Education here in Tanzania is exemplified by severely under-resourced, overcrowded classrooms of 60-100 students with a focus on rote-learning, where students don’t often have the chance to think and act autonomously – in fact, they are often scared to express their opinions for fear of being caned.
On top of this, each year, 900,000 young Tanzanians enter a job market which is generating only 50,000 to 60,000 new positions. Youth advocates say schools fail to teach the skills and intellectual prowess that employers are looking for – plus, only a tiny minority of students receive any formal careers education.
Our Education project aims to empower young people with a platform to design and implement solutions to social problems. We focus on improving the employability of students, in particular young girls, through a variety of project streams.
o far, we have worked with over 1,200 secondary school students around Dar es Salaam, in collaboration with the Cambridge Development Initiative.
The Education team’s vision is to equip Tanzanian students with the skills they need to increase their chances of employability and future success.
We do this by empowering students to become innovative, informed and driven agents for change in their communities.
In 2018, we look forward to continuing our work with local NGO Bridge for Change (BFC) on our initiative Career Network Support. Having piloted a new initiative, KompyutHer, in 2017, we look forward to developing this initiative over the summer. We are also excited to launch Career Hub, Emotional Wellbeing and English Clubs as our new initiatives for 2018.
This year the Education project will be running a selection of new, ongoing and previously piloted initiatives.
Career Network Support
BFC works in partnership with CDI to run a programme called Career Network Support. Throughout 2018, this programme will be rolled out across different secondary schools in Dar es Salaam. It aims to combine entrepreneurial development with careers advice so that students leave school will more employable skills and better able to make informed decisions about their futures.
The Career Network Support scheme begins with a series of ‘Self Discovery Workshops’, during which students are encouraged to find out more about their identity, consider their future, explore career options and engage in problem-solving.
The ‘Think Big Challenge’ follows these workshops. Teams selected from across different schools will come together to begin to research, design and implement sustainable solutions to problems they have identified in their schools. Weekly workshops will guide the students towards developing key skills such as project planning, creativity, presentation skills and teamwork.
The culmination of the students’ work and their initiatives is presented at the annual ‘Dream Sharing Event’. This is an opportunity for the students to showcase their projects to local professionals and important stakeholders. It will also be an opportunity for students to have their voices heard and their creativity recognised.
Using a curriculum developed by the Cambridge Development Initiative and Kite DSM as a guideline, students will then lead a six-month programme known as ‘Youth Empowerment Clubs’ that provides a space for them to continue with their initiatives, ensuring their sustainability.
The Career Hub aims to empower the Tanzanian youth by providing a youth information and skills development centre. In doing so, the Career Hub aims to empower the Tanzanian youth aged 14-25 to make informed decisions about their future. We will provide youth with three separate services: data, opportunities, and advice.
The Career Hub will also link students to opportunities available, such as scholarships, job vacancies, volunteering, work experience, and funding. Finally, we will provide advice to students. This will take the form of self-discovery and skills matching, information on university and job pathways, skills development, and application techniques such as CV writing.
The services of the Career Hub will be provided through two elements; a physical space and an online platform.
The physical space will run mentorship sessions with larger groups, one-to-one careers coaching and consultations for student innovations and start-ups. The physical space will also run facilitation session on topics such as pre-university career orientation, 21st-century corporate skills and employability skills. Finally, the physical space aims to be a platform for students to self-learn through providing a library, reading space and laptops.
This summer Kite DSM will be focusing particularly on the online space as a resource for students. Primarily, we are focusing on publishing a website which will provide youth with all the services offered by the Career Hub.
KompyutHer is a training programme which seeks to improve the computer skills, confidence, and future employability of schoolgirls in Dar es Salaam.
During last year’s pilot in the city’s Temeke district, our Education team trained 18 girls to use different components of a computer, such as the mouse and the keyboard and set up Google email accounts. We also provided professional guidance on careers in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) field.
During this year’s summer session, we plan to expand and enhance our KompyutHer programme by running a six-week training series. Beginning with the basics, this programme will teach participants to navigate computer basics such as using a mouse and become competent in a range of computer applications including Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
We believe that KompyutHer’s expansion will enlarge out-of-school girls’ opportunities to attain meaningful, productive employment while increasing their sense of self-worth.
According to the World Health Organisation, approximately one million Tanzanians will be in need of emotional well-being care at some point during their lifetime, and based upon BasicNeeds Tanzania findings, of the estimated 2.5 million people currently living in Tanzania who are suffering from emotional distress, only 20 percent have access to counselling services.
To close the gap, in 2018 the Education team will be piloting emotional well-being workshops for secondary school students between the ages of 16 and 18. The workshops focus on this age group because it is when students are at particularly high risk of encountering emotional distress in their personal and academic lives, whether it be in the forms of anxiety, depression, stress, bullying, and/or harassment.
The pilot sessions will be run by educators trained in psychiatric knowledge, with support from Kite DSM and CDI volunteers, in August 2018.
Primary school students face the need to pass the Primary School Leaving Examination to get into secondary school and to learn English - as secondary school instruction quickly transitions from Swahili to English.
As such, Kite Dar es Salaam and Cambridge Development Initiative are piloting an English Club at Mlimani Primary School in the Ubungo District of Dar es Salaam. The program will take place once a week, before or after school, to allow students to catch up on their studies. The tutoring will be led by local university students willing to volunteer their time, and the sessions are intended to be fun and interactive.
A few English Club sessions will be piloted in August 2018, with the intention of a full roll-out of the English Clubs starting in summer 2019.
We have now worked with students at 13 schools from different districts of Dar es Salaam, with over 1,000 having been involved in CDI and Kite DSM's self-discovery workshops. In Summer 2017, 72 students participated in the Think Big Challenge itself, three teams of four from each school, selected via a written application process.
In self-evaluation surveys, students reported they felt they had improved in 11 out of 12 skill areas, including evaluation, teamwork and confidence. Meanwhile, the successfully implemented initiatives were varied, creative and combated very real problems. They ranged from setting up a silent study area in a disused classroom, to informing the community about the importance of education for women.
These quotes are from interviews/focus groups with students, where we asked what the experience had taught them:
§ “It starts with you, as you should be an example and other people will follow easily."
§ “We learnt how to solve problems without any fear, since we learnt the proper techniques."
§ “The project should continue because it helped us a lot in knowing ourselves. Please come back again and add other schools."
§ “I feel like I was respected and CDI cared a lot."