1. Overview of the Country and Primary Education System:
Tanzania covers 945,000 square kilometers, including approximately 60,000 square kilometers of inland water. The population is about 32 million people, with an average annual growth rate of 2.8 percent per year. Females comprise 51% of the total population. The majority of the population resides on the Mainland, while the rest resides in Zanzibar. The life expectancy is 50 years, and the mortality rate is 8.8%. The economy depends upon Agriculture, Tourism, Manufacturing, Mining, and Fishing. Agriculture contributes about 50% of GDP and accounting for about two-thirds of Tanzania’s exports. Tourism contributes 15.8%; and manufacturing, 8.1%, and mining, 1.7%. The school system is a 2-7-4-2-3+ consisting of pre-primary, primary school, ordinary level secondary education, Advanced level secondary, Technical, and Higher Education. Primary School Education is compulsory whereby parents are supposed to take their children to school for enrollment. The medium of instruction in primary is Kiswahili.
One of the key objectives of the first president J.K. Nyerere was the development strategy for Tanzania, as reflected in the 1967 Arusha Declaration, which ensured that basic social services were available equitably to all members of society. In the education sector, this goal was translated into the 1974 Universal Primary Education Movement, whose goal was to make primary education universally available, compulsory and provided free of cost to users to ensure it reached the poorest. As the strategy was implemented, large-scale increases in the numbers of primary schools and teachers were brought about through campaign-style programs with the help of donor financing. By the beginning of the 1980s, each village in Tanzania had a primary school, and gross primary school enrollment reached nearly 100 percent, although the quality of education provided was not very high. From 1996 the education sector proceeded through the launch and operation of the Primary Education Development Plan – PEDP in 2001.
To different scholars, the definition of globalization may be different. According to Cheng (2000), it may refer to the transfer, adaptation, and development of values, knowledge, technology, and behavioral norms across countries and societies in different parts of the world. The typical phenomena and characteristics associated with globalization include growth of global networking (e.g., internet, worldwide e-communication, and transportation), global transfer and interflow in technological, economic, social, political, cultural, and learning areas, international alliances and competitions, international collaboration and exchange, global village, multi-cultural integration, and use of international standards and benchmarks. See also Makule (2008) and MoEC (2000).
3. Globalization in Education
In the education discipline, globalization can mean the same as the above meanings as is a concern, but most specifically, all the keywords directed in education matters. Dimmock & Walker (2005) argue that in a globalizing and internalizing world, not only business and industry are changing; education, too, is caught up in that new order. This situation provides each nation a new empirical challenge of how to respond to this new order. Since this responsibility is within a national and there is inequality in terms of economic level and perhaps in cultural variations globally, globalization seems to affect others and vice versa (Bush 2005) positively. In most developing countries, these forces come as imposing forces from the outside and are implemented unquestionably because they do not have enough resources to ensure implementation (Arnove 2003; Crossley & Watson, 2004).
There is a misinterpretation that globalization does not have much impact on education because the traditional ways of delivering education persist within a national state. But, it has been observed that while globalization continues to restructure the world economy, there are also powerful ideological packages that reshape the education system in different ways (Carnoy, 1999; Carnoy & Rhoten, 2002). While others seem to increase access, equity, and quality in education, others affect the nature of educational management. Bush (2005) and Lauglo (1997) observe that decentralization of education is one of the global trends in the world, enabling the reform of educational leadership and management at different levels. They also argue that Decentralization forces help different levels of educational management to have the power of decision-making related to the allocation of resources. Carnoy (1999) further portrays that the global ideologies and economic changes are increasingly intertwined in the international institutions that broadcast particular strategies for educational change. These include western governments, multilateral and bilateral development agencies and NGOs (Crossley & Watson 2004). Also, these agencies are the ones that develop global policies and transfer them through funds, conferences, and other means. Certainly, with these powerful forces, education reforms, and be more specific, the current reforms on school leadership to a large extent are influenced by globalization.
