Tanzania: Competence profile a key step towards quality early childhood education

Together with Education International’s Dennis Sinyolo, Prosper Lubuva, from the Tanzania Teachers’ Unions discusses challenges in early childhood education, and increasing early childhood educators’ professionalism through the development of a competence profile.

 

In the latest episode of EdVoices, the podcast series from Education International (EI), Prosper Lubuva, Tanzania Teachers’ Unions’ (TTU) Head of the Education and Training Department, explains the challenges and current developments in early childhood education (ECE) in Tanzania, and efforts made by the government to remedy these.

Need for well-trained teachers in ECE

The TTU includes early childhood teachers and strongly believes that ECE is vital in a child’s development. However, “finding professional ECE teachers is a problem, because at teachers’ training colleges, it [ECE] is just a small component”  and “doesn’t satisfy the need for effective implementation of ECE”, he says.

This means that after teachers’ training college, any primary school teacher can be appointed to teach ECE pupils, Lubuva  notes.

The TTU, in partnership with EI, has kick started the implementation of a project “Developing educators, improving early learning in Tanzania”, which aims to improve the learning outcomes in ECE in rural Tanzania by developing a consensus-based competence profile for ECE teachers, training ECE teachers through a competence based approach and engaging in advocacy with the government. The project will be implemented in Chemba and Mpwapwa, Dodoma region between 2016-2019. 

Involvement of stakeholders

The inception meeting took place from 6 to 7 February in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania with various stakeholders’, including national, regional and district education authorities.

For the project to be sustainable, stakeholders must take the ownership of this project, Lubuva insists. “It is for the benefit of the children and of the society”.

Development of a competence profile

Asked how this partnership with EI and other stakeholders will help address the lack of professional teachers in ECE, the TTU expert answers that the project will involve developing a competence profile.

“We are going to involve the teachers’ training colleges in Tanzania to help develop these competence profiles for ECE,” he adds.

The TTU will then urge the Ministry of Education to adopt and recognise the competence profile for ECE teachers and that it is used in teachers’ training centres “so we can have uniformity in training”.

“We hope, based on the experience that EI has working in Uganda and Mali with very good competence profiles for primary schools, that this will also be one of the best competence profiles for ECE teachers,” Lubuva says. “It is a necessary tool in developing ECE teachers’ skills in Tanzania”, to be adopted probably in other countries, he said.

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