E-learning and Teacher Education in Tanzania
AbstractThe paper, initially, explores the concept and the essence of e-learning within the global knowledge economy. It further explains why e-learning is the cornerstone for the development of the teacher education sector in Tanzania. In light of the latter the paper presents the efforts that have been made by the Tanzanian Government through the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (MOEVT) in conjunction with the Open University of Tanzania (OUT) in order to expand the provision of teacher education by employing e-learning initiatives. E-learning is presented as having unprecedented potentials to upgrade most teachers who are already in the field and to train more teachers through pre-service e-learning programmes. Among the elearning teacher education initiatives at the OUT are the inauguration of the Open, Distance and e-Learning (ODeL) Center, the SADC Center of Specialization in Teacher Education (CoS), and the initiative of OUT to transform its current mainstream print media ODL programmes into e-learning platforms using open source platforms, specifically the Moodle. OUT has already opened up 10 computer labs in 10 of its 30 regional centers while efforts are being made to install computer labs in the rest 20 regions. In order to gain the most advantage from e-learning the Tanzanian Government has worked with donor agents to increase Internet capabilities. Besides Elearning enabling teachers in the field to be upgraded and new ones to be trained, it also enables collaboration and sharing of innovative pedagogy and multidisciplinary transformative content to be developed.
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