A survey study of evolving curricula in primary education in Tanzania K-XII since 1961
While the struggle for independence in African nations has been complicated by interracial rivalry and tribal wars, Tanzania, with its predominantly African population and substantial minorities of Asians and Europeans, has provided an example of what is possible. Though Tanzania is not a rich country it shows considerable potential for development. The Tanzanians have been receptive to innovations in education, agriculture, and commerce, which have helped improve their standard of living as a nation. Within the primary education curricula attention has been focused on specific changes in teaching methods and techniques, teacher ratings, and curriculum planning. A great deal of research and experimentation has been done in this field, but primarily on the level of higher education which contrasts sharply with the emphasis given to this problem in primary school education. The purpose of this study was to 1) discover and analyze some of the curriculum problems facing primary education in Tanzania, 2) investigate the evolving elements in primary school curricula, K-VII, by comparing the pre-independence educational programs with the present ones, and 3) suggest possible solutions to these problems as derived from current studies and practices in Tanzania. In addition to examining the present evolving curriculum offerings in meeting the needs of today's students, the study also examines administrative and environmental practices related to keeping pace with societal demands.Related literature from 1961 was reviewed to ascertain the basic objectives relative to primary school curricula and Tanzania and to assist the researcher in refining and updating the study. The data were classified in relation to current attitudes toward curriculum offerings and curriculum changes in Tanzanian primary education. Finally, a letter was sent to the Ministry of Education in Tanzania asking for current information on primary education since 1961. The first chapter includes historical background of education, government, people, and economy. Chapter two discusses organization and planning with emphasis on curriculum making and instruction. An evaluation of the trends and problems with emphasis upon the causes of the problems and limitations of the existing primary curricula comprises chapter three. Innovations in the primary school organization are discussed in detail emphasizing ways of bettering primary education. A summary of emerging programs pertinent to Tanzania's educational objectives, significant conclusions, and recommendations for further study are presented in the final chapter. The people of Tanzania have patterned their educational system in a flexible manner after the English system with the objective of developing programs and curricula which will meet the needs of the Tanzanians.Tanzania's educational needs include: 1) technical schools which will provide students with the necessary skills in metalwork, technical drawing, woodworking, and craftsmanship; 2) instruction in typewriting, shorthand, bookkeeping, and other business skills; 3) improved methods in agriculture. The major tasks of education in Tanzania are: to prepare the individual with basic skills which will equip him for special needs in life; to help the citizens realize that it is up to them to remedy the shortcomings of education in Tanzania. Since the most pressing need is to improve methods in agriculture, some crafts, and practical arts, especially among secondary school need. Practical training in agriculture, veterinary science, forestry, and business, and first-hand activities in industrial technology such as pluming, engineering, and teaching would be of great benefit to students in grades four through seven enabling them to more successfully handle life situations. It is hoped that through education of this type the people of Tanzania can relate classroom learning to social and economic problems outside the classroom, thereby improving not only the educational system but also alleviating some of the problems facing Tanzania as a young, developing nation.