Minister lauds UCSAF thrust for public schools ICT skills

23Oct 2019
Polycarp Machira
The Guardian
Minister lauds UCSAF thrust for public schools ICT skills

STATE Minister in the President’s Office (Regional Administration and Local Governments), Selemani Jafo, has recommended that public schools adopt the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to prepare students for an industrial economy and a more competitive job environment.

Selemani Jafo

Addressing teachers on a five day training stint on ICT at the University of Dodoma involving 296 teachers from nine regions, the minister said that for Tanzania to achieve set development targets including attaining middle income economy by 2025, students in public schools should be well acquainted with ICT.

The teachers are drawn from Dodoma, Singida, Simiyu, Mara, Mwanza, Kigoma, Kagera, Tabora and Geita regions, while the training to empower them with basic ICT skills has been organized by the Universal Communication Service Access Fund (UCSAF).

The training will be conducted in three centres, namely the University of Dodoma (UDOM), the Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology (DIT) as well as Mbeya University of Science and Technology (MUST).

In total, about 1044 teachers from public schools in 26 regions on the Mainland and five regions in the Isles are attending the training whereby 540 are at DIT,  208 at MUST and others at UDOM.

“Globally ICT is the centre of everything and we should not lag behind. Hence it is prudent that teachers get the knowledge and pass it on to students who are the future workforce,” said Jafo.

He urged the participants to ensure they share the knowledge gained after training with other teachers who did not get the opportunity to attend the training.

“It is my expectation that you realize the desired change in ICT in our schools,” he stated, expressing gratitude to UCSAF for the effort aimed at empowering young people with ICT skills and knowledge needed in the changing job market.

He affirmed that teachers in the country have a lot of frustrations, in which case such training helps them enhance their working morale and boost performances.

Earlier, the UCSAF acting Chief Executive Officer, Justina Mashiba said that the training is aimed at empowering teachers with skills on basic trouble shooting in computer networking.

She said the fund recently launched a school connectivity project to link public schools with the internet, thus the need to empower teachers with basic computer skills.

“The fund through the schools connectivity project has been distributing ICT equipment in public schools,” she said, elaborating that last year 569 teachers were trained in basic troubleshooting skills.

The CEO noted that it is vital that teachers are equipped with basic computing knowledge to handle small ICT challenges as they perform their duties.

Success of the training exercise will enable UCSAF to organize advanced troubleshooting skills in future as it was done last year, she added.