developing introductory ict education in tanzania a contextualized approach
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developing introductory ict education in tanzania a contextualized approach

Developing introductory ICT education in Tanzania: A contextualized approach.

EdTechDelta, Educational Technology of Computer Science

c ontextualization
  • Contextualization in ICT education is thus a way of taking the local environment into account when planning and implementing ICT education. It is a need based approach, to meet the local needs of the society and development. (cf. Sutinen & Vesisenaho, 2005)
innovative nature
Innovative nature
  • In best case the ICT education will output innovative students. Innovative approaches are needed, those will involve greater participation by local communities and decentralization of decision making. (The World Bank, 1998, p. 5) Innovation based approach is essential in new knowledge driven economy (Castells, 2001; Leadbeater, 1999) Complexity of the required knowledge is more critical condition than the physical availability of technology (Matengu 2006, 70).
what kind of things we have done so far
What kind of things we have done so far?
  • 1995, 1998 Localized Visual Basic Programming Courses in Kidugala Secondary, Tanzania
  • 2000 Orientation course for master candidates, Tumaini University, Iringa, Tanzania
  • 2000-2002 Tanzanian master exchange students at the University of Joensuu, Finland
  • 2002 Contextual Java (HIV/AIDS) programming in Kidugala Secondary, Tanzania
  • 2003 Programming by Building -workshop I, Tumaini University, Iringa, Tanzania
  • 2004 Programming by Building -workshop II, Tumaini University, Iringa, Tanzania
  • 2004 TEDC, Joensuu, Finland
  • 2004- 5ARTS (North-South) Teacher and Student Exchange
  • 2004-2005 First Contextualized Programming -course at Tumaini University, Iringa Univeristy College,Tanzania
  • 2005- Teacher Training at College of Business Education, Tanzania
  • 2005 UniPID-conference, Tanzanian President, Joensuu 2006 TEDC, Iringa Science Park, Tanzania
  • 2007 ICT degree program at Tumaini University
  • North-South Higher Education Programme of the Centre for International Mobility CIMO, 5ARTS+ – A student and teaching staff exchange project between coordinator, University of Joensuu, Finland, and Kabarak University, Kenya; Tumaini University (Iringa University College), Tanzania; University of Namibia, and University of Pretoria, South Africa.
  • ICT for Development Course: Education, Context and Environment and Technologies
business teacher training program in tanzania
Business Teacher Training Program in Tanzania

College of Business Education (CBE)

  • On the basis of our experiences, we have proposed a four-level model for ICT planning, evaluation, and training in developing countries. These four levels comprise the following aspects of ethnocomputing in a particular sociocultural setting: representation, utilization, and appropriation. Representation consists of features such as conceptual models, mental models, and methods of teaching; utilization includes elements such as uses of technologies, diffusion patterns, and social attitudes towards technology, and appropriation embraces aspects that deviate from mainstream mental models such as the use of technology for non-standard purposes, job-creation through innovative business ideas, and the creation of ad hoc solutions to technological problems.
  • Division for Freedom of Expression, Democracy and Peace
  • Consultations with Mogens SchmidtDeputy Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information
ict education for development a tanzanian perspective
ICT education for development: A Tanzanian perspective

1. What kind of framework is feasible for understanding ICT transfer in developing country context (Tanzania)?

2. How was contextualization taken into account in the Contextualized introduction to programming course?

3. What are the contextual outcomes of the Contextualized introduction to programming course based on students’ application ideas?

specific context of this research
Specific context of this research
  • This research is carried out at Tumaini University, Iringa University College (IUCO), is a ten year old higher level institution owned by the Lutheran Church of Tanzania. It is located in the southern highlands of Tanzania. Iringa itself, the capital of the region, has a population of 350,000 (The United Republic of Tanzania, 2002). The region is rurally based, and agriculture has been the main field of profession. The middle-level industries are growing, but there are also few companies (Iringa municipal council, 2003)
long term research approach in context
Long term research approach in context

Development research (Reeves, 2000; van den Akker, 1999)

The four-level CATI model for representing and analyzing the planning and implementation processes of ICT
2 contextualized introduction to programming course
2. Contextualized Introduction to Programming Course

The approach to studying ICT reflects the essence of ethnocomputing, which requires one to identify culturally meaningful entry points for understanding, utilizing, and producing ICT in a relevant way (Sutinen & Vesisenaho, 2006).

aim of the course
Aim of the course
  • The course was designed to focus more on basic understanding of ICT, robotics and programming in the local context. The course was expected to serve the learning technical skills: the students should have a good general knowledge of the methodology of creating computer programs after they had successfully completed this course. They should also acquire a general understanding of robotics and modern technologies. The second expectation was more contextual: the students could appreciate the usefulness of programming and its application in their own society and work.
course participants
Course participants
  • The course was implemented between October 2004 and January 2005. There was a whole class of BEd students: 11 female and 16 male. The average age of the students was 35 years. Only 1 of them did not have working experience as teachers, and in average they had been working as teachers for 9 years. About 80 per cent of the students had started to use computers at the university, and usage experiences were limited to office software including first steps of email and web-browsing. One of the students had some preliminary programming experience.
field projects
Field projects
  • Reach the society - our students created educational robotic devices for/with some pupils in local rural schools.
3. The average number of application ideas identified at the beginning and at the end of the course (quest. I & III)
examples from different cati levels
Examples from different CATI levels

“Yeah, it will benefit if the … If we have this computer program of Java, the society would benefit very much. (import level)”

“Yeah, my, my teach in case my school can introduce such a course at my school, I am able to teach, I can teach how to program in Java language because I have a mastered the important (course). (transfer level)

“Okay, an important learning experience from the course. I have been interested in geometrical structures because I can transfer the knowledge of Java programming to my mathematics course such as on drawing different structures or graphs and other many things. (application level)”

“I can use these programs even now to teach the students because nowadays we have many things to teach the students, let’s say for example in Java programming. Always we just deal with how to educate the students on budgeting. Therefore I can use this program to show them that if you need to do something, before doing it just go to the computer and just see if you can manage. Therefore I think it is very useful. (contextualization level)”

degree curriculum and implementation
Degree curriculum and implementation
  • Finally, the plans for a localized undergraduate program in ICT continues the capacity building. A good point to continue research; further with the CATI model for development and Ethnocomputing approach to ICT education.
  • Elements of robotics included
b sc in it structure

1. Use and Administration of Hardware and Software

2. Basic concepts of CS and Engineering

1st year


3. Applications






4. Bachelor Project

(Personal Learning Path)

2nd year








3rd year






B.Sc. in IT structure
long term research approach in context1
Long term research approach in context

Development research (Reeves, 2000; van den Akker, 1999)

thank you
Thank You!

For more information, pls. contact

Researcher, Mikko Vesisenaho

[email protected],

tel. +358 13 251 7982

fax. 358 13 251 7955