4. The School Leadership
In Tanzania, the leadership and management of education systems and processes are increasingly seen as one area where improvement can and needs to be made to ensure that education is delivered efficiently and efficaciously. Although literature for education leadership in Tanzania is inadequate, Komba in EdQual (2006) pointed out that research in various aspects of leadership and management of education, such as the structures and delivery stems of education; financing, and alternative sources of support to education; preparation, nurturing and professional development of education leaders; the role of female educational leaders in the improvement of educational quality; as well as the link between education and poverty eradication, are deemed necessary in approaching issues of educational quality in any sense and at any level. The nature of out-of-school factors that may render support to the quality of education, e.g., traditional leadership institutions, may also need to be looked into.
5. Impact of Globalization
As mentioned above, globalization creates numerous opportunities for sharing knowledge, technology, social values, and behavioral norms and promoting developments at different levels, including individuals, organizations, communities, and societies across different countries and cultures. Cheng (2000); Brown, (1999); Waters (1995) pointed out the advantages of globalization as follows: Firstly, it enables global sharing of knowledge, skills, and intellectual assets that are necessary to multiple developments at different levels. The second is mutual support, supplement, and benefit to produce synergy for various developments of countries, communities, and individuals. The third positive impact is creating values and enhancing efficiency through the above global sharing and mutual support to serving local needs and growth. The fourth is promoting international understanding, collaboration, harmony, and acceptance of cultural diversity across countries and regions. The fifth is facilitating multi-way communications and interactions and encouraging multi-cultural contributions at different levels among countries.
The potential negative impacts of globalization are educationally concerned in various types of political, economic, and cultural colonization and overwhelming influences of advanced countries to developing countries and rapidly increasing gaps between rich areas and poor areas in different parts of the world. The first impact is increasing the technological gaps and digital divides between advanced and less developed countries, hindering equal opportunities for fair global sharing. The second is creating more legitimate opportunities for a few advanced countries to economically and politically colonize other countries globally. The third is exploiting local resources, which destroys indigenous cultures of less advanced countries to benefit a few advanced countries. Fourthly is the increase of inequalities and conflicts between areas and cultures. And fifthly is promoting the dominant cultures and values of some advanced areas and accelerating cultural transplant from advanced areas to less developed areas.
The management and control of the impacts of globalization are related to some complicated macro and international issues that may be far beyond the scope of which I did not include in this paper. Cheng (2002) pointed out that in general, many people believe education is one of the key local factors that can be used to moderate some impacts of globalization from negative to positive and convert threats into opportunities for the development of individuals and the local community in the inevitable process of globalization. Maximizing the positive effects but minimizing the negative impacts of globalization is a major concern in current educational reform for national and local developments.
6. Globalization of Education and Multiple Theories
Writing this paper was influenced by the multiple theories propounded by Yin Cheng (2002). He proposed a typology of multiple theories that can conceptualize and practice fostering local knowledge in globalization, particularly through globalized education. These theories of fostering local knowledge are proposed to address this key concern, namely the theory of tree, theory of crystal, theory of birdcage, theory of DNA, theory of fungus, and theory of amoeba. Their implications for the design of curriculum and instruction and their expected educational outcomes in globalized education are correspondingly different.
The tree theory assumes that the process of fostering local knowledge should have its roots in local values and traditions but absorb external useful and relevant resources from the global knowledge system to grow the whole local knowledge system inwards and outwards. The expected outcome in globalized education will be to develop a local person with an international outlook who will act locally and develop globally. The strength of this theory is that the local community can maintain and even further develop its traditional values and cultural identity as it grows and interacts with the input of external resources and energy in accumulating local knowledge for local developments.
The crystal theory is the key to the fostering process to have “local seeds” to crystallize and accumulate global knowledge along with a given local expectation and demand. According to this theory, the curriculum and instruction design identify the core local needs and values as the fundamental seeds to accumulate that relevant global knowledge and resources for education. Therefore, fostering local knowledge is to accumulate global knowledge around some “local seeds” that may exist local demands and values to be fulfilled in these years. The expected educational outcome is to develop a local person who remains a local person with some global knowledge and can act locally and think locally with increasing global techniques. With local seeds to crystallize the global knowledge, there will be no conflict between local needs and the external knowledge to be absorbed and accumulated in the development of the local community and individuals.
