As recognized in Tanzania's National ICT Policy of 2003, information and communication technology (ICT) offers new opportunities to enhance education and to improve the quality of delivery of education in all areas.
The Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (MoEVT)1 believes that the use of ICT in teaching and learning as well as administration and management represents a powerful tool with which to achieve educational and national development objectives. The Ministry has therefore formulated this policy to guide the integration of ICT in basic education.
1.1 Education Objectives
This policy is directed at the achievement of the objectives of Tanzania's education policies and education development programmes. As stated in the education policy of 1995, the overall aims of education in Tanzania are, among other things:
To promote the acquisition and appropriate use of literary, social, scientific, vocational, technological, professional and other forms of knowledge, skills and understanding for the development and improvement of man and society.
In 2001, the education sector development programme (ESDP) was launched, to realize the objectives of education policies by addressing critical issues, including ICT. The main objectives of this programme include: to decentralize management of educational institutions; to improve the quality of education, both formal and non-formal; to promote access and equity to basic education; and to promote science and technology.
Special mention is made of the need to improve and expand girl's education, to ensure access to education by special social and cultural groups, to give appropriate education to children with disabilities, and to provide education facilities to disadvantaged areas.
In light of the many challenges Tanzania has to overcome in order to provide quality education for all, ICT should be given high priority. Unless action is taken soon, the country will fall further behind in the global information society, be unable to participate in the knowledge economy effectively, and its people will lack the skills they need for life in the digital age.
The Ministry is thus promoting the introduction and integration of ICT in the education sector. ICT will play an important part in improving the lives of people in Tanzania and in creating job opportunities.
There are many initiatives throughout the country benefiting from ICT. The major goal is to build a highly skilled and educated workforce with aptitude and skills in the application of ICT in every day life. For this reason there is need to provide schools, colleges and other educational institutions with the know-how and resources that will include them in the knowledge society.
The integration of ICT in education will empower learners, teachers, educators, managers and leaders to use ICT judiciously and effectively for expanding learning opportunities and ensuring educational quality and relevance. No doubt, with the many changes that are occurring, including globalization and the advent of knowledge societies, education systems need to ensure that all learners have the key competencies required for forming peaceful and prosperous societies.
The use of ICT in education is the bedrock of a knowledge society and will enable the country to contribute both to achieving Education for All (EFA) goals and reducing the digital divide.
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