Which Curriculum Perspective is Tanzania Based? | CT 200

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Education system is an interconnection of things or procedures to be undertaken by a learner in order to acquire desirable knowledge. The term curriculum has been defined in many ways as the complete experience of the student while under the guidance and direction of the school. It include activities which are academic, non-academic vocational, emotional and recreational.

Centralized education system refers to the condition where by the administrative authority for education is vested, not in the local community, but in a central body. This central body has complete power over all resources. Money, information, people and technology. It decides the content of curriculum, control the budget, and is responsible for employment, the building of educational facilities, discipline process policies. In most developing countries, curriculum development is centrally controlled.

Decentralized Education system. In this system, decision about education occur at different levels, local authorities, individual states, regional, school etc. this is the extent to which authority has been passed down to the individual school. Most of the underdeveloped countries use this system.

Education system in Tanzania is based on centralized system where all activities concerned with education matters is done with consultation of ministry of education and vocational training. The system is divided into several stages of which provided by both public and private sector. First stage is primary education which is compulsory for children aged 7 to 14 years. Medium of instruction at primary level is English, Kiswahili, and English as a subject. Secondary education level is divided into an ordinary level which intended to the 14 – 17 aged group and advance level to 18-20 aged group while medium of instruction is English and Kiswahili as a subject. Higher education is divided into non university level, for instance institution (technical) vocational and professional schools and university level.

Curriculum development and other educational issues are guided by the National Education Policy and approved by parliament. Tanzania Institute of Education is the main body responsible for developing the curriculum. It prepare program, syllabus and pedagogical materials. The curriculum is composed of 12 subjects with the purpose of developing, competence, critical and creative thinking among learners.

Also, all learners write the same examination and are assessed in the same skills. Learners who pass the examination continue with another level of studies. Learners perform the national examination in the following class. In primary school they do it in standard four and seven. At secondary school level they have an examination in form two and form four, also in form six. Those who pass the form six examination are allowed to join the university.

Curriculum perspectives are theories of knowledge which are important source of curriculum decisions, what goes into the curriculum depends heavily on these perspectives. There are three types of educational perspectives which are, transmission, transaction and transformation perspectives.

Transaction perspective. This perspective create situation where by students are able to interact with the material to be learned in order to construct knowledge. Student ability to use this knowledge is to create products of performance that are solved in one or more cultural setting.

Transformation perspectives, here teaching have the objectives of transforming learners on many different levels (cognitive, emotional, emotional, spiritual and others.) Transformation invites both students and teachers to discuss their full potential.

Transmission is an act of transmitting knowledge from teacher to learner. This is the teacher centered approach where by a teacher is the one who provide knowledge.

Therefore education system in Tanzania is based on transaction curriculum perspectives since the large number of methods which is used in all levels of education system in Tanzania is relying on this perspectives for instance primary education, the lessons are conducted through interaction as teacher gives the learners task which gives them a chance to reply to their teacher. For example the system of counting number, statistic, alphabet, also at the secondary level there are different transaction method which teachers and student interact. For example, the use of group discussion, debate, demonstration, question and answers, brain storming, using of songs and games. According to the institute of education in Tanzania under consultation of ministry of education and vocational training teachers should support 25% of the learning activities and the remaining 75% is for student. Also it is better to know that, all of the three transaction are used in Tanzania, but the most dominant is the transaction method and is highly influenced.

1.      (B)
As defined above Centralized education system refers to the condition where by the administrative authority for education is vested, not in the local community, but in a central body. This central body has complete power over all resources. Money, information, people and technology. It decides the content of curriculum, control the budget, and is responsible for employment, the building of educational facilities, discipline process policies. In most developing countries, curriculum development is centrally controlled. By adopting centralized education system, Tanzania is both benefiting and losing as discussed below.

Starting with how Tanzania is benefiting by adopting a centralized education system.

In the centralized educational system the ministry draws up in detail the curriculum for each subject and level of education. Recruitment evaluation and training of the staff is administered by the ministry of education through different inspectorates at the national and regional levels and all satisfactory completion of the school is testified by national exam. Thus there is an inspectorates or standards centered division is put in place to monitor the teaching and learning activities. Therefore there is benefit which Tanzania get by adopting a centralized educational system.

It makes easy to achieve national goals since all schools use the same documents but not only national goals also individual and societal needs and goals. These can be contributed by curriculum which allows learners to interact with environment. For example in Tanzania, curriculum allows college and university to impose new faculties and universities to impose new faculties and to achieve the needs and goals which have been aimed to achieve. For example at the University of Dar es salaam had introduced faculties, example in history known as philosophies and methodologies of history. Also in science like agriculture and petroleum engineering in 2016.

Student can transfer from one school to another without any obstacles in his/her progress of education, this is due to the fact that all school in Tanzania use the same curriculum documents. For example students of form three at Pugu Secondary school can be transferred to Tabora Boys which is allocated in Tabora and proceed well with his studies. Also this system helps to prepare both teachers and student to become more competent whenever they go simply because they share the same base.
Learning materials can be mass produced making them less expensive for both producers and consumers. This means the budget planed from the government where the government minimize the cost so that can ease the flow of materials around the school. This make even the schools having low budget to survive while maintaining the importation of accessing materials.

Therefore centralized education system is most important curriculum to be adopted by a country for its national educational uses due to the several benefits explained above.

Not only the country is benefitting by adopting centralized education system, but also the country is losing as proved below;

First, it is not easy to closely supervise what is happening in the schools. For example, how consistent is course content across teachers and schools in terms of coverage, internal assessment procedures, and entrance and exit criteria.

Second, centralized education system is insensitive to the needs of some groups within the community, since education provided to the society is uniform but the society differ from one to another. Therefore centralized education learners are not involved in decision making. Rather than to implement what government had decided hence Tanzania losing through learning things which is irrelevant to the needs of some society. Example, curriculum did not address local needs that is students does not learn what is relevant to the local community.

Third rarely are draft publications tried out and then revised in the light of systematically collected classroom experience because and fore most piloting curriculum is an expensive endeavor in terms of both human and material resources. Furthermore, and just as important there are ethical issues to be addressed because at the end of the day learners have to sit for a common public examination regardless of whether they participated in a pilot curriculum activities. In addition it is not easy for individual educationalist to attempt and undertake curricula innovations through research and development because schools are centrally managed.

A certain degree of decentralization is needed but decentralization would not achieve cohesiveness among schools. It is true that neither centralization nor decentralization works by themselves. Both top-down and bottom-up strategies are necessary. Centralization errs on the side of over control, while decentralization errs toward chaos. School and district development must be coordinated. Personnel moves, transfers, selection and promotion criteria, policy requirements, budget decisions, including staff development resource all take their toll on schools if the relationship is not coordinated. The center and local units need each other. Schools will get nowhere by swinging from one dominance to another. What is required is a different two-way relationship of pressure, support, and continuous negotiation.

Marsh, C & Wills, G (1995). Curriculum; Alternative Approaches, Ongoing Issues; Stoughton
Posner, G (2004). Analyzing the Curriculum. New York. Mc Grow Hill Publishers.
William E. Dull Jr (1993), New York; Post Modern Perspective on Curriculum.
Njabili A.F (1999); Public Examinations; A tool for Curriculum Evaluation. Mture Educational Publishers.
Ralph W. Tyler; Basic Principles of Curriculum and Instructions.


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