DUCE Profile and Priority Needs
The Dar es Salaam University College of Education [DUCE] is a constituent College of the University of Dar es Salaam [UDSM], a public institution, which was this year ranked 13th best University in Africa, and first North of the Limpopo and south of the Sahara. An earlier report published in Chronicle of Higher Education in 2002 had also showed that the University of Dar es Salaam had the best Institutional Transformation Program in Africa that was locally developed and was systematically being implemented, monitored, and improved. DUCE Management played a key role in pioneering it and is still active in that transformation program.
The Government of Tanzania, through Order Number 202, published on 22nd July 2005, in the official Government Gazette, established DUCE as one of the strategies for addressing an acute shortage of graduate teachers and experts in the education sector in Tanzania, and especially in the sciences, mathematics, and languages.
A national survey conducted in 2002 established that there was a shortage of 1,421 graduate teachers in secondary schools. Similarly, there was a shortage of curriculum specialists, examination experts, well-trained policy analysts, educational managers, planners, administrators, and financial experts in the education sector for the smooth running of the education enterprise in the country.
Tanzania is currently known to be one of the countries in Africa with excellent progress towards realization of the Education for All [EFA] Goals and the UN Millennium Development Goals. A Primary Education Development Programme (PEDP) initiated in 2001/2002 has led to an increased net enrollment at primary school level, from 57 to 98 per cent. The success of this program has prompted a great demand for secondary education opportunities in the country and hence the need to expand participation rate in secondary education, which was among the lowest in Sub-Saharan Africa. As a result, the Government launched the Secondary Education Development Plan (SEDP) in 2004. The Plan had an objective to expand the transition rate from primary to secondary education from 21 per cent in 2003 to 50 per cent in 2010. In order to realize this objective, the existing graduate teacher shortage had to be tackled first before addressing the demands of the Plan.
It is for this reason that the Government established DUCE as a specialized teacher education institution. The Vision is to be a centre of excellence in teacher education in the country and beyond. The Mission of DUCE is to train and educate, induct and develop high quality graduate teachers and experts for the education sector. While UDSM enrols just over 10,000 students of whom just over 1000 are in education, DUCE currently enrolls 705 student teachers. The plan is to increase enrollment in science and mathematics by 500 students each year for the coming 3 years, as well as enrolling 1000 students in humanities each year during the given period. It also has to do research and provide advisory services in education and the teaching profession. DUCE management is committed to realize these objectives, but as a new college starting almost from scratch, it finds itself severely constrained by the following problems:
[A]: Immediate Needs
1. Teaching Materials and Equipment.
The College needs to mobilize teaching and training materials such as books, periodicals, and journals for students, faculty and the library. The immediate needs have been identified, but the financial resources are lacking.
The College also needs to obtain other critical classroom equipment, such as tables, chairs, whiteboards, markers, overhead projectors and transparencies. It currently lacks photocopier machines for creating student readers and handouts.
2. ICT Training Centre and Lab. Tanzania, like many developing countries, is lagging behind in the institutionalisation of information and communication technologies. The College intends to break this vicious cycle by developing a centre of excellence of ICT for training graduate teachers and education experts who will disseminate the technology to schools, different administrative levels of the education system, and to the rest of the society. This will expedite the planned institutionalization of ICT in all teacher training colleges and secondary schools, currently at infancy stage.
The College would like to set up a fully functioning ICT centre with computers, printers, software packages, manuals and links to the Internet.
The centre will permit easy access of on-line learning materials for faculty and students. The centre will also be responsible for effective management of College databases such as for student admissions, examinations, finances and other important records as well as library materials.
[B]: Intermediate Needs
1. Capacity Building. The College currently has a skeleton staff of 5 PhD holders and 10 assistant lecturers who are holders of good honours degrees. It also has a librarian, who is a PhD holder and an associate professor. Around 15 professors in humanities, science and education shuttle from the main campus, 15 kilometres away to offer courses at the College. The College shall need to develop its capacity in terms of academic personnel who will need further training, especially at PhD level. These will be responsible for teaching courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, as well as conducting research and offering community services. Over time, DUCE wishes to develop closer partnership with Harvard, by establishing an institutional linkage that will allow international faculty to teach and conduct research at DUCE while indigenous faculty are on training abroad. The College also has qualified and certified Bursar, accountant and human resource managers and secretarial staff.
DUCE would also like for selected administrative staff, who will be engaged in strategic departments (i.e., planning, financing, admission, examinations and general administration), to take short courses locally to upgrade their skills.
2. Alleviating Gender Imbalance. Gender imbalance is still one of the main problems in higher education in Tanzania. The problem is more accentuated in the Sciences and Mathematics. Currently, in mathematics and the sciences, about 80% of girls are failing these subjects in their O-level and A-level exams at the end of high school. To arrest this problem, the College is interested in developing college preparatory curricula and programmes in science and mathematics, with special focus on raising the performance of girl students in high school. Funding is needed to hire educational consultants to work with DUCE to develop these new curricula and programmes, to train teachers to administer them, and to field-test them in selected secondary schools.