Dar es Salaam. Experts in the education sector have pleaded with the government to consider overhauling the country’s primary and secondary schools curricula.
The move, according to them, will augur well for the ambitious industrialisation drive.
The intellectuals made the suggestion when speaking during the 11th Mwalimu Julius Nyerere Intellectual Festival, an annual event that brings scholars from various fields to discuss the country’s social, political and economic issues, and finding solution to them.
The event, which commenced on May 22 at the University of Dar es Salaam, climaxed yesterday.
The scholars, who have researched extensively in the area of curricula development, argued that underlying any successful industrial policy of a particular country is knowledge and that starts from primary and secondary schools.
“Curricula should be designed in such a way that they provide three important things that are essential for industrialisation,” said Prof Kalafunja Osaki of the St Augustine University of Tanzania (Saut).
He mentioned them to be general knowledge, individual development of a student and social skills.
“It is very important to give students a room of doing what they think they are best at instead of assuming that everyone is destined to be a professor or degree holder,” said Prof Osaki when presenting a paper titled ‘A Reflection on the Curricula Issues Facing Tanzania as it Moves Towards Becoming an Industrial Economy.’
He said schools are supposed to be the interpreters of the government’s industrial policy.
Dr Subirego Kejo, a lecturer at the University of Dar es Salaam College of Education, said there are several competencies, which are crucial in building an industrial economy that should be reflected from both primary and secondary education curricula.
These include improving the quality of science education, enhancing information and communications technologies skills, promoting creativity and problem-solving, promoting a culture of saving and investment, promoting the culture of hardworking, entrepreneurship, self-development, responsibility, discipline, self-confidence and innovation.
“These are the qualities that we aspire to instil in our people. However, all these should start being built from early stages of education.”
Dr Kejo is convinced that nursery and primary education curricula do not incorporate all these attributes, stressing a thorough revision is imperative.
“The participation of important stakeholders in the exercise is very important,” she said, addling: “The exercise should include parents, teachers, members of the private sector and the civil society organisations, and other interested parties.”