Twenty Years of The Open University of Tanzania in the Development of Education in the Country: The Role of OUT in Improving Peoplesâ€™ Welfare
AbstractThis article examines twenty years of The Open University of Tanzania in the development of the country. The Open University of Tanzania was established by an Act of Parliament No. 17 of 1992 to provide training, research and consultancy services. Training and teaching are the main activities of OUT. The Open University of Tanzania is an academic institution offering certificates, diploma and degree courses through distance learning systems. The University offers three categories of programmes namely: non-degree, undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. The first graduation ceremony took place in 1999 where 159 students graduated. Since the year 2001 the number of graduates has increased annually. Since OUT commenced its operations in 1994, the cumulative number of graduates from 1999 to 2010 has reached 8,830.Â Students graduating from OUT are engaged in different activities for personal and national socio-economic development. The information presented in this article was collected from documents obtained from OUT main library. This information was backed up with informal interviews conducted on OUT beneficiaries. Other information was obtained through questionnaires sent to respondents by email. The findings show that OUT graduates have benefited in different ways; thus, employees got salary increases, promotion, and some obtained employment at OUT, in private and public institutions. In this article, it is recommended that training should be provided to all new enrolled students on how to use internet in searching study materials. Students should also be provided with study materials on CDs as well as hard copies. Moreover, students should be encouraged to have a computer to enable them to get material from the internet and read from the CD provided by the University while at home or any other places.
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