Throughout history, human advancement in almost all fields has been made possible thanks to the various discoveries and application of technology. Take for example the evolution of writing and publishing for mass communication. If we are to go with historians, from the cuneiform text (pictograms) to the level of using computers and cloud technology, it shows that writing has been one of the greatest technological advancements for mankind, which today we may take for granted because it is so commonplace.
With the development of writing came development of science resulting in improved technologies in fields like medicine and agriculture. Today, technology itself has become a booming market full of exciting and innovative products.
In many ways, its application has become available for the masses for example, the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). You can compare and contrast the use of ICT today, with when writing was a career for a few elites before the use of pen and paper were discovered.
Retired President Jakaya Kikwete speaking at the International Quality Education Conference (IQEC) in Dar es Salaam recently, strongly rooted for heavy investment and use of ICTs in Africa to take education to the next level.
Connecting schools via the internet would go a long way to facilitate the provision of quality education (smooth teaching and learning) in the continent, he noted.
Dr Kikwete said Africa needed graduates who were well equipped and competent in their fields, and the application of ICT was paramount to make that happen.
For colleges, without continuous investment in technology and skills development, producing a competent national workforce would be a long shot.
Dr Kikwete’s weighty words: “We don’t have any other option, but to strive to improve our education system.” His premise, which I want to make some discourse on, is that investing in quality education is vital, and the use of ICT could not be gainsaid.
Early in April this year, President Samia Suluhu Hassan noted that there was a need to review the national curricula. Coming from the President, it means this is something that is of immense importance. When we talk of Tanzania, some 50 to 100 years to come, one of the biggest determining factors of our best Tanzania is the kind of education we shall bequeath to our children.
Sign up for free AllAfrica Newsletters
Get the latest in African news delivered straight to your inbox
In today’s world we live in a confusing world.
And the paradox is that, technology as much as we need it has greatly contributed to our mess. For example, the internet to some people is used for good including for development purposes. At the same time, it gives access to people with evil intentions to gain followers.
We have gambling and porn! The two evils sucking power and brains from our youth and destroying millions of lives, all due to the power of technology.
But with the same internet, it has got so many educational programmes! One can learn so many skills. It makes life so much easier and gives us information at our fingertips that often can save lives. It is how we use it that counts! For good or for evil!
As Tanzania embarks on a review of education, it’s apparent we need to think about technology, especially ICT.
We need our children from a young age to learn computer programming. We need them to be active creators and innovators of the modern economy and not just spectators.
In our country we watch so many TV programmes from those originating abroad and not making ours! This should not be allowed in the development of education.
We need our system to make our children learn and use computer languages to bring us development and put our country at the centre stage of the world economy!
Saumu Jumanne is an Assistant Lecturer, Dar es Salaam University College of Education (DUCE)