These emerging activities have not spared the education sector as students from primary school to university levels can now use the communication technology to better their learning.
Championing this new drive is Academic Star Awards Foundation’s Students Learning Call Centre (ASLCC), a private firm that has perfected the programme to benefit learners.
The project aims at increasing students’ learning capability by enabling them to access certain site in order to acquire quality and effective education in the country through the use of the technology.
“From now onwards, students will be using mobile phones to call directly and meet competent and experienced teachers for the subjects of their choice, so as to facilitate every learner enjoy the fruits of quality and free education,” ASLCC chief executive officer John Msonganzila said.
“We will do this in a verbal, interactive and easy way by providing quick and immediate means in resolving problems which will be asked by all students from all levels of education,” he said.
Msonganzila explained that in its phase one operation ASAF will deal with primary education up to Form Six level; and in phase two, the foundation expects to do the same for students in colleges and universities.
He said that ASAF will install modern and sophisticated IT equipment, telecommunication facilities, software for answering science subjects, which involve calculations, drawings and diagrams and other teaching techniques to assist the teacher provide accurate solutions and answers to questions asked by students from corners of over the country.
“ASLCC project focuses on improving students’ performance and reduce the failure rate, lessen the knowledge gap between government‘s special/ normal schools and private schools, supplement the shortage of teachers in schools, enable shy learners in classrooms to now to ask direct questions to ASLCC,” he said.
He added: “We will provide a wide avenue for students to learn, it will be a hub for all students to have equal understanding in subject matters, increase learning motivation, make positive use of technology to support learning, increase learning flexibility and support the government‘s initiative in education”.
Msonganzila pointed out that the foundation believes in unity and collaboration, so is ASAF, government, parents and other stakeholders who will join in to support the success of this country by providing its people with quality, measurable and standard education.
“We have been seeing interviews during employment, business consultations such as banks and multimedia decoding done through mobile phones and becoming very successful to the users. We see no reason why students should not use and benefit from the same service in education while using the same technology,” he said.
He noted: “As this will be the positive use of phones technology by students and hence enjoying this discovery, it will have a big life impact support to every individual. ASAF now want to change ‘business customer care call centres’ into ‘Students customer care call centres’ a free education service to most learners in the country”.
The CEO further said that the shortage of education teachers in the country is the core source that triggered this idea, whereby at least 24,000 teachers for all secondary and 32,000 teachers for all primaries are required.
In fact it is this scenario which has caused the decline in the growth and development of education in our nation and it will take time for the government to prepare enough teachers to fill the gap because it is not something that can be done in a short period of time.
That being the case, he said, we should we must find an alternative way to fill this yawning gap immediately - hence the project as such is an immediate solution to resolving this shortage of teachers.
“However we are proud of the good government leadership, particularly our former president Dr Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete and his cabinet, for putting a lot of effort in the construction of schools and laboratories all over the country.” he said
Until 2014 the total number of primary schools was 16,343 while that of secondary schools was 4,576.
“There have been more enrollment in both primary and secondary schools, and it is now estimated that there are approximately 12.6 million students in the country and hence the looming shortage of teachers,” he said.
He revealed: “The current President, Dr John Pombe Joseph Magufuli, has done a wonderful and historical job by allowing free education in all primary and secondary schools, which resulted to massive enrollments in 2015 elementary schools reaching 1.4 million pupils”.
For his part, ASAF Communications Manager Musizu Musizu said: “ASAF is proud in that, the free education introduced by the government in 2016, directly supports the ASAF innovation also introduced in 2013 with a focused to provide free education through the use of phone technology to all learners in order to cater for the shortage of teachers in the country.
He added: “In so doing, we will be supporting the government in implementing its initiative in providing free education to all learners.
With this innovation in place, the students are going to use more than 27 million mobile phones as classrooms which are in the hands of their parents, guardians, brothers, sisters, relatives and neighbours to learn in the subjects of their choices.”
He also said that the installation of ASLCC will employ competent and experienced teachers in all subjects from primary school to Form Six to carry out the project on full time employment on line with the support of the national teaching policy.
“The moment a student calls ASAF call centre they will be directed to the services of their choice and the student shall respond by pressing a respective number relating to the services required.
Numbers will be planned according to levels of education and subjects such as 1 for primary, 2 for O-level and 3 for A-level and then the process will continue in the same manner like ‘Press 5 for Primary Standard Five’ then 6 or 7 as well as ‘Press 1,2,3, and 4 for O-Level or 5 and 6 for A-Level followed by 1 for Mathematics, 2 for Physics, 3 for Kiswahili, 4 for History, etc. he elaborated.
“Through this students would be connected directly to the relevant teacher and perfectly secure answers for questions of their choice,” he concluded.