3 Critical Reasons You Need to Know about Skills-based Education Systems in Tanzania.
By Lenga Kirika Kutwa, Year 3 Global Challenges student at African Leadership University in Kigali, Rwanda.
Source: Opportunity Education, (Google, 2020).
The ideal situation.
Over the centuries to the present, the Education System in Tanzania is based on training youths and children for figures and facts. At the secondary levels, students memorize books with the expectations to thresholds of the National Examinations expectations. The curriculums push the students to acquire the figures and facts to present them during the National Examinations while creating wide gaps for skills among the youths in Tanzania. According to the article, “Tanzania’s perplexing youth unemployment crisis” written by Jacob Kushner, Tanzania categorized as among the world’s 30 fastest countries with the growing economies, and the state disbursed a higher amount percentage of GDP on education than all but 26 others. (Tanzania’s perplexing youth unemployment crisis, 2020).
Suppringsly, the problems of skills which are contributing to unemployment resulted from the education system in Tanzania. In secondary schools, education teaches students general ideas and not skills to prepare them for colleges and workforce rigors in the future. Researchers say the problem originates from Tanzania’s lackluster educational system, 65 percent of students failed the national exam required to pass secondary school in 2019. What’s more, youth advocates say schools fail to teach the skills and intellectual prowess employers are looking for when hiring (Tanzania’s perplexing youth unemployment crisis, 2020). The students can not apply subjects such as physics, chemistry, and others to develop the skills employers are looking for in a hiring process.
Then, what is next?
Skills-based! There is no doubt that countries around the globe modify their education systems to meet the needs of employers in a changing world. Finland’s Education System is among the best education in the world; however, the country is continuously making reforms in learning to move into new Skills-based education. As a world-renowned leader in the education system, Finland will be removing the study of traditional school subjects and replacing them with the review of an individual phenomena/event (“Educational Resources – Primary School Books | Prim-Ed Publishing”, 2020).
Furthermore, research shows, the country proposed ‘Working in a cafe, a new course which will allow pupils to develop the knowledge, skills, behavior, and dispositions needed to enter the workforce (Educational Resources – Primary School Books | Prim-Ed Publishing, 2020). The pupils at the age of 16 learn these skills through geography, history, and other subjects practically to get ready to enter a workforce at a young age.
Similarly, Tanzania should introduce Skills-based education for students in secondary schools to allow them to practice the workforce rigors at a young age. The coverage in education systems should focus on specific skills such as Numeracy or Mathematical skills, Leadership, Interpersonal skills, writing skills, Ethics, and Integrity to allow the students to meet the standard required by employers in the real world. But, how can students practice these skills over time within the Tanzania Education System?
It’s possible! The country can use various approaches to ensure what the students learn in secondary schools allow them to practice a particular skill. For example, in history, as among the subject offered in a curriculum, students should learn critical thinking and storytelling through debates, arguments, and exploration of the texts books beyond the syllabus scope. The teacher should use student-centered learning instead of a lecture model. The model will allow the students to practice other skills such as teamwork and research on their own. It is also possible through the integration of other programs in the education system, such as community services and internships opportunities, which allow students to test and practice the set of skills required in real worlds.
Importantly, the model will allow the students to practice other skills such as teamwork and research on their own. It is also possible through the integration of other programs in the education system, such as community services and internships opportunities, which allow students to test and practice the set of skills required in real worlds.
What if you introduce the Skills-based education in Tanzania in secondary school?
Tanzania is among the developing countries in Africa. Tanzania is facing numerous challenges, including unemployment. Tanzania remains at the peak of poverty in which citizens live under the poverty line. Research shows, Tanzania remains one of the most impoverished countries in the world. Approximately 36 percent of Tanzanians live below the poverty line. Yet the country’s economic potential is unmistakable(International, 2020). The country has opportunities to tape into youths and develop them through Life Skills-based education. What is the importance of Skills-based high schools in Tanzania? Well, the question is perplex since this type of training hasn’t tested in a country but the following can be significant importance for Life Skills-based education in Tanzania;
1. Skills-based education in secondary schools in Tanzania will help to reduce youths’ unemployment rates in Tanzania.
In Tanzania, teenagers graduating from high schools lack potential employable skills, which results in a high youth unemployment rate in Tanzania. Research shows, Improving educational-system responsiveness to employers’ needs and ensuring that students graduates with skills needed to find work, require collaboration between employers and public authorities (Www3.weforum.org, 2020 ). Tanzania needs to improve the education system by integrating Life Skills-based education, which helps the students to acquire the skills required in a workforce. It will help the country to reduce the unemployment rate in Tanzania.
2. Skills-based education will help the students to acquire 21st-century skills.
The world changed so fast over the last decades. The Education system in Tanzania needs to meet the demand of the changing world by integrating skills-based curriculums in education, which will empower the students to acquire 21st-century skills. Research shows, globally and digitally interconnected world, all learners, from cradle to career, need new skills and knowledge to succeed. If we want to prepare students to succeed in school, work, and life, opportunities to learn 21st-century skills are essential. These 21st-century skills are more relevant to students now than ever before(Gettingsmart.com, 2020). These skills include communications, leadership, collaboration, and digital skills. It will help the secondary school students in Tanzania to prepare for future jobs and enter universities with confidence to face the real world before their graduation.
3. Skills-based education enhances project-based learning in secondary schools.
Source: Tanzania: Alternative Learning and Skills Development Project, (Google, 2020).
Project-Based Learning (PBL) refers to the pedagogical approach, in which students learn actively and engage with projects to solve the problems in the real world. The students use existing resources in a classroom, the feedback from the teacher to tackle an issue in a community. According to Project-Based Learning Works, Students work on a project over an extended period that engages them in solving a real-world problem or tackle a complicated question.
They demonstrate their knowledge and skills by creating a free product or presentation for a real audience. As a result, students develop in-depth content knowledge as well as critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and communication skills (PBLWorks, 2020). The approach will allow the students in secondary schools in Tanzania to solve the challenges facing their communities, such as hunger, water shortage, climate change, traditional beliefs, which affect the girls and acquire skills required in a workforce.
4. The Skills-based will help to reduce the skills gaps among the secondary schools in Tanzania.
Source: Human Rights Watch report, (Google, 2020).
The Skills gaps among the secondary schools in Tanzania result from poor quality education and training systems in the education system in Tanzania. According to the World Bank, In a new World Bank study, the team explored questions using data from a unique Enterprise Skills Survey, which asked Tanzanian employers about their workforce, the skills gaps affecting their operations. The results were illuminating (World Bank Blogs, 2020). Introduce skills-based education will help youths to acquire the skills for employment and ultimately close the skills gaps among the secondary school’s students in Tanzania.
Wait! Before the end; What is a new idea on a table here?
When Tanzania introduces skills-based education in high school, Tanzania will have a significant opportunity to integrate innovative ideas in learning to capture the students’ creativity. Also, platforms to capture student’s passions in education since the country will no longer use structural examinations, which cut some students to continue to the next level in schools. Also, skills-based knowledge is essential as the platform to enhance leadership skills, which allows the country to groom leaders for future generations.
It is ending with good news.
In Tanzania, to move to skills-based education, education planners and practitioners have to make reforms with the current education system. Is this possible to change the national education curriculum which existed for years? Well, anything is possible if we have the growth mindset toward the changes, but more researchers need to roll on the ground to reveal the best method to bring the skills-based education in Tanzania. For more information discussed in this article, it recommended exploring more ideas on Skills-based education from this short article, which explicitly argues on the importance of skills-based education.
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