GESCI has partnered with the Ministry’s Teacher Education Support Project (TESP) in Tanzania to implement an equivalent of the African Digital Schools Initiative (ADSI) programme in the Morogoro, Monduli and Dakawa Teacher Training Colleges.
Into its third phase in Tanzania, GESCI is seeking to incorporate the ADSI model and approach in pre-service and in service teacher training and in alignment with the Ministry’s Teacher Education Support Project (TESP). GESCI will launch an accelerated African Digital Colleges Initiative (ADCI)to improve the pre-service education of students, to improve the ICT Competency of principals, educators/tutors and to support in-service needs of teachers in ADSI schools when the project ends in December 2020. ADSI aims to improve girls’ and boys’ education, primarily in Science, Technology, English and Mathematics (STEM), but ultimately all subjects in underprivileged secondary schools.
The main focus is on developing competency among STEM teachers, the model also has the whole school model known as the Digital Schools of Distinction, which provides a roadmap across Leadership & Planning, ICT in the curriculum, Professional development, School ICT Culture, and ICT infrastructure. Schools carry out a self assessment of their performance against detailed guidelines on a digital platform. When they achieve all required criteria together with Regional/District Education officials , they are awarded a digital status. They then proceed to the next level of the Digital School of Distinction development pathway.
Through this process a School-Based Coordinator (in the project implementing schools), ensures that all teachers in the school are supported with ICT pedagogy and have access to the ICT Teacher Competency approach.
TESP seeks to help improve the qualifications of 3,000 college instructors, and train approximately 50,000 new teachers. The Aim of the Digital College Initiative (DCI) is to pilot a pre-service model based on existing models and lessons learnt from African Digital Schools Initiative which will have a three-fold impact on improving the teaching and learning in the Colleges themselves among pre-service teacher students, the pedagogic skills of tutors as well as sustaining the in-service support needed by schools to sustain the gains achieved through ADSI.
GESCI has launched the Digital College programme in the three Colleges, transferring the principles of a successful ADSI practices in schools to that of the Teacher Training Colleges. Hence a Digital College of Distinction roadmap (a whole institutional development model) and ICT Educator Competency Framework (in-service educator training) will be developed. Each institution will establish a College Management Team, chaired by the Principal, who will support the College-based Coordinator, a champion educator, to support fellow tutors in the integration of ICTs in their teaching and learning practices. This will be an accelerated programme to up-skill not only the Teacher Training College but also at least 12 STEM educators/tutors directly and all educators indirectly through the College-Based Coordinator who will cascade training to all the College tutors
Quality pre-service education has an enormous potential to directly impact on the quality of teaching and learning provided in schools. The economies of scale suggest it is the most appropriate lever to tip a critical mass of teachers in adopting new pedagogical approaches, integrating ICTs and promoting 21stCentury skills among learners. In order to maximize the successes of the pre-implementation intervention in schools, achieved under the ADSI programme, it is critical that Teacher training Colleges are positioned to not only directly benefit as learning institutions from these practices but be capable of supporting schools through in-service and communities of practice.
The GESCI team in Tanzania together with officials from TESP visited the three colleges and Kola Hill Secondary, Morogoro, which is one of the 20 secondary schools implementing the ADSI Programme in the Morogoro Region of Tanzania.
This is one of GESCI’s approaches in ensuring scale up and sustainability of the ADSI model in Tanzania.