Improving online learning in Tanzania


The first two weeks of February, Sandra Adriaansens, Senior Manager Business Development at MSM traveled to Tanzania for a feasibility study for the Nuffic Orange Knowledge project “Strengthening skills and training capacity in the horticulture sector” in Tanzania.

Within the scope of the project regarding the improvement of managerial skills in the horticulture sector, addressing the labor market needs and linking education to the private sector, Sandra had the pleasure to kick off this project with an assessment on the status of online learning in Tanzania at three respective horticulture oriented TVET’s (Technical Vocational Education & Training).

The main goal of this mission was to investigate the current ICT infrastructure and the readiness of engaged managerial resources to implement online learning at the TVET’s own college locations. Two delegates of the National Council for Technical Education (NACTE) joined the visits to the 3 colleges. NACTE is co-responsible for engagement of the three selected colleges and an effective implementation as such.

Tanzania is a country were gradually digitalization is making its entrance. One starts to realize that absorption of new technology and harnessing the associated challenges is the only way to go forward. Online learning is acknowledged as a huge opportunity with value for money to reach a bigger target group for education. On the other hand, as far as the actual offer, development and implementation of online learning goes, it is obvious that the country is in an early stage and can definitely benefit from the guidance they receive through this project.

A fruitful visit
During the mission there were meetings with the principle, ICT and lecturing staff of each college and very positive conversations about the potential of online learning for their students were had. Currently the ICT infrastructure is still very basic and will need to be improved. However, staff was very impressed about the demo that was showed and fully motivated to learn more.

The two-week mission was very fruitful and delivered valuable information that can carry the project forward and the online learning strategy for the horticulture sector in Tanzania. The next step will be the purchase of basic ICT equipment which will be installed at two TVET’s. furthermore, the blended learning content will be developed and academic staff of the TVET colleges will be trained to ensure ownership and effective implementation.

The expectation is that in Q3 in 2021 the online learning program for effective farm management is ready for implementation as a part of the overall  learning program with practical skill training and face to face teaching.

Nuffic Orange Knowledge Programme
This project is part of the Orange Knowledge Programme. Nuffic OKP contributes to a society’s sustainable and inclusive development by providing access to education and training for professionals and organisations in technical vocational education and training (TVET) and higher education. It is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs as part of its development cooperation policy. The subsidy programme is managed by Nuffic, a Dutch non-profit organisation for internationalisation in education. It offers funding for long-term, demand-driven partnerships between Dutch knowledge institutions and organisations in 19 participating countries, as well as individual scholarships and Tailor-Made Trainings in all 53 selected countries. The € 195-m, five-year programme ends mid-2022, enabling tens of thousands to change their future. From the Dutch development cooperation policy, 4 priority themes have been selected on which to focus in the programme: Food and Nutrition Security; Water, Energy and Climate; Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights; and Security and Rule of Law. Cross-cutting themes in this programme are inclusion, employability and environmental sustainability.

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