for your support!

Working out a business plan
Working out a business plan
Ikondo Chicken project
Ikondo Chicken project

Links:

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More girls at the FGM Safe Houses now schools shut
More girls at the FGM Safe Houses now schools shut

As in most of the world, Tanzanian schools have been closed due to COVID since March 17th.  However unlike most of the world students in the schools we work with generally do not have access to laptops, tvs, phones or online materials.  Generally they do not even have access to text books.

Therefore we have been working with teachers where we can to get get some printed material to students where possible, and also promote learning materials by radio where students can access those.

The school closures resulted in an additional FGM cutting season, and the FGM Safe Houses we work with had many more girls arriving, a particular challenge meaning they had to turn their vocational training classroom into a temporary quarantine area.

However they have been able to run English conversation classes via videoconferencing with teachers in the UK, and access materials such as Khan Academy on the Raspberry Pi we set up there. 

We have also been able to provide materials specifically tailored to the Tanzanian curriculum from SmartSchool Tanzania, that sent a hardrive of material from Dar es Salaam to Mugumu on the bus.  The staff and students at the Safe House there are now trialling it, and if it proves successful we will try to roll it out to other schools if possible.

The schools are going back on June 29th.  With extremely large classes and often a lack of running water it will be hard to keep students safe. We continue to liaise with our partner schools to help where we can.  We are particularly concerned to see whether female attendance will be reduced.  Often when times are hard, girls are married off to get cows as dowry for their family. Child marriage is illegal but common in remote communities, and we are working with schools to support girls in these particularly challenging times.

We hope you are safe and well, and thank you again for your generosity in supporting this project.

Learning English via Videoconferencing
Learning English via Videoconferencing
Lesson at the FGM safe house
Lesson at the FGM safe house
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Organization Information

Tanzania Development Trust

Location: London - United Kingdom
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @tanzdevtrust
Project Leader:
Janet CHAPMAN
Ms
London, London United Kingdom
$8,048 raised of $10,000 goal
 
147 donations
$1,952 to go
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