Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Ministry to launch German language learning initiative

The Government of Tanzania through the Directorate of Secondary School in the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training will officially launch an initiative of teaching and learning the German language in Tanzanian secondary schools.
The event will be officiated by Charles Philemon the Director of Secondary Education that will be held at Zanaki Secondary School as a partner school known “Schools: Partner for the Future” (PASCH) Initiative, also known as the PASCH-Initiative.
Ulrike Schwerdtfeger, Director of the Goethe Institut in Dar es Salaam said this program is financed by the German Federal Foreign Office and aims at setting up a network of 1500 partner schools worldwide, two of these in Tanzania. “The initiative engrosses two schools which are Chang’ombe Secondary School where it was inaugurated in January this year, and Zanaki Secondary School which will be inaugurated today,’ added the director. The launching ceremony which will start at in the morning and end at around noon, and will also be attended by the German Deputy Ambassador Hans Koeppel and will be held at Zanaki Secondary School, on Alykhan Road.
The main purpose of the PASCH-Initiative is to awaken young people’s interest in modern day Germany and promote intercultural dialogue between main actors of the future generation. This will be achieved through the anchoring of German as a foreign language subject in the national education system, which will help develop long lasting ties with Germany and promote the exchange of views and engagement in cooperation between the two countries. The Goethe-Institut is a worldwide network of cultural centres of the Federal Republic of Germany, which is responsible for promoting the German language abroad and cultural exchanges with other countries. It fosters knowledge of modern day Germany by providing information on its culture, society and politics. With over 147 Goethe-Instituts operating outside and 13 within Germany, this institution is present in 83 countries abroad, with 11 of them being in Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2008, over 200,000 people attended German language courses at the various Goethe-Instituts around the world. Last year on December 11, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the launching of the PASCH-Initiative in Tanzania was signed between the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (MOEVT), the Prime Minister’s Office- Regional Administration and Local Government (PMO-RALG) and the Goethe-Institut Tanzania. The Goethe-Institut (German Cultural Centre) has a long history of cooperation with the Government and people of Tanzania. It has been active in the country since 1962, with an interruption of ten years from 1998. The Goethe-Institut re-launched its activities in Tanzania in September 2008 and has quickly gained popularity with Tanzanians from all walks of life. The former Foreign Minister of Germany, Dr. Frank Walter Steinmeier, who is the initiator of the PASCH-program, stresses the aim of the initiative as follows: “Education provides prospects being multilingual opens up new horizons. At our partner schools abroad, we not only want to provide people with access to our language and education system; we also want to foster an interest in and understanding of one another. The sooner we regard ourselves as an international learning community, the better able we will be to solve the problems of the future that are common to all of us. Our partner schools abroad want to pave the way in helping to achieve this.” Guido Westerwelle, the successor of Steinmeier, also supports the idea of the partner schools program. “It is a project that affects prospective generations,” Westerwelle said when he visited Tanzania in April this year. Commenting on her role as a teacher of German at Chang’ombe Secondary School, where German classes have already started, Ms Gloria Simbaulanga who has attended training courses at the Goethe-Institut Campus in Upanga, in Nairobi and Germany.
“I am very happy at the possibility of enabling young Tanzanians to learn a foreign language, because I believe that it will prepare them for a better future in the highly competitive job market,” Says Simbaulanga. German classes at Zanaki will start in January next year and currently, a Zanaki teacher, Lilian Lazaro Ringo is completing her training in Germany and returns next week, ready to start teaching German at the school early next year. In July this year, two pupils from Chang’ombe Secondary School and one from Zanaki Secondary School attended a Summer Youth Camp in Germany, where they met students from other PASCH Partner Schools worldwide.
“It was a wonderful experience… we learnt German and made many friends with youths from other parts of the world,” says Fatma Mussa, a Zanaki Form 1 student who participated in the Youth Camp.


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