EVALUATION OF SCIENCE CURRICULUM IN TANZANIA: RESULTS, DATA ANALYSIS AND RECOMMENDED ACTIONS
Politecnico di Milano - Department of Energy (ITALY)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2011 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Conference name: 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2011
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:The evaluation of higher education curricula with regard to the needs of industry and readiness of University graduates for the job market is contributing to the program of cooperation between UN agencies, the Government of Tanzania and the Higher Education Institutions (HEI) who are partners of the initiative. The aim of the program is generating actions to enhance the technological innovation capacity in higher education institutions within the country.
One of the specific goals, addressed in this project, is the evaluation of science curricula for innovation in the higher education Institutions. The final beneficiaries of the project are the students and the local university faculty, which will benefit from the curricula evaluation jointly defined within an international framework.
The program stems from the challenges of the 21st Century expressed in the Tanzania Development Vision 2025 which was adopted in year 2000 and where vision aspires in transforming the low productivity agricultural economy to a semi-industrialized one, led by modernized and highly productive agricultural activities, which are effectively integrated and supported by industrial and service activities in rural and urban areas. The evaluation is also designed to help policy makers in investigating the opportunities for improving and promoting innovation, potentially leading to a sustainable socio-economic growth.
To support such a growth, a number of highly qualified and capable scientific graduates and engineers is required. One of the leverages needed in developing countries is the enhancement of Higher Education Institutions (HEI) capacity in delivering appropriate, market-driven and high quality programs.
The possible causes to be overcome to face such an issue have been already presented to the INTED 2010 where the methodological approach to the evaluation was discussed, and are briefly summarised here:
- An unmet demand for engineering training opportunities;
- Curricula design in engineering subjects not updated to the changing needs of the private sector;
- Curricula design not facing the challenges of globalisation;
- Under-funding for curricula development;
- Lack of regular surveys of occupational or technological trends;
- Poor engagement of students in laboratory experimentation and in job training in industries;
- Lack of journals, reference books and state-of-art facilities.
The current paper is focused on the results of the assessment based on the science curricula evaluation realised in Tanzania in 2010. Data are analysed and the situation is presented accordingly to a first approach based on the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threads (SWOT) analysis. A list of recommended actions is also given and structured in a matrix including considerations on time frame and costs of the single actions proposed.
The curricula evaluation was conducted at the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) and the research is a support to major Colleges in Science and Technology (CoET and CoNAS of UDSM) to promote Technology and Innovation as instruments at the service of the strategic development of the country.
Keywords: Innovation, science and technology curricula, higher education institutions.