The theory of birdcage is about how to avoid the overwhelming and dominating global influences on the nation or local community. This theory contends that the process of fostering local knowledge can be open for incoming global knowledge and resources. Still, at the same time, efforts should be made to limit or converge the local developments and related interactions with the outside world to a fixed framework. It is necessary to set up a framework with clear ideological boundaries and social norms for curriculum design in globalized education. All educational activities can have a clear local focus when benefiting from wide global knowledge and inputs. The expected educational outcome is to develop a local person with a bounded global outlook who can act locally with filtered global knowledge. The theory can help to ensure local relevance in globalized education and avoid losing local identity and concerns during globalization or international exposure.
The theory of DNA represents numerous initiatives and reforms that have been made to remove dysfunctional local traditions and structures in a country of periphery and replace them with new ideas borrowed from core countries. This theory emphasizes identifying and transplanting the better key elements from the global knowledge to replace the weaker local components in the local developments. In globalizing education, the curriculum design should be very selective to local and global knowledge to choose the best elements. The expected educational outcome is to develop a person with locally and globally mixed elements who can act and think with mixed local and global knowledge. The strength of this theory is its openness for any rational investigation and transplant of valid knowledge and elements without any local barrier or cultural burden. It can provide an efficient way to learn and improve the existing local practices and developments.
The theory of fungus reflects the mode of fostering local knowledge in globalization. This theory assumes that it is a faster and easier way to digest and absorb relevant global knowledge for the nutrition of individual and local developments than to create their own local knowledge from the beginning. From this theory, the curriculum and instruction should aim to enable students to identify and learn what global knowledge is valuable and necessary to their own development and significant to the local community. In globalizing education, the design of education activities should aim at digesting the complex global knowledge into appropriate forms that can feed the needs of individuals and their growth. The expected educational outcome is to develop a person equipped with certain global knowledge who can act and think dependently on relevant global knowledge and wisdom. The theory’s strengths are that some small countries easily digest and absorb the useful elements of global knowledge than produce their own local knowledge from the beginning. The roots for growth and development are based on global knowledge instead of local culture or value.
The theory of amoeba is about the adaptation to the fasting changing global environment and the economic survival in serious international competitions. This theory considers that fostering local knowledge is only a process to use and accumulate global knowledge in the local context fully. Whether the accumulated knowledge is really local or the local values can be preserved is not a major concern. According to this theory, the curriculum design should include the full range of global perspectives and knowledge to totally globalize education to maximize the benefit from global knowledge and become more adaptive to the changing environment. Therefore, achieving a broad international outlook and apply global knowledge locally and globally is crucial in education. And, cultural burdens and local values can be minimized in curriculum design and instruction to let students be totally open to global learning. The expected educational outcome is to develop a flexible and open person without any local identity who can act and think globally and fluidly. The strengths of this theory are also its limitations, particularly in some cultural fruit countries. There will be a potential loss of local values and cultural identity in the country, and the local community will potentially lose its direction and social solidarity during overwhelming globalization.
Each country or local community may have its unique social, economic, and cultural contexts. Therefore, its tendency to use one theory or a combination of theories from the typology in globalized education may differ from the other. To a great extent, it is difficult to say one is better than the other even though the theories of tree, birdcage, and crystal may be more preferred in some culturally rich countries. For those countries with less cultural assets or local values, the theories of amoeba and fungus may be an appropriate choice for development. However, this typology can provide a wide spectrum of alternatives for policy-makers and educators to conceptualize and formulate their strategies and practices in fostering local knowledge for the local developments. See more about the theories in Cheng (2002; 11-18)
7. Education Progress since Independence in Tanzania
During the first phase of Tanzania’s political governance (1961-1985), the Arusha Declaration, focusing on “Ujamaa” (African socialism) and self-reliance, was the major philosophy. The nationalization of the state’s production and provision of goods and services and the dominance of the ruling party in community mobilization and participation highlighted the “Ujamaa” ideology, which dominated most of the 1967-1985 eras. In the early 1970s, the first phase government embarked on an enormous national campaign for universal access to primary education of all children of school-going age. It was resolved that the nation should have attained universal primary education by 1977. The ruling party by that time, Tanganyika African National Union (TANU), under the leadership of the former and first president of Tanzania Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere, directed the government to put in place mechanisms for ensuring that the directive, commonly known as the Musoma Resolution, was implemented. The argument behind that move was essential that, as much as education was a right to every citizen, a government committed to the development of an egalitarian socialist society cannot segregate and discriminate her people in the provision of education, especially at the basic level.
