Sunday, June 1, 2014

Govt to strengthen English language in teachers’ colleges

AFTER having realised the standard of English teaching methodology in the country is gradually deteriorating, the government has reiterated its commitment to continue putting more emphasis on English language teaching programmes for Teachers’ Training colleges (TTC) in the country. The move by the government has come at a time when the education sector in the country is seriously blamed for high failures of the examination results of both Ordinary and Advanced level students’ performance rates resulting partly from poor understanding of English language being taught in schools. The Director for teachers’ colleges in the country Bakari Issa said yesterday in Dar es Salaam that, the programme which started two years ago has targeted only 34 public TTCs in the country aims to get qualified teachers who would use English language for communication while teaching students at all levels of education from primary up to secondary schools. He said the programme would later on spread to other private teachers’ colleges accredited in the country with the same mission that aims to strengthen the basic use of English language in public schools which in the past recent decades has deteriorated its quality standards resulting into poor performance level standards. Bakari issued the plea at a function whereby he received over 800 dictionaries for primary and secondary level dictionaries to TTC and schools across the country. The books which have been donated by British Council Tanzania office are part of the EQUIPT ELT classroom project which is a larger British Council’s mission aimed at enhancing the quality of English education in Tanzania’s schools. “We are working with the British Council to develop relevant modern materials for schools that work in the Tanzanian context”, he said adding that the English training will broaden up the minds of both teachers and students alike. Elaborating more about the project, the Director of English at the British Council David Pardoe said that, the EQUIPT ELT is designed to equip teacher trainers with the English language skills they need to engage, inspire and empower future generations of Tanzanians. The project is works in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training in the country with a view to achieve its aim of increasing access to quality education through the medium of English. He further noted that, the aim of the project is to provide teacher trainers with access to a diverse range of educational tools to support the training and teaching capabilities of students. However, he is optimistic that the donated materials will help catalyze and improve English education in Tanzania’s schools. The ‘Connecting Classroom’ programme runs in over 50 countries and is just one of British Council’s many active projects. In Tanzania, the project provides schools with international school partnerships, professional development for teachers, school leadership trainings, working to embed Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in teaching and learning. In Tanzania more than 300 schools take part in the ‘Connecting Classrooms’ project where teachers’ capacities are enhanced and young learners get the ability to gain knowledge and skills through international cultural interactions using alternative technology in learning and improving their English language skills as a result.

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