7.1. The Presidential Commission on Education
In 1981, a Presidential Commission on education was appointed to review the existing education system and propose necessary changes to be realized by the country towards the year 2000. The Commission submitted its report in March 1982, and the government has implemented most of its recommendations. The most significant ones related to this paper were the establishment of the Teachers’ Service Commission (TSC), the Tanzania Professional Teachers Association, the introduction of new curriculum packages at primary, secondary, and teacher education levels, the establishment of the Faculty of Education (FoE) at the University of Dar-es-Salaam, the introduction of pre-primary teacher education program; and the expansion of secondary education.
7.2. Education during the Second Phase Government of Tanzania
The second phase of the government of Tanzania, spanning from 1985 to 1995, was characterized by new liberal ideas such as free choice, market-oriented schooling, cost efficiency, reduced government control of the UPE, and other social services. The education sector lacked quality teachers and teaching/learning materials and infrastructure to address the expansion of the UPE. A vacuum was created while fragmented donor-driven projects dominated primary education support. The introduced cost-sharing in the provision of social services like education and health hit most of the poorest of the poor. This decrease in government support in the provision of social services, including education and cost-sharing policies, was not taken well, given that most of the incomes were below the poverty line. In 1990, the government constituted a National Task Force on education to review the existing education system and recommend a suitable education system for the 21st century.
The report of this task force, the Tanzania Education System for the 21st Century, was submitted to the government in November 1992. The report’s recommendations have been taken into consideration in the formulation of the Tanzania Education and Training Policy (TETP). Despite the imposing expansionary education policies and reforms in the 1970s, the goal to achieve UPE, which was once targeted for achievement in 1980, is way out of reach. Similarly, the Jomtien objective to achieve Basic Education for all in 2000 is on the part of Tanzania unrealistic. The participation and access level have declined to the point that attainment of UPE is once again an issue in itself. Other developments and trends indicate a decline in the quantitative goals set rather than being closer to them (Cooksey and Reidmiller, 1997; Mbilinyi, 2000). At the same time, serious doubt is being raised about school quality and the relevance of education provided (Galabawa, Senkoro, and Lwaitama, (eds), 2000).
7.3. Outcomes of UPE
According to Galabawa (2001), the UPE describing, analyzed, and discussing explored three measures in Tanzania: (1) the measure of access to the first year of primary education, namely, the apparent intake rate. This is based on the total number of new entrants in the first grade regardless of age. This number is expressed as a percentage of the population at the official primary school entrance age and the net intake rate based on the number of new entrants in the first grade who are of the official primary school entrance age expressed as a percentage of the population of corresponding age. (2) The measure of participation, namely, gross enrolment ratio representing the number of children enrolled in primary education, regardless of age, is expressed as a percentage of the official primary school-age population; In contrast, the net enrolment ratio corresponds to the number of children of the official primary school age enrolled in primary school expressed as a percentage of the corresponding population. (3) The measure of the education system’s internal efficiency reflects the dynamics of different operational decision-making events over the school cycle like dropouts, promotions, and repetitions.
7.3.1. Access to Primary Education
The absolute numbers of new entrants to grade one of primary school cycles have grown steadily since the 1970s. The number of new entrants increased from around 400,000 in 1975 to 617,000 in 1990 and 851,743 in 2000, a rise of 212.9 percent in relative terms. The apparent (gross) intake rate was high at around 80% in the 1970s, dropping to 70% in 1975 and rise to 77% in 2000. This level reflects the shortcomings in primary education provision. Tanzania is marked by wide variations in both apparent and net intake rates-between urban and rural districts, with the former performing higher. Low intake rates in rural areas reflect that many children do not enter schools at the official age of seven years.
7.3.2. Participation in Primary Education
The regression in the gross and net primary school enrolment ratios, the deficient intake at secondary and vocational levels; and, the general low internal efficiency of the education sector have combined to create a UPE crisis in Tanzania’s education system (Education Status Report, 2001). There were 3,161,079 primary pupils in Tanzania in 1985, and, in the subsequent decade, primary enrolment rose dramatically by 30% to 4,112,167 in 1999. These absolute increases were not translated into gross/net enrolment rates, which actually experienced a decline threatening the sustainability of quantitative gains. The gross enrolment rate, which was 35.1% in the late 1960s and early 1970s’, grew appreciably to 98.0% in 1980 when the net enrolment rate was 68%. (ibid)
7.3.3. Internal Efficiency in Primary Education
The input/output ratio shows that it takes an average of 9.4 years (instead of the planned 7 years) for a pupil to complete primary education. The extra years are due to starting late, drop-outs, repetition, and high failure rate pronounced at standard four where a competency/mastery examination is administered (ESDP, 1999, p.84). High wastage rates have hampered the drive towards UPE.
7.4. Education during the Third Phase Government of Tanzania
The third phase, the government spanning from 1995 to date, intends to address both income and non-income poverty to generate capacity for provision and consumption of better social services. To address this income and non-income poverty, the government formed the Tanzania Vision 2025. Vision 2025 targets high-quality livelihood for all Tanzanians by realizing UPE, eradicating illiteracy, and attaining a level of tertiary education and training commensurate with a critical mass of high-quality human resources required to respond to the developmental challenges at all levels effectively. To revitalize the whole education system, the government established the Education Sector Development Programme (ESDP) in this period. Within the ESDP, there are two education development plans already in implementation, namely: (a) The Primary Education Development Plan (PEDP); and (b) The Secondary Education Development Plan (SEDP).
8. Prospects and Challenges of Primary of Education Sector
Since independence, The government has recognized the central role of education in achieving the overall development goal of improving the quality of life of Tanzanians through economic growth and poverty reduction. The Government has initiated several policies and structural reforms to improve the quality of education at all levels. These include Education for Self-Reliance, 1967; Musoma Resolution, 1974; Universal Primary Education (UPE), 1977; Education and Training Policy (ETP), 1995; National Science and Technology Policy, 1995; Technical Education and Training Policy, 1996; Education Sector Development Programme, 1996 and National Higher Education Policy, 1999. The ESDP of 1996 represented a Sector-Wide Approach to education development for the first time to redress the problem of fragmented interventions. It called for pooling together of resources (human, financial, and materials) through the involvement of all key stakeholders in education planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation (URT, 1998 quoted in MoEC 2005b). The Local Government Reform Programme (LGRP) provided the institutional framework.
Challenges include the considerable shortage of classrooms, a shortage of well qualified and expert teachers competent to lead their learners through the new competency-based curriculum and learning styles, and the absence of an assessment and examination regime able to reinforce the new approaches and reward students for their ability to demonstrate what they know to understand and can do. At the secondary level, there is a need to expand facilities necessary due to increased transition rates. A major challenge is the funding gap, but the government calls on its development partners to honor the commitments made at Dakar, Abuja, etc., to respond positively to its draft Ten Year Plan. Several systemic changes are at a critical stage, including decentralization, public service reform, strengthening of financial management, and mainstreaming of ongoing project programs. The various measures and interventions introduced over the last few years have been uncoordinated and unsynchronised. Commitment to a sector-wide approach must be accompanied by careful attention to secure coherence and synergy across sub-sectoral elements. (Woods, 